The FARM Institute
Edgartown, MA
162 acres
Walking/Hiking (Easy) Dog Walking Not Permitted Guided Tours Farm

About The FARM Institute

What makes the FARM Institute an inspired place?
The FARM Institute is located on the historic Katama Farm, a farm that dates back to the early 1900s. In the late 1970s, a collaborative group of neighbors and friends interested in saving Katama Farm from being subdivided into 700 building lots formed the "Committee to Do Something." With their help, the Edgartown Conservation Commission became the landlord of Katama Farm, conserving its history and future as a working farm. Today, The Trustees are happy to welcome The FARM Institute into our family of more than 100 inspired places statewide.

The Katama Farm fields are also unique as they are sandplain grasslands, an extremely rare habitat that are formed by strong winds, salt spray from the ocean, and poor soil.

Farming
The FARM Institute is home to a breeding herd of 23 cows, a combination of our official mascot, the Belted Galloway, and American British Whiteparks. We are also home to a flock of 45 breeding ewes, comprised of Cotswolds, Katahdisn, and Dorpers. Both our cows and sheep are grass-fed and can be seen rotating through our 162 acres during the summer months, and found closer to the barns eating hay in the off-season.

The FARM currently has over 300 laying hens and likes to keep things exciting with a feathered flock of Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Black Australorps, Araucana, Leghorns, and Buff Orpingtons. We also raise around 50 Heritage Breed Turkeys every year for Thanksgiving. Breeds depend on what is available year to year but often are a combination of Naragansett, Black Spanish, Bourbon Red, Blue Slate, Royal Palm, and White Holland. We are currently home to a boar and sow (Large Black), and are anxiously awaiting piglets.

Our grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork, and eggs are available year-round at our farm stand. During the winter season, our farm stand is located inside our farmstead office. If you can't make it out to Katama, we're at the West Tisbury Farmer's Markets on Saturdays and our ground beef and eggs are also available year-round at Cronig's Market.

Trails
There are two walking trails available, the first 1.6 miles long and the second 2 miles. Both trails walk along the south pastures and are flat. The trails are a combination of mowed grass, packed grass, and dirt; suitable for both strollers and wheelchairs designed for outdoor use. Please stay on the marked trail and be cautious of electric fences.

Parking is available at The FARM Institute parking lot. Dogs are not allowed on the farm property except for the trails south of Aero Ave. Please note that all dogs must be leashed while walking on the trails. Carry in, carry out! Deer ticks and woods ticks are common in this area, please check yourself after your walk.

When to visit
Our farm stand is open year-round, every day during the summer months in a small house adjacent to the parking lot from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 4PM during the winter months in our farmstead office. Please check in at either location to sign our visitor log and so we can alert you of electric fences. Tours and wagon rides are available during the summer months, please check  our calendar for when they are happening and be aware that space on wagon rides is limited. We welcome self-guided tours during our business hours of operation. Restrooms are available for use inside our farmstead office.

FARM store
Our farm stand is open year-round, every day during the summer months in a small house adjacent to the parking lot from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 4PM during the winter months in our farmstead office. Katama-raised meat and eggs are available for purchase during our normal business hours. To arrange a pickup during non-business hours, or a delivery, contact Lindsay Brown at 508.627.7007 or lbrown@thetrustees.org.

Regulations & Advisories

FARM Camp registration is now open, reserve your favorite spot today before it sells out!

A few things to remember:

  • Many of our fences are electric, please don't touch them.
  • Only farm staff are allowed to open any gates.
  • Please enjoy the animals from outside their pens. Farm animals are not pets and it may not be safe to be with them in their pens.
  • We ask that no visitors enter the cow barn without staff.
  • No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed on the farm. This is for the safety and comfort of our livestock, our staff and our many guests. Thank you for your cooperation.

The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Find the full policy here.

Directions

14 Aero Ave.
Edgartown, MA 02539
Telephone: 508.627.7007
E-mail: lbrown@thetrustees.org

Latitude: 41.360885
Longitude: -70.517426

Get directions on Google Maps.

Admission

Our farm stand is open year-round, every day during the summer months in a small house adjacent to the parking lot from 8AM to 5PM, and Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 4PM during the winter months in our farmstead office. Please check in at either location to sign our visitor log and so we can alert you of electric fences. Katama raised meat is available for purchase during our normal business hours. To arrange a pickup during non-business hours, or a delivery, contact Lindsay Brown at 508.627.7007 or lbrown@thetrustees.org. The FARM Institute is open to the public at no charge.

Property History

The FARM Institute is located on the historic Katama Farm, a farm that dates back to the early 1900s. In 1943, Elisha Smith bought Katama Farm and started a dairy collaborative with six dairy cows. In 1964, Elisha Smith sold Katama Farm to the Strock Family who drew up plans to divide the farm into 700 buildable lots.

Strock Enterprises went bankrupt in 1977 and Katama Farm became a property of a Boston Bank. From a collaborative fundraising and conservation effort between the newly formed “Committee to Do Something,” the Open Land Foundation, the Vineyard Conservation Society, the Edgartown Conservation Commission, local Katama neighbors and town and state offices, Katama Farm was purchased by the town and the Edgartown Conservation Commission became the landlord of Katama Farm.

In 1980, Stephen Potter was the first tenant of the Katama Farm and operated Seaside Dairy with a herd of Holsteins. Seaside Dairy was eventually forced to close due to mounting debts. Two subsequent dairy farmers also failed.

In 2005, The FARM Institute (founded in 2000) moved from Herring Creek Farm to Katama Farm and restoration of the buildings and grounds began. With the proceeds received from the sale of Herring Creek Farm, a new classroom building was built and the barns were restored for use by animals and as an additional classroom space for students. Since then The FARM Institute has added the Elwell Solar Greenhouse, as well as two growing greenhouses, one of which was blown away during Hurricane Sandy and converted to a Hops House.

Programs

2017 FARM Camp is now open!
Learn more about spending a summer on the farm and don’t forget to enroll as a Trustees member to receive weekly camp discounts!

Programs, Workshops, and Events
The FARM Institute is proud to offer year-round, farm-based educational programs! Check out our calendar to view our monthly adult workshop series featuring seed starting, natural dyes, backyard birds 101, hops growing (and beer brewing), and more. Click here for current programs.

During the summer months ,we offer daily and weekly farm camp programs for children ages 2-17. Our programs connect your family to food and agriculture through the fun and excitement found on our working farm. The FARM Institute's land, plants, and animals provide opportunities to learn about work ethic, teamwork, community, environmental stewardship, science, math, the arts, carpentry... the possibilities are endless! We can't wait to work with your children and help them grow (alongside our plants and animals).

Special events include our spring festival, Sheepapalooza, a celebration of sheep & shearing, and food & farming. Don't miss our annual farm-to-table dinner, Meals in the Meadow, on the third Saturday in July. Other summer events include Barnyard Movie Nights with the MV Film Society, Yoga on the FARM, and homesteading workshops.

In the spring and fall months, we offer Wee Farmers for ages 2-5 on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:00AM. It's time to visit your animal friends and help in the garden! Wee farmers must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. $15/child, please check our calendar for exact start and end dates.

Field trips and school groups: Field Trips use our working farm as an interactive classroom and include hands-on, experiential lessons. Although indoor classroom space is available, participants should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and attire appropriate for the weather, as programs generally run rain or shine. Outside picnic tables are available, should you choose to bring a snack or lunch.

Field Trips are free for island schools thanks to the generosity of our donors. All other schools, $5/child. To schedule a trip, please contact Laura Maloney at lmaloney@thetrustees.org or call 508.627.7007

FARM store
Our farm stand is open year-round, every day during the summer months in a small house adjacent to the parking lot from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 4PM during the winter months in our farmstead office. Katama-raised meat and eggs are available for purchase during our normal business hours. To arrange a pickup during non-business hours, or a delivery, contact Lindsay Brown at 508.627.7007 or lbrown@thetrustees.org.

Maps and Resources

At present, a downloadable trail map is not available.



Planning Your Visit

Please note, all visitors must sign in at either our farm stand during the summer months, or at our farmstead office during the off-season months prior to touring the farm or entering any barns. This is so we can alert you to safety hazards and is mandatory.

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees Land

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.





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