Celebrating Culture and Creating Community at The FARM Institute

Summer at The FARM Institute (TFI), located on Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, MA, means lots of growing, sun, and outdoor fun is upon us.

The warmer weather also brings with it a chance to foster community, celebrate culture, and create inclusive spaces for locals and visitors alike in the many offerings on the farm.

June is pride month, and TFI hosted several cooking classes open to the public celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Vineyard Pride members and allies were invited to a special edition of Locally Grown & Delicious, a cooking class regularly offered at TFI. Cook with Pride was held with chef Casey Mazar-Kelly. Participants prepared a meal of rainbow and flower pasta together that was shared outside around the table at the end of the class. A rainbow challah class was also offered later in the month with Teri Culletto, Vineyard Baker, and was open to ages 10+. For these pride month events, TFI offered free spots for LGBTQ community members to participate.

“Offering opportunities to celebrate, build, and extend a sense of community to the farm is something that is important to us here at TFI,” shared Lindsay Brown, Engagement Site Manager at TFI. “Whether it’s through our pride cooking classes or our regular offerings, we want everyone to feel welcome and know that they belong here.”

Later in August, the Trustees will welcome the Iconoclast Dinner Experience (IDE) “The King is Dead” to The FARM Institute. The mission of IDE is “to broaden the conversation to include diverse voices from throughout the globe making significant contributions to culture.”

In partnership with Slough Farm and IDE, world class chefs will prepare a meal featuring Island-based sustainable agriculture at this sold-out event. The 2023 class of emerging chefs includes Courtney Evans of Leah and Louise in Charlotte, NC; Zarah Kahn of Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, CA; Kim Mok of Boka, in Chicago, IL; and Lateisha Wilson of Matador Room at The Miami Beach Edition, Miami Beach, FL. The event will also feature sommelier Cassandra Felix of Daniel in New York City, NY.

“Partnering with the Iconoclast Dinner Experience and Slough Farm on “The King Is Dead” this summer is an honor,” shared Lindsay. “We are excited to be a part of IDE’s important mission and can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the FARM.”

Throughout the busy summer season, TFI will welcome hundreds of visitors to programs, events, and for general farm visitation. Staff are passionate about creating an experience that welcomes folks of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds.

From June 26 – August 25, TFI welcomes campers to their annual TFI Summer Camp during the day. Campers range from age 4 – 17, and compassionate and energetic educators support campers in their quest to connect to the natural world and find their place within it.

TFI works to make camp an accessible experience by engaging with other Island camps on best practices for inclusion at all levels, and by offering scholarships to attend camp, often in concert with insight from other local organizations such as Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

“The FARM Institute is a place where everyone should feel like they can learn something new and have exciting outdoor experiences,” Lindsay said. “To be able to make that a reality through our offerings, partnerships with local organizations, and events is something we strive for each day when we come to work. We are excited for what the summer has in store and can’t wait to welcome many new and returning faces to the FARM.”

Interested in checking out the FARM for yourself, or finding a program that’s right for you? Visit the TFI page to learn more.

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