The Pleasures of Summer at Pumpkin Pond Farm

Photography:  Kevin McGowan

One of my favorite places on Nantucket is Pumpkin Pond Farm, a certified organic 9.5 acre farm and nursery located at 25 Millbrook Road.   Owner Marty McGowan, his wife Holly and his sister Mary have created an Eden-like oasis of color and flavor, offering a wide variety of delicious vegetables and greens, along with trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and just for good measure, rare and beautiful antique garden ephemera.

They are dedicated to sustainable agriculture and good soil science, in addition to planting for color and beauty as well as taste.  Marty prides himself on being a nutrient rich-organic food source for the island.  More people are becoming aware that local food is healthier than food that has to travel long distances to reach our tables.  Pumpkin Pond also buys seeds and heirloom varieties only from certified organic providers.


Photography:  Kevin McGowan

“I have fun discovering the provenance and stories behind many of the heirloom varieties we grow,” says Marty.  For anyone interested in the story behind their heirloom vegetables, he suggests a visit to Gary Ibsen’s TomatoFest.

You’ll find both French and Italian varieties of herbs and greens, fields overflowing with fragrant flowers for cutting and 26 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes.  (Plan on attending their August tomato tasting for an exploration into sweet and delicious pairings with cheese, wine and salami from Boston’s North End.)


Photography:  Kevin McGowan

A tropical greenhouse is home to banana plants, gardenias, passion flowers and ginger, along with a wide variety of succulents.  20,000 varieties of annuals add an explosion of summer color, and their extensive tree and shrub collection, along with a wide selection of hydrangeas, make a visit to the farm an experience you won’t forget.

A new addition this year an herb garden, where they’re exploring new and exiting varieties of herbs, such as an oregano from Greece or Spain, and paprika from Africa.  The herb gardener, fondly known to as “Farmer Josh,” makes wonderful herbal sun tea fresh daily.  A favorite of visitors is Chocolate Mint with Chamomile; stop by and try some!


Photography:  Kevin McGowan

Holly, Marty’s wife, is the creative vision behind their unique collection of garden ephemera.  You can find both classic and eclectic ornaments, furniture and urns to grace your garden there.

One of their favorite events happens July 25-28 when the Nantucket Garden Festival takes place. It’s one of the season’s most popular events for islanders and non-islanders alike.    The farm hosts the Opening Night party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on July 25th; add it to your calendar now.

Hope to see you there!