OpenSpace-ArgricultureFishing and farming, once central to the Vineyard’s economy and lifestyle, have seriously declined.

In the 19th century, most of the Island was farmland. There are now about two dozen food-producing farms and almost three dozen other farms of five acres or more on the Island, to say nothing of a large number of smaller, backyard farms. In 2009, there was a total of 1,687 acres is classified as farmland, with 935 acres in production of food directly for human consumption, 493 acres in hay and pasture, and 259 acres of horse farms. Of the 1,428 acres of land in food-related production, only 300 acres are permanently protected. Similarly, fishing has substantially declined. Menemsha is the last vestige of a fishing industry once central to the Vineyard’s economy and community.

In recent years, there has been a great effort to preserve and revive fishing and farming on the Island, in order to provide jobs, improve the availability of local foods, and to maintain the rural character of the Island represented, in part, by the presence of farms along roadsides, the Farmers’ Market, and the Ag Fair.


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Office location:

Office location:

The Stone Building
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Telephone: 508-693-3453
Fax: 508-693-7894

Mailing Address

Mailing address:

Martha's Vineyard Commission
P.O. Box 1447
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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