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THE HISTORY OF INDIGO FARM

Indigo Farm, incorporated in 1995, grew out of collaboration between Sanford Evans & Associates, an independent site planning and design firm and Steve Sinnett of North Road Firewood, which provided landscape clearing and building services and firewood harvesting. Michael and Alan Turnell were Steve’s two employees. One of their clients was Sanford Evans and Associates. Steve and Sanford’s easy working relationship and collective beliefs about landscape design and use became the impetus for the birth of a company whose owners would work closely together to find creative solutions to the demands and problems of new and existing landscape sites. Peter Robinson, a friend of Steve’s and a landscaper from New Hampshire, joined the group in 1994. Together the five men created Indigo Farm.

Indigo Farm was created with three key working principles: 

  • The importance of developing a thorough understanding of Martha’s Vineyard ecosystems, climate, native plants, and landforms.
  • The environmental preservation of each site’s existing landforms and the use of organic planting methods.
  • The commitment to beautifully and creatively blend built landscapes within their existing natural sites.

In 2000, Steve retired to pursue other interests. Michael Turnell attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received a degree in Landscape Architecture in 2001. He returned to Martha’s Vineyard and worked closely with Sanford on Indigo Farm landscape designs until Sanford’s retirement to Maine in 2006. That year, Alan Turnell also moved on, to focus more intensively on the areas of landscaping that are of particular interest to him.

Indigo Farm continues to embrace the same principles upon which it was founded. From the initial client meeting, through the design process, building of the landscape, and maintenance of the sites, our crews work closely together, aiding each other to execute and maintain our client’s dreams.

The respect we at Indigo Farm have for the island community of Martha’s Vineyard and its stunning natural beauty is mirrored in our business practices and working relationships with our clients, professional colleagues, and each other.

About the Owners

Michael Turnell

Mike grew up in Providence, RI, and moved to Martha’s Vineyard when he was eight. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Since 1995 he has been one of the firm’s owners and for the past ten years, the lead designer at Indigo Farm. His interest in wetlands preservation and protection inspired him to join the West Tisbury Conservation Commission.

Peter Robinson-retired

Peter is a native of New Hampshire who worked for the Boston and Maine Railroad. An experienced landscaper, he moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1994 as a co-founder of Indigo Farm. He brought a strong business background and graphic design experience to his work with island landscapes. He has moved back to New Hampshire.

John Goodwin

John grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. He’s worked in all areas of landscaping for over twenty years. He began in Lawn and Garden care. While at Indigo, his passion for stone and landforms lead him to the design and build department. John has been an employee since 1997 and an owner since 2009.

Our Team

Mike Turnell

Lead Designer, Foreman

Robin Brown

Garden Designer, Head Gardener

John Goodwin

Build, Foreman


Todd Goodwin

Build Team

James Evans

Build Team

Philippe Ezanno

Maintenance


Heather Sharp, ‘Sharpie’

Maintenance

Ian Shay

Maintenance

Kristen Brown

Maintenance


Dylan Hutchinson

Maintenance

Bri Buchanan-Valenti

Maintenance

Elizabeth Mahoney

Office Manager, Design Assistant


Let us help you create your Vineyard landscape.

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