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There are still a few days remaining to secure your turkey, pies and makings for sides locally. Have a farm to add to our list? - please let us know.
Plow and Stars Farm and Pizza Brama are offering a full heat and serve meal lovingly raised and expertly prepared. Order before the 19th
Red Wiggler Community Farm is doing their annual Thanksgiving Market 11/14 to 11/17
Lewis Orchard is taking pie orders till 11/18 and hams till 11/16
Kingsbury Orchard has their last days for the season this weekend. For those that want to do their own pie, they have Granny Smiths for your apple pie and delectable Asian Pear cider that will please everyone around your table.
Fox Hollow Farm Market has stoked up their ovens and are turning out pie after pie along with lamb, chicken and eggs.
R B Savage + Sons is taking turkey orders by phone - 301-370-7111
Common Root Farm in Derwood is still hosting their on-farm market with regular Saturday hours and also Tuesday (3-6)
Your Local Farmers Market - Thanksgiving is our most culinary holiday and if you aren't a frequent visitor to your local farmers market, now is a great time. This weekend is the last market for many open air markets but some go all year-round. See this MoCo Office of Agriculture nifty tool to find a market near you.
Non food items:
We are thankful for our supporters. MCA works to protect the Ag Reserve to benefit the whole region. Our local focus relies on local support, please make your tax deductible gift today.
It is with great sorrow that we share the sudden passing of Ute Aminzadeh, who lived with her family in Boyds. Ute and her children have been steadfast volunteers at numerous MCA events including the Ride for the Reserve and Royce Hanson Award just last month. Rain or shine, Ute was always cheerful and happy to help. We send sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. The announcement of her passing is here.
Industrial Hemp is a step closer to being a legal crop in the US. As the US Farm Bill passed the Senate last week the bill has one final hurdle before the President's desk - the Senate Conference Committee, where it is expected to make it through unscathed.
Everything you need to know about Hemp:
Hemp is Marijuana, right? Nope. While is is a kind of Cannabis, it contains none of the THC that makes its cousin a controlled substance in much of the US. This is an instance of one responsible sibling being lumped in with their wayward brother. In fact, you certainly have interacted with hemp at some point in your day already- it is in your car interior, possibly your breakfast cereal, and almost certainly textiles or other materials you have come in contact with. However, the hemp you interacted with today was grown elsewhere and imported - because it is still a "schedule 1" drug like marijuana and cocaine. The Farm Bill along with the rolling back of regulations by many states seeks to take this hard-working crop out of detention and into the field.
All these uses and it regenerates quickly (unlike a forest of Truffulas, or real trees for that matter), requires few pesticides or fertilizers to grow and actually improves soil unlike other commodity crops. It also fetches much higher prices than these other pesticide heavy commodities. In Virgina, corn will go for $5/ bushel, Hemp Seed $40/bushel with a shorter growing season.
I thought it was already legal in Maryland? Yes, with many caveats. The bill that passed, like others in other states, has paved the way for farmers to grow hemp in a research capacity in close partnership with an academic institution. We were proud to to support this successful first step and local growers will benefit from this much needed expertise being built with a new crop but the economic benefits of this crop will only be realized once the stigma and federal classification is removed - as the Farm Bill will do.
There was a productive stakeholder meeting on Hemp in May 2018 at the MC Farm Bureau. To learn more drop us a line email@example.com
The next County Council, which will be seated on Dec. 3, will decide the county’s next steps, if any, on small cell towers.
Lacking a clear majority for passage, the current council deferred action on zoning regs that would have decided where the towers could be placed. State law prevents a county council from enacting zoning or land use regulations after Oct. 31 in an election year. The new council’s first session is scheduled for Dec. 4.
More from My MC Media
Breaking: We understand that the Small Cell bill and associated procedural change at the Office of Administrative Appeals have both been pulled. Bethesda Beat has covered the cell bill here.
While this change to limit the public process has been pulled today, it may be revived at any point. Please read on for the original post.
Montgomery County Council eyes limiting public participation before the Office of Administrative Appeals for proceedings such as conditional approvals of land uses. In question is rule 4.2 e. to curtail the amount of time each side - for and against- is allowed to speak in a hearing regardless of the number of individuals/organizations on either side. There are often many unrelated parties in these sorts of hearings. In this case - an eye on the clock could very easily be public participation denied. And - this change for less public participation is being considered without a public hearing. What?!
Testimony from MCA , Sugarloaf Citizens Association, Conservation Montgomery, Friends of Ten Mile Creek and land use attorneyBill Chen
Write the Councilmemembers and County Executive with the form below to tell them to keep the participation rules unchanged in these administrative appeals hearings. Without a public hearing - this is the only way to make your voice heard.
This Event has been rescheduled for November 10 Register Here
From Our Friends at American Farmland Trust:
The American Farmland Trust has partnered with Montgomery County and Montgomery Countryside Alliance to their Women For The Land program this September 2018. The program is a Conservation Learning Circle for women landowners. The Conservation Learning Circle is a quick way to network with other landowners and learn how to access free conservation programs offered by state and local agencies.
There was a sense of history echoing through the 2018 Royce Hanson Award Celebration on Sunday. MCA Co-President Gene Kingsbury welcomed guests with a poem he wrote (Read 'Timothy Time' here) about making hay with his father many years ago as he reflected that the Rustic Roads of the Reserve were mostly unchanged since then.
Executive Director Caroline Taylor called event goers to the present with an impassioned defense of the Reserve's current farmers as policy changes and increasingly unpredictable weather events make it even harder to make a living as a small producer. The farmers require many different kinds of support to keep their businesses viable and Rustic Roads are one piece of that support.
MCA would like to thank our board, volunteers, St Mary's Pavilion, Peace Run, photographer David Ris, the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee, Senator Brian Feldman, Dr. Royce Hanson and particularly Dolores Milmoe for helping with the event. All of David's excellent photos of the event can be found here.
Montgomery Countryside Alliance is the small (but mighty!) organization founded around Ag Reserve kitchen tables in 2001. Since then, we have grown to a full fledged watchdog organization for Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve. Our focus on local farms relies on local support. Please make a tax-deductible donation to keep us engaging tenaciously on the issues that matter to you.
We are so honored that Diane, Joseph and Marion have planned this party to benefit MCA and the Ag Reserve. Please plan to attend a great evening with other Ag Reserve supporters to discuss how we meet challenges to green space and productive lands. Delicious local food and drink will be served. Do you love to throw a good party? Let us know if you'd be interested in throwing a house party of your own- firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're Invited - Save the Date!
Saturday, November 17, 2018
3pm to 6pm
3102 Edgewood Road, Kensington MD 20895
DownCounty House Party to Support Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Fundraiser & Networking Event at the Home of Joseph Horgan and Diane Cameron
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Did you know that one-third of Montgomery County is set aside for Agriculture and Open Space Preservation?
Fruit, vegetables, grain, herbs, cider, wine and beer are among the products of our Agricultural Reserve. Clean water, clean air, and a link to history are among the essential and irreplaceable benefits provided by our Ag Reserve.
Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) is a group of dedicated experts and advocates, working since 2001 to support farmers in the Ag Reserve, and protect our countryside from many threats. Along with Audubon Naturalist Society, MCA co-led the campaign to Save Ten Mile Creek. MCA was instrumental in establishing the Friends of Ten Mile Creek and Little Seneca Reservoir.
Ably staffed by Caroline Taylor, MCA Executive Director, and Kristina Bostick, Senior Conservation Associate, along with volunteers and Board members, MCA's work is essential - if we are to preserve what we love most about our county.
Please join us in supporting and celebrating the work of Montgomery Countryside Alliance on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at our House Party and Fundraiser for MCA. We'll serve food and drink grown and produced in the Ag Reserve. Space is limited!
Please bring your checkbooks - or donate on-line - to support this vital work. Donations of any amount are welcomed and deeply appreciated. Suggested donation: $50.00
Yours for the Ag Reserve,
Diane Cameron, Joseph Horgan & Marion Edey
Here We Go Again (Again).... Press Release Here
1988, 2001, 2004, 2015 and 2017- all years that a Potomac bridge and highway crossing have been studied and found to not be a good solution. And yet- the Supervisors in Loudoun County have funded yet another study to identify crossing points. Loudoun's study even parrots the negative findings of the 2017 Regional Transportation Planning Board:
Based on the results of the November 2017 study, a new Potomac River bridge would have “low” benefits to road congestion, incidents and safety, bottlenecks and reliable access to intercity hubs when compared to the current 2040 Constrained Long-Range Plan (CLRP). A new Potomac River bridge would have neutral impacts to transit crowding, inadequate bus services, and access to bike/pedestrian options, development around Metrorail, housing and job location, Metrorail repair needs and pedestrian and bicyclist safety when compared to the current 2040 CLRP. A new Potomac River bridge would have negative impacts to roadway repair needs, environmental
So... why are we studying it again, again?
MCA joins with our partners at Coalition for Smarter Growth and Piedmont Environmental Council, collectively representing our hundreds of thousands of supporters on both sides of the River in calling for Loudoun County to drop this campaign and instead focus on proven solutions that will actually get traffic moving - among them, fixing the American Legion Bridge and better planning land use patterns. As proven for the 5th time in 20 years, this project does not offer traffic relief and would do great harm.
The Maryland side of the map above makes it looks like the Ag Reserve has no obstacles to these proposed crossing points. MCA has made the case time and again - farms are not holding ground for future development, they are small businesses that supply our basic needs for food and fiber. “The bridge would directly impact the drinking water intakes for most of the region’s population; potentially impair the Piedmont groundwater aquifer, which serves as the sole source of drinking water in rural Montgomery County; create development pressure in the nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve; and increase vehicle miles traveled,” says Taylor.
Montgomery Countryside Alliance is the small (but mighty!) organization founded around Ag Reserve kitchen tables to battle back plans for the bridge in 2001. Since then, we have grown to a full fledged watchdog organization for Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve. Our focus on local farms relies on local support. Please make a tax-deductible donation to keep us engaging tenaciously on the issues that matter to you.
The Lady Farmer Slow Living Retreat is for the modern woman seeking an inspired and healthful life through changes in energy management, consumer behavior and daily rituals. You are invited to be nourished by organically cultivated and locally sourced food, and connect with yourself and others in a meaningful way. Taking place at Zigbone Retreat Center in Frederick County the perfect balance between retreat-style introspection and self care, and conference-style personal development workshops on topics such as organic gardening and living more sustainably.
The agenda includes speakers on a variety of topics including gardening in any space, farm-to-closet conscious consumerism, affirmative writing, a nature therapy session and more.
October 20 12-4pm
About the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
The Rustic Roads Program preserves Montgomery County’s historic and scenic roadways that reflect the agricultural character and rural origins of the County. The members of the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee oversee the program, and advise the County Executive, Council and Planning Board on matters affecting the Rustic Roads.
Seven citizen members (three farmers, two civic association members, a member with knowledge of roadway engineering and a member with knowledge of rural preservation techniques) serve on the committee, together with a representative appointed by the Planning Board and staff provided by the County Executive. The members review Master Plan designations of the roads, development proposals, public projects such as bridge replacements, and they promote public awareness and knowledge of the roads.
Keeping access to the Potomac River open is critically important to the millions of people who live throughout this iconic watershed," said Caroline Taylor, Executive Director of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. "We applaud this effort to require the Trump Administration to conduct an open public process to ensure the Potomac River community's voice is heard."
Montgomery County's Ag Reserve, comprised of nearly 106,000 acres, is one-third of the County's land mass and provides local food/fiber, environmental and economic benefits for our region. No surprise then, that voters are interested to hear what both incumbents and seat seekers have to say about their vision for and thoughts about this special place.
Much like in the 2014 election, MCA has again put 9 questions about the Reserve, land use, farming, water quality and transportation to the many candidates vying to represent Montgomery County at the local and state level. As a 501c3 nonprofit - MCA can not endorse but we seek to provide information on where the candidates stand.
Below are all the candidates in the general election (see surveys with all primary candidates here). Candidates who returned the survey by the deadline have their unedited results linked below in red. We are grateful to those who took the time in the busy election season. Check your voting status and find your sample ballot here.
(*We sent Ms. Floreen our survey questions when she entered the County Executive Race after the primary in an attempt to get the views of all Executive Candidates. All other surveys were completed before the primary election)
County Council District 1
House of Delegates
Anne R. Kaiser
Michael A. Ostroff
Brian J. Feldman
House of Delegates
Cheryl C. Kagan
Josephine J. Wang
House of Delegates
Kumar P. Barve
Julie Palakovich Carr
County Council At-Large
Chris P. Fiotes, Jr.
County Council District 2
County Council District 3
County Council District 4
Susan C. Lee
House of Delegates
House of Delegates
House of Delegates
Bringing urban and suburban visitors to these farms to experience our way of life is enjoyable for all concerned. The zoning that controls the Agricultural Reserve requires farms to produce a significant portion of the products that they sell to visitors. The idea of waiving this requirement for alcohol producers is unfair to the many farmers who have worked to create their businesses in keeping with the environment. And it will put all of the agricultural lifestyle we have created at risk. - Letter from the Town Commissioners of Barnesville - who have made a resolution opposing the ZTA
Having been a “value added” farmer in Montgomery County for over 30 years, I can attest to the need to allow farmers some zoning flexibility to serve their customers, to responsibly shepherd their land, and to meet their economic needs. However, there is always the temptation to use farmland as an inexpensive alternative to commercially or industrially zoned land. Safeguards should be built into this amendment to ensure that it will benefit farmers who actually are actually cultivating the soil and are adding value to their own products on their own land. - Nick Maravell- Nick's Organic Farm Read More
Agritourism can be an important economic as well as regional community-building activity, but we are very sensitive to the potential for jumping onto this bandwagon without thoroughly thinking through what does and does not make sense. Let’s not undermine the very intention of preserving a functioning agricultural landscape by assuming that what looks like open space out here is available for new businesses that do not actually engage in agriculture related to their products.- Lee Langstaff, Shepherd's Hey Read More
This kind of slow erosion to disconnected uses has always been one of the biggest threats to the integrity of the Ag Reserve, and therefore to sustaining it as a genuine agricultural resource for the country. - Scott Fossler, Former County Council Member Former Mayor of Chevy Chase Read More
This is a hasty and poorly thought out proposal to replace farming with an industrial use contrary to protecting the Agricultural Reserve. In addition to violating Reserve Master Plan provisions, the proposed ZTA provides no environmental safeguards. Where are the needed protections for soil, streams, forest and wetlands? How will sewer and water be provided? What about SW management and setbacks from legitimate farm uses? In promoting this ZTA, the Council would be treating the land we've reserved for farming as a commodity suitable for a commercial enterprise that violates the very reason we preserved so much of Montgomery County for farming. - Conservation Montgomery Read More
We support the long term goals of bringing thoughtful economic development that aligns well with the nature of the Agricultural Reserve, but not without a comprehensive and transparent vetting process of the ancillary effects in the local community, and the financial impacts on Montgomery County at large. The rush to do this before newly elected officials have a chance to provide input and shape the plan, especially a newly elected District 1 Council member, concerns us; likewise the lack of an opportunity for many stakeholders to testify. Erosion of the Ag Reserve is a very real threat. A little caution now could prevent onerous and expensive remediation down the road.
- District 1 Neighbors Read More
With regard to 18-03, I urge caution. The ZTA seems well-intended as one means of providing additional sources of income to farmers, but as drafted, is fraught with, I hope unintended, potentially adverse consequences. Though framed as an accessory use, an enterprises such as a winery, brewery, or distillery could become the primary use, especially if combined with an event venue. This would be contrary to the AROS plan and, indeed, could be detrimental to the character of the Reserve and, thus, no boon to Agrotourism, one of its objectives, as well as harmful to farming adjacent lands. It seems to me the problems can and should be fixed. - Dr. Royce Hanson, Former Chair of MNCPPC, Architect of the Ag Reserve Read More
Update: At the Council Work session on 9/18 despite strong concerns and remaining questions communicated by several council members including Roger Berliner, Nancy Navarro, and Sydney Katz, The council did not agree to defer passage of this zoning change until the taxpayer funded agri-tourism study is complete in early 2019. They opted instead to press forward with some possibility of amendments. Stay tuned. There is still time to weigh in and please do. For those who have written in, many thanks and you may want to respond to the email that you received from Councilmember Riemer. We've seen some good responses with thoughtful remaining questions and concerns. Scroll down for the original action alert.
Master Plan Update
Take Action Now
Ten Mile Creek
Local Food Connection
Community Supported Agriculture
Restaurants & Retail
Artists of the Reserve
Montogmery Countryside Alliance
P.O Box 24, Poolesville, MD 20837
301-461-9831 • email@example.com
MCA is proud to announce that we have been once again recognized as one of the best small charities in the D.C. region by Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. A panel of 110 expert reviewers from area foundations, corporate giving programs, and peer non-profit organizations evaluated 270 applications.
MCA is known as an effective and innovative non-profit whose efforts to preserve and promote Montgomery County’s nationally recognized 93,000 acre Ag Reserve have brought increased public and governmental support of local food production and farmland and open space preservation. Most importantly, MCA’s efforts are putting more farmers on the ground and keeping them there.