What if the secret to happiness lay right outside your kitchen door? In a pretty little garden, full of delicious things to eat. It might sound far-fetched to suggest that a kitchen garden can relieve stress, lift your mood, and even ease depression, but new studies suggest there’s a scientific basis – perhaps even a soil bacterium that elevates serotonin – for the pleasure we can get from digging in the dirt.
You stare at that dry, sandy patch of finicky Island soil in front of your home and envision a low flowering shrub that is drought tolerant and can thrive in partial sunlight. Wouldn’t hurt if the plant were a Vineyard native, too. But you wonder, is that combination possible to find?
Nicole Grace Mercier
If there’s one thing most gardeners can agree on, home hobbyists and landscapers alike, it’s that a good pair of gloves is a must.
Alexandra Bullen Coutts
The Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is now in its second season of using goats to clear invasive Asiatic bittersweet vines from Cedar Tree Neck. That decision was mostly a logistical one. “We were just brainstorming different ways to manage the neck because it’s really hard to access with machinery to mow,” said Kristen Fauteux, director of stewardship for Sheriff’s Meadow.
The only sounds were the rustling of branches and the crunching of leaves. It was a brilliant late-summer morning, and a herd of goats was having breakfast on a piece of land near Black Point Pond, where Rebecca Brown of Island Grazing was working on a private meadow restoration project. There were tall Kiko and Boer goats stretching up on their legs to grab leaves, and smaller Arapawa goats staying closer to the ground. The goats – fifty-five of them – moved down the road, eating as they went.
Something there may be that doesn’t love a wall, according to Robert Frost, but who can resist a white picket fence?
No one in Edgartown, it would seem.
Alexandra Bullen Coutts
Prudy Burt swung her Toyota Tacoma off of North Road and onto the shoulder. She traipsed confidently through the brush, pushing branches out of her way as she headed for Mill Brook. A Burt-led tour of the brook is both history lesson and gossip column, environmental report and storytelling session. She names each pond and knows the property owner responsible for every dam (and whether their children like to fish).
Perched above Lambert’s Cove Road in West Tisbury, with views across the wetlands to Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands, The Folly is Friederike and Jeremy Biggs’s unexpected paean to classical Italian living. Their two-story stucco villa and surrounding seventeen acres reflect the couple’s passion for travel, art, romance, whimsy, comfort, and natural beauty. And while post-and-beam architecture and weathered shingles may be more the norm on Martha’s Vineyard, the Biggses have somehow managed to make their Folly appear right at home.