What in the world is the Meat Ball you might be wondering. Well, it’s a great Winter event(s) that celebrates the locally grown meats from farms on the Martha’s Vineyard, and is a great little FUNraiser for the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, which hosts the Meat Ball.
The Meat Ball is actually a series of events that lead up to a meat-filled feast at the Ag Hall. There are a number of workshops that really offer you the chance to get personal with locally grown meat. A couple examples are, Duckettas, Duckettas: Deboning Fowl – with Jefferson Monroe, I Butchered it, and So Can You – with Brian Athearn. (thanks for the photo MVAS)
None of the workshops offered really spoke to me, I am not the butchering, deboning type. I am the one who still has a hard time taking the gizzards out of a chicken before roasting it. Perhaps someday I will be less squeamish, and want to do more regarding my food.
However, what did interest me is the final event. The feast of local meats, Saturday evening, March 4th, doors opened at 6:00 p.m. For $15, plus your own place setting and beverages, you could sample vast amount of local meats, and other great stuff.
At the door, greeting and collecting the money, was Ag Society Vice President, Julie Scott, who was all smiles. This is a fun event for the group. It’s such an affordable, creative way to have a lot of Islanders enjoy the local food that’s available year round, and it’s a great night to gather and eat with your neighbors.
Funny enough, there were no meatballs. However, there were a lot of other choices. Jefferson Monroe, from The Good Farm and The Larder, prepared the dishes along with the help of Tim Laursen, from Local Smoke. He smoked a large amount of the meat, to make it a lot easier for Jefferson, who had to prepare the food at his new commercial kitchen at The Larder.
When I asked Jefferson where his recipe inspiration came from, a lot is dictated by what the farmers have on hand, in their freezers. There were a number of farms that contributed goods.
Local meats were provided by Mermaid Farm, The Grey Barn, Morning Glory, The Good Farm, and North Tabor Farm. The fresh veggies came from Ghost Island Farm, North Tabor Farm, and Morning Glory. With such a collaboration of Martha’s Vineyard farms, you know it’s going to be good.
For Jefferson Monroe, the best thing about the event is for the “Agricultural Society to support farmers by buying and highlighting their farm items in the winter, everything from meat and greens and kale to cheese and jams. It also allows the Agricultural Society to offer a reasonably priced local meal to Islanders that otherwise often wouldn’t have access due to time or money constraints.”
From Ducketta (a twist on the Tuscan style Italian Porcetta), to the most amazing roast beef, to hot dogs, to roasted parsnips, greens, and fresh baked bread from Cinnamon Starship, there was a true feast to be had.
There were house-made sauces for the meats, even a delicious kale soup. There was something for the meat enthusiasts, and it was definitely kid friendly. Those Good Farm hot dogs really hit the spot, especially for this big kid.
Also, the roast beef from Grey Barn was beyond amazing. I have to admit, I went back for seconds, as did most people I imagine.
Not only was the food local and delicious but the crowd was diverse and fun. There were folks of all ages, from all parts of the Island, enjoying breaking bread together. The Ag Hall was set up with tables, and chairs. Guests were responsible for the rest, and it was great. A little carry in, carry out, keep the waste low, and the fun high.
There was even live music at 7:30, the Space Invaders. Sadly, I had to leave before the band began, but I bet that hall’s timbers were shaking with all the dancing. The freezing weather did not keep people away from the Meat Ball.
I wish there were even more FUNraisers like the Meat Ball this time of year. The joy this event brought to so many was wonderful. After all, nothing brings a community together like a feast, and having the menu highlight our local farms is even better.
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