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Green Island Farm: Fresh Pastured Eggs on Martha's Vineyard

Green Island Farm, operated by Susie Middleton and Roy Riley, also sells vegetables in season at its stand behind the farmhouse in West Tisbury. But it's the eggs, sold at $5 a dozen from an outdoor fridge, that keep locals coming by year-round.

Susie Middleton and Roy Riley of Green Island Farm. (Photo courtesy of Katie Hutchison)
Susie Middleton and Roy Riley of Green Island Farm. (Photo courtesy of Katie Hutchison)
Some of the freshest eggs on Martha's Vineyard, served at restaurants in Edgartown and up-Island, come from a small family farm on State Road in West Tisbury where eggs are sold on the honor system year-round.

Green Island Farm, operated by cookbook author Susie Middleton and licensed builder Roy Riley with one part-time employee, also sells vegetables in season at its stand behind the farmhouse. But it's the eggs, sold at $5 a dozen from an outdoor fridge, that keep local SUVs rolling through through the farm's circular driveway.

Patch: When did you make your first egg sale?
Susie: In 2010.

Patch:
 Where else can we buy your eggs?
Susie: The Up-Island Cronig's Market carries them.

Patch: What restaurants serve Green Island Farm eggs?
Susie: Lucky Hank's and State Road.

Patch: How many hens do you have laying eggs?
Roy: About 500.

Patch: How much room do the chickens have?
Susie: They're pastured in two half-acre-sized pens. Roy can move their fencing to fresh grass.
Roy: I'm planning to increase their pasture.

Patch:
How much land do you farm overall?
Susie: Six acres, less than half in vegetables.

Patch: What vegetables sell best for you?
Susie: Fresh greens, tomatoes and green beans. We sell a lot of potatoes also, French fingerling.

Patch: You're still a young business. How is it going?
Susie: We are profitable. We pay ourselves.
Roy: It's probably about two and a half cents an hour.
Susie: But it's our life.

Patch: Along with Cronig's and the restaurants, what other local business has helped you get established?
Roy: The Athearn family from Morning Glory was very supportive of our plan to do this. They're the Island's biggest egg producer; we're the Island's second biggest egg producer, and they have been very supportive.

Patch: What do you like about being farmers?
Susie: Being outside is fabulous. The physical work, doing your own thing.
Roy: I think it's the ability to produce at home, instead of chasing.
Susie: We're very fortunate. We put food on the table.

Green Island Farm is located on State Road in West Tisbury, directly across from the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. The farm stand is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; the farm itself is not open to the public. 

To find out more about Green Island Farm and Middleton's cookbooks, including the upcoming Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories (The Taunton Press, Feb. 2014), visit her online at sixburnersue.com.
ksw430 December 30, 2013 at 08:07 AM
Where exactly is the farm? Thanks.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 30, 2013 at 08:29 AM
In West Tisbury, directly across from the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair Grounds (known as the “New Ag Hall” to Islanders) on State Road. The farm stand is open from 7 am to 7 pm daily; the farm itself is not open to the public.
Tot Balay December 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Their eggs are the absolute best in the world. Susie gave me some last summer, and they rocked my world!
Tot Balay December 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM
World world world
Martha Magee December 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I celebrate the family farm I sing your praises! Remember, Folks.. "NO FARMS, NO FOOD"
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM
We love them too, and $5 a dozen for farm eggs is not bad at all. Back in Napa, local farmers were asking $7 for theirs.
Susie Middleton December 30, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Thanks Tot and Louisa--we feel really lucky to get the chance to do this. Had our Green Island Farm French toast for breakfast!!
ksw430 December 30, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Thanks, Louisa, for the info. Can't wait to try them.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 30, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I became a farm-egg fanatic while living in California, but it's more affordable here — the difference in price between the supermarket and the farm dwindles in comparison to the quality of the local eggs with their bright whites and sunny yolks.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 31, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Hey, I goofed on the photo credit: It's by Katie Hutchison, who very graciously let us use it for this article.
Susie Middleton December 31, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Well, Chris and Katie are the dynamic duo so I will thank them both!

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