Sheriff's Meadow Foundation   A Martha's Vineyard Land Trust - 508-693-5207  
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Agriculture

Martha's Vineyard derives its rural character from agriculture. While Martha’s Vineyard has a rich farming heritage, it has an even more impressive farming present. In particular, Sheriff’s Meadow takes note of the Island Grown Initiative, the local manifestation of the nationwide, locally-grown movement. As the island’s land trust, part of whose mission is to conserve rural character, and as the island’s largest private landowner, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation happily supports island agriculture.

We support agriculture in two primary ways. First, we conserve agricultural land, and second, we allow and encourage agricultural uses on a number of our properties.

Sheriff’s Meadow has conserved many acres of farmland already and we will continue to do so.  In some cases, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation has been given land that has been farmed for years, or land that has potential for farming.  In other cases, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation has been given or has purchased conservation restrictions over agricultural land.

Where possible, Sheriff’s Meadow also makes available land for use by island farmers. In some cases, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation leases portions of its properties to farmers. In other cases, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation works with local farmers to manage natural, open areas by allowing livestock to graze these areas.

We also strive to promote other aspects of agriculture. For instance, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation owns many hundreds of acres of forestland, much of which is in need of attention. Under the care of a licensed forester, these forests can provide firewood and sawtimber while still remaining a forest ecosystem. We also encourage families to enter into our woodlands to gather huckleberries and blueberries, for example. West Chop Woods abounds in berries, and berry-picking is an enjoyable family tradition. Landscaping has become a major business on Matha’s Vineyard, and one way we may be able to help could be to gather little bluestem seeds, for example, and to make those seeds available for sale or use by landscaping firms.

We encourage all those with an interest in agriculture on Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation properties to contact us with ideas. We also encourage you to check our website for requests-for-proposals.