The Morning Glory Food Truck: Fresh From the Farm



Local produce is the main attraction of this beloved food truck and farmstand.

Ever since its founding by James and Deborah Athearn in 1975, Morning Glory Farm has been known for its fresh local produce, which it sells exclusively here on the Vineyard. It’s no secret that Morning Glory’s tomatoes, zucchini, apples, pumpkins, corn, and more are sought-after ingredients for meals that aim to go above and beyond. But the prepared food that Morning Glory makes (using its own, farm-grown ingredients) is also widely popular, and with the addition of the MoGlo Food Truck, there is now yet another way to enjoy fresh produce.

About two years ago, after Morning Glory Chef de Cuisine Douglas Williams moved to the Island, he and other food professionals at the farm wanted to make something that would satisfy visitors in the busy summer season, but would also stick around in the off-season to provide year-rounders with tasty variety. After gathering a small crew, acquiring a food truck, and parking it directly adjacent to the farm stand parking lot (its permanent home), the farm debuted the MoGlo Food Truck in summer of 2022 with a Fourth of July pulled pork trial run. A crowd of people showed up to try Chef Williams’ pork, but the large turnout for the initial event was only a preview of how popular the food truck pop-ups would become.

The fresh produce MoGlo grows is the highlight of both their farmstand and food truck. Whether it’s cabbage, zucchini, strawberries, or apples, all the fruit and veggies that farmers grow is harvested and brought back to the vegetable barn by field crew manager Ryan Hassell and his team. Each piece is washed, packed, and prepped for sale or for use in the kitchen and food truck. 

Hassell, who started in 2018 as a field hand, said he has learned a lot about growing great food over the years. “I basically provide everyone with all the tools and guidance they need to go out into our fields and get the job done,” Hassell said. 

For Hassell, being able to both stock the farmstand and provide Williams and executive chef Augustus Paquet-Whall (who’s responsible for making the prepared foods sold at the farmstand) with the ingredients they need to make their dishes is always a challenging yet enjoyable puzzle to piece together. “There are often obstacles that can come up during the growing season — torrential rains, or animals like deer or geese that can wipe out an entire crop virtually overnight,” Hassell said. “We have the farmstand and the food truck, but we also have to provide food for our wholesale market and the CSA program, so there is a lot of demand for what we grow.” 

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Apart from tomatoes, potatoes, squashes, and leafy greens, Hassell said he enjoys growing the broad array of herbs that cooking staff use to enhance their culinary creations: thyme, rosemary, and a whole lot of basil. While MoGlo might be best known for its corn, Hassell said he is equally proud of other homegrown foods, like bok choy and spinach. “Doug will use the bok choy for his Asian pop-up, and he’s doing baked russet potatoes for the pop-up this week, so we’re happy we can provide that,” Hassell told me when I visited. While each food truck pop-up is unique, some pop-ups, like the Asian-themed night featuring a pork and bok choy sandwich on a sesame roll, are so successful that they become recurring events. 

It can be challenging for farmers to know what produce to save for the off-season, and how much. But by constantly communicating with the chefs about what they anticipate for the fall and winter, and by freezing and storing the necessary produce, Hassell is able to stock enough food to keep the kitchen and the food truck running off hyperlocal produce well into the cold season. “It’s gratifying, because they are always telling me how much better our own produce is than anything else they could possibly get,” Hassell said. 

Williams, who grew up in New York City, has extensive experience working with different types of food from around the world, which helps when it comes time for him to dream up another creative pop-up for the food truck. “When we did the Bolognese and lasagna pop-up, I hand-rolled all the noodles,” Williams said. 

For the first part of the fall and winter, the food truck is in its usual spot at the farm from 7 am to 2 pm, Thursday through Sunday. In late January, the truck shut down its regular hours of operation and continued hosting weekly pop-ups each Saturday. Their breakfast sandwiches use farm-raised eggs served on MoGlo bread or a freshly-baked biscuit. “For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we try to use as much from the farm as we can,” Williams said. “It’s all based on the seasonality of our produce.” This means that Williams’ ingredient options are based on what’s just been harvested, what’s left in the freezer, and what other larger regional farms with more backstock have to offer (for when fresh MoGlo food dwindles). 

There are often obstacles that can come up during the growing season — torrential rains, or animals like deer or geese that can wipe out an entire crop virtually overnight. We have the farmstand and the food truck, but we also have to provide food for our wholesale market and the CSA program, so there is a lot of demand for what we grow. 

– Ryan Hassell, Morning Glory Field Crew Manager

MoGlo vegetables are in high demand year-round, so when the lettuce, arugula, and other leafy greens run out, the farm uses Massachusetts greens to supply their farmstand and food truck operations. Littleleaf Farms, a larger-scale hydroponic lettuce farm in Devens, is a go-to for MoGlo during the offseason. Little Leaf Farms grows so much lettuce that they have stores of it throughout the year. Williams has high praise for their crisp and sustainably-raised baby lettuce — “You can see the difference between those fresh greens and something store-bought right away, and you can definitely taste the difference,” Williams said.

For BLT fans, the food truck BLT uses fresh and frozen tomatoes from the farm, along with MoGlo lettuce and MoGlo bread. Williams said one of his favorite regular menu items is the burger, and although MoGlo doesn’t raise their own cows, they always source their beef from responsible ranchers in Massachusetts. “We try not to use as much beef, because it’s not as sustainable as some other meats, but the burger is really popular and really delicious,” Williams said. 

The popular MoGlo Food Truck pop-ups also integrate local produce whenever possible. 

Williams recalled the Oktoberfest pop-up they put on featuring braised MoGlo cabbage and baked MoGlo russet potatoes with all the fixings that drew throngs of hungry locals. To help Islanders recover from a night of celebrating New Year’s Eve, Williams and his crew hosted a pancake breakfast on January 1, with pancakes made from MoGlo pumpkins and heaping sides of homemade corned beef hash and breakfast sausage.

Wintertime provides the perfect opportunity for Williams to try out new and innovative ways of preparing all the fresh ingredients he can get his hands on. Williams is excited to bring back his Asian noodle bowl pop-up, with warming pho and ramen. “[When] we did the Asian noodle bowl special in the summer, it was incredibly popular — we almost didn’t have enough to go around,” Williams said.

bunch of purple eggplant
Beautifully-colored fresh eggplant from the farm. – Courtesy of Morning Glory Farm

The eggplant banh mi is another hugely popular menu item that uses farm-grown eggplant, and with such a rich harvest of different winter squashes, hot soups are always on the food truck menu and sold inside at the farmstand. “This kind of cooking isn’t pretentious, it isn’t overpriced, and it’s all made using really fresh ingredients,” Williams said. “I love seeing people’s reactions when they try a new dish at one of our pop-ups, or even just take a bite of a breakfast sandwich or our chicken fingers.”

Find the MoGlo Food Truck hours and popup schedule here.

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Lucas Thors
Lucas Thors
Lucas Thors is an associate editor for Bluedot Living and program director for the Bluedot Institute. He lives on Martha's Vineyard with his English springer spaniel, Arlo, and enjoys writing about environmental initiatives in his community.
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