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Thanks to all that were able to join us for the this session: see the wrap up here.
Meet our Speakers
Sophia Maravell grew up on a seed saving organic farm in Montgomery County, MD. She wrote her undergrad thesis on female farmers and ranchers, and started working on sustainable farms in Colorado, Maryland and abroad. She attended the Farm School's Practical Farm Training Program in Athol, MA and shortly thereafter co-founded Brickyard Educational Farm in Potomac, Maryland. She has her Permaculture Design Certificate from Forested and earned a Master's in Education from Goddard College in Community Education focusing land-based farming and craft communities. She worked as a farm-based educator and co-manager at Hawthorne Valley Farm's Place-based Learning Center. Currently she works at Potomac Vegetable Farms as a community educator and farmer. Sophia is committed to healing through our connection to land. She is committed remembering 'culture' back into 'agriculture' by cultivating beautiful food and community.
Nick Maravell has been farming organically for more than 40 years. Concerned about the soil, environment, energy conservation, and fresh, local, and healthy nutrient dense food, he began by selling vegetables to restaurants, local food and farmer co-ops and health food chains, and at farmers markets. Now the farm produces mainly row crops and livestock. The farm is located on 175 fertile acres in the Frederick Valley in Maryland. Nick’s Organic Farm uses a diversified grass based organic farming system with rotational grazing, cover crops, and an 8-12 year crop rotation to constantly build the soil. Nick served a five-year term on National Organic Standards Board and is involved in the newly formed Real Organic Project (ROP) which advocates for organic standards that adhere to the basic principles of an ecological soil and pasture.
Pete Walton is a farmer and entrepreneur from Northern Virginia, with a passion for soil, trees, and livestock. He has worked on projects ranging from small urban farms, to large scale regenerative grazing systems, and cannabis production on the west coast.
It is nothing less than the global challenge of our time. A slow motion disaster, caused and perpetuated each day by all of us - leaving each of us either feeling powerless in the face of its enormity or in denial of an inconvenient scientifically proved truth. Our world is warming.
Recently predictions have gotten more dire, more certain. There is now a timeline for serious impacts to be felt. Much like the adage about planting trees, the time to act was either 20 years ago - or now.
Montgomery County's 93,000 acre Ag Reserve was envisioned at its creation in 1980 as a way to keep farms on the landscape and it has been successful, but it has also served as a "green lung" and water filter for the region, its forests sucking in Co2, its pervious surfaces allowing re-absorption of large rainfall events. But the County, the Reserve and MCA as its steward can (and must) do more to combat our climate challenge and mitigate the coming impacts.
The county has made a climate change pledge for the county of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. The county is also working toward Executive Leggett's goal of being a zero waste county - starting with recycling/composting 70% of materials by 2023. MCA is proud to serve on the county's Zero Waste Task Force.
We are proud to have collaborated with the 38 other organizations making up the Stormwater Partners Network on the Clean Water Blueprint - to be addressed by the Elrich administration. The document lays out how we protect water across the country going forward and provides metrics for gauging success. Among the recommendations are several Ag Reserve specific provisions that MCA will help to implement including:
~Educational outreach for well and septic owners
~Establishing science based impervious limits in the Reserve to protect the Sole Source Aquifer and stream quality
~Advance programs for regenerative agriculture
Land and Farms
At MCA, our mission is to protect the farms and open spaces of the Ag Reserve but we all have a role to play in the challenges ahead. We can choose grim disaffection, denial or action. Help us position the Ag Reserve as a climate change mitigation tool for our county and region. We would be honored by your tax-deductible end of year gift. Thank You!
Local Food Connection
Community Supported Agriculture
Restaurants & Retail
Artists of the Reserve
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
P.O Box 24, Poolesville, MD 20837
301-461-9831 • firstname.lastname@example.org
MCA is proud to announce that we have been recognized for a third time 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.