Named by British voyager Bartholomew Gosnold after his mother, Martha, in 1602 the island of Martha's Vineyard apparently was rich in luxuriant grapevines. As rich in grape, as the Cape nearby was rich in cod. Gosnold named Cape Cod, as well. Such an observer of food, our little-remembered Gosnold, and food available in such abundance in the not-yet-even colony of Massachusetts.
Gosnold, an attorney with a bent for sea exploration, returned to England intent on recruiting stout souls to help found the Virginia Colony. Five years after his New England sojourn he died in or near Jamestown in 1607, a swampy site he thought rightly to be unsuitable for habitation. Most of the original Jamestown settlers died of famine, and its accompanying scurvy and dysentery.
The tale of why settlers in a land filled with vegetation, game and fish died of hunger even in the summertime is fodder for many books, including Jamestown, the Buried Truth, in which we learn that dogs and cats were eaten by the afflicted Jamestonians.
The Obamas ( and Bo) need not fear hunger during their stay on the Vineyard, however. 35 year-old West Tisbury Farmers Market is right down the lane from their lodgings.