One of my favorite things to do on the island is visit the Farmer’s Market in West Tisbury. Everything, from the honey to the corn, is island-grown. The sheer amount of agriculture is one of the things that people don’t realize about the Vineyard. Most know the island for its celebrity visitors or its scenic beaches, but the agrarian aspect was always the most intriguing to me. Unlike the windswept island of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard’s size (100 square miles) and proximity to land (only seven miles) make large pastures possible. The bucolic landscape totally goes against the “paradise island” stereotype and that’s what I love about it. You can drive around upisland and forget you are surrounded by sea. Here are some photos of the recent trip to the market.
The produce sold at the market really does cover every part of the rainbow. Farmers sell purple peppers, lime green eggplants, and yellow tomatoes. The entire affair is a real photographer’s delight.
According to the farmer, these purple bell peppers taste about as sweet as the yellow variety and would eventually turn green. They also have a thinner flesh–less bang for your buck. Judging by their looks though, these peppers would be great for garnishing a dish or for an eye-catching salad.
These cherry tomatoes were so sweet, such a difference between these little guys and those bland ones you buy in the store. They had a real tomato taste and were deliciously crisp. The yellow and orange ones were a little sweeter than the reds, but they were all equally good.
One of the most popular and venerable booths belongs to “The Eggroll Lady” who sells a variety of Asian (specifically Vietnamese) food. While the spring rolls may be healthier, I highly recommend the Eggrolls. The sesame noodles are also pretty good. Certain cooking styles are hard to come by on the island, and Asian food is one of them. Aside from the rather offputting “Golden Dragon” in Vineyard Haven, this is really the only Asian food you can get.
There are lots of flower vendors, many of whom sell right out of the back of their truck.
As tempting as the “Baracky Road” was, I opted for the almond buttercrunch. No regrets there.
These guys are called maxixe (MAH-SHE-SHE), but are better known as Brazillian Spiny Cucumbers. Despite their formidable appearance, these fist-sized cukes have soft spikes and can be picked up without a problem. We bought a couple at fifty cents a pop from the Morning Glory farm stand just out of curiosity. We skinned them and sliced them up for our salad, but much to our dismay, we discovered a plethora of seeds inside each cuke. I couldn’t detect a real difference in taste between this and other cucumbers. Next time, I’m sticking to English Cucumbers. If you get a chance though, get Morning Glory’s corn. It is so sweet and delicious that you don’t even need to butter it, which says a lot coming from me!