In 2013, IGF began planning for the design and construction of a 2.3 acre diversified homestead orchard at Thimble Farm. The diversified orchard is inspired by proven regenerative farming practices such as:

Keyline design

Maximizes use of water resources on the land.

Alley cropping

Involves planting crops along with trees improving soil and providing nutrients.


Encompasses a practical thinking and planning as a whole.

Holistic management

Combines planting trees and forage with livestock production.


Provides permanent sustainable agriculture using natural landscape

The goal for the project is to create a functional model of regenerative agriculture that removes carbon from the atmosphere, absorbs nitrogen runoff, purifies water, builds soil organic matter, provides wildlife habitat, builds community and creates incredible beauty. This type of farming seeks to go beyond sustainability and aims at regeneration of degraded ecosystems.

The Orchard will focus on cultivated varieties of crops that will thrive on the Vineyard. The major crops will be Chinese chestnuts, hybrid hazelnuts, persimmons, pawpaws, pears, apples, mulberries, elderberries, blueberries.

The Orchard Project at Thimble Farm is funded by the Vision Fellowship. In the spring of 2014, Kevin Brennan was selected to design, plan, develop and maintain operation plans for the orchard. One of the goals for this project is to involve the community and increase the awareness of perennial agriculture on Martha’s Vineyard. In addition, gleaners will be an integral part of the orchard and they will harvest over-yielding crops of fruit. The Orchard will also host workshops and tours which will be open to the public.