The next in a mid-winter series on how to turn the less popular veggies available at your local market or CSA box into real food, cooked simply that you would like to eat and your children or other picky family members may try as well (no guarantees). MCA staffer Kristina Bostick subscribes to a year-round CSA and shares how to cope when there is just too much ___. Find the other posts: Broccoli, Cauliflower and Acorn Squash.
What is the Women For The Land Program?
The Women For The Land Program brings groups of 15-20 women landowners together with conservation and technical staff (mostly women) for three sessions over approximately two months. An experienced facilitator guides this Conservation Learning Circle through a well-developed agenda. AFT invites agency staff to participate as presenters and active participants in the conversation, addressing issues and questions in real time. The peer-to-peer women-only program provides an opportunity to learn from each other, gain confidence, and to obtain technical/financial assistance to protect your land's natural resources. These sessions are designed for women landowners who own, rent and make management decisions on their Maryland forest and farm land. AFT is operating this program in five states including Maryland.
Who is the core audience for a Women For The Land program?
Women who own farm or forest land in Maryland, who may recently have come into ownership or taken on new responsibilities for operational decisions on their land. Some have families that are facing decisions about the future of the farm. Others need to find a new tenant to lease their land. For various reasons, some women are less familiar with the programs, agencies and individuals who can assist them. Despite their challenging situations, women landowners have strong ideas on how they want their land managed. They have proven to be highly-motivated and receptive to information and assistance once they learn what is available. AFT sees these women as ideal partners in conservation and land protection and has developed the Women For The Land program to offer targeted support,
We ran across an interview from a few years ago with Button Farm Living History Center's Tony Cohen and had to share. Tony is a Royce Hanson Award winner for his efforts to bring history to life in the Reserve. He spoke to WYPR's "The Signal" about representing an unvarnished view of plantation life and the Underground Railroad. Take a listen.
The next in a mid-winter series on how to turn the less popular veggies available at your local market or CSA box into real food, cooked simply that you would like to eat and your children or other picky family members may try as well (no guarantees). MCA staffer Kristina Bostick subscribes to a year-round CSA and shares how to cope when there is just too much ___. Find the other posts: Broccoli and Acorn Squash
First - let me say that the world seems to be coming around to cauliflower right now. Its having a bit of a moment, the way kale did a couple years back. One school of thought would be to say, "Back off Pinterest, you can't tell me what to eat!" But think of it this way, when a vegetable is popular, it just means that the top chefs, food bloggers and cookbook writers are all working on the best ways to work with it. That is to be celebrated, and you - mere mortal home cook who needs to get something on the table - benefit from that trendiness with the plethora of recipes and shortcuts that result. Cauliflower is not as strong a flavor as broccoli, it is more of a blank slate - but similarly, it will benefit from being roasted and never ever will taste good boiled till mush. Some things you can do:
2. Roast the Whole Dang Thing I have not done this but find it very appealing as a family style meal that you slice into like a roast.
3. Cauliflower Rice Yet another on-trend use of Cauliflower. You can even find "pre-riced" cauliflower in grocery stores now. The earthines of the cauliflower is delightful in fried rice. If you are watching your carbs this is a great recipe for you.
2018 and our Education Program is off to a great start with "farmer in classroom" sessions underway. This year we have featured several remarkable women farmers, including Courtney Buchholtz and Amanda Cather as we bring farming and land stewardship to students at several County public high schools. Of course, our Education Committee Chair Gene Kingsbury is on hand to help provide the vantage point of a multi-generation farm, Kingsbury's Orchard. The importance of the County's Ag Reserve and how it came to be, is a key part of the lesson. In addition to in class lessons, students come on farm and in field to learn first hand about what it is to farm and how the Reserve serves to protect natural resources. The best part? The insightful and thought provoking questions from the students. Bright minds. Bright future.
We are keen on seeing that these lessons make their way to more schools throughout the County. Stay tuned!
Poolesville High School Field Trips to Black HIll Regional Park
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 folks (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 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. All candidates who complete the 9 question survey by March 7 will have their unedited answers published here. The survey answers are meant to be a guide to candidate positions to help voters find representatives that will uphold their concerns about issues facing local farms, water quality and open space.
A large and diverse group of stakeholders (ASAC) has been tasked by MC Planning Department to tackle the issue of how best to allow Agricultural Reserve farms to engage in agritourism. Historically, we think of agritourism as hayrides, corn mazes and pick your own but agritourism is evolving to include on farm events such as weddings and parties as well as other activities. Breweries and wineries have been growing in popularity, bringing residents to farms and providing much needed capital to advance their businesses. Sounds great, right? But the details remain. And for farmers and communities, those details matter. Farmers need clarity and consistency on what their rights and responsibilities are. Historic rural communities seek protection from farmland turning to intense event/tourism use without necessary safeguards for sound, traffic etc. So...
The ASAC will:
...examine various aspects of agritourism, including events held on farms, wineries, breweries, produce stands and farm-to-table offerings, to understand the land use regulations associated with these activities. It will look at applicable sections of the county’s zoning ordinance and its subdivision regulations to determine if modifications in policy are needed to provide clarity and direction for property owners.
More on the study.
MCA believes that, with proper standards, agritourism will be of benefit to farmers, rural communities and County residents. The key will be ensuring proper proportion of the elements that will be affected, broadly labeled as:
Maintaining balance, ensuring appropriate flexibility, and ensuring that the accessory agritourism uses support and not unduly conflict with the conduct of diverse agriculture, existing rural communities, infrastructure capability, environmental resource protection goals is a worthy collaborative objective.
Even more bills are being considered on Agritourism in Annapolis
Take a moment to support HB 766/SB 610 to improve Maryland's Forest Conservation Act!
We are passing along an action alert from our partners at Chesapeake Bay Foundation and League of Conservation Voters.
Maryland has made a commitment to increase forest land, both under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and the Bay Agreement. Forests are also the most beneficial and cost-effective way to protect Maryland’s air and water quality. Yet we continue to suffer devastating net losses because of a weak Forest Conservation Act (FCA). If the State has any chance of retaining and increasing forest land, the Act must be updated and improved before it’s too late.
The short story: There are far too many loopholes and exemptions that let forests (particularly "priority forests") be cutback more severely and un-replaced when they are cut. To achieve our goals for water and air quality, trees are a key tool. But the act that decrees what can be cut an what must be replanted is not as strong as it could be. Contact your state legislator today - trees matter!
She started farming in 2006, a career path that eventually led her to the Ag Reserve in 2013. Courtney is a graduate of the Montgomery County New Farmer Program and was matched with long term lease on local land through our Land Link program. Her produce is available through a CSA, the Silver Spring Farmers Market, and the Common Ground Market in Poolesville. You may also see her produce at Dawson’s Market in Rockville and the Common Market in Frederick.
The next in a mid-winter series on how to turn the less popular veggies available at your local market or CSA box into real food, cooked simply that you would like to eat and your children or other picky family members may try as well (no guarantees). MCA staffer Kristina Bostick subscribes to a year-round CSA and shares how to cope when there is just too much ___. We've already taken on Broccoli. Now that the counter is free of squash, the crisper drawer says we will take on Cauliflower and Beets next. Stay tuned.
Squash is a great thing to get from either the Farmers Market or the CSA. It can sit on the counter for a few weeks while you use up the other more perishable things and it looks good sitting there too. They can fill in for play food for children's play kitchens - but do not tend to keep well when they invariably roll under the couch - that's a pro tip there. While the Acorn Squash is not as popular as it's friend the butternut, one could say the Jan Brady of winter squash, it can be the star of some satisfying winter meals.
1. Stuff It - From as a friend reverently called it "The Joy" - the Joy of Cooking of course. Here squashes get halved, dug out and stuffed with quinoa and nuts. I always use almonds as hazelnuts are not something I tend to have around. This actually got eaten by the 2 year old one time. We add apples and sausage as well - its ok to stuff these till overflowing. If you are not familiar with quinoa, it's high time you got acquainted - it is a grain from the Andes with a pleasant nutty flavor that packs protein. It also cooks much faster than rice, available on the shelf or in bulk in the rice aisle.
2. The Go-To: Brown Sugar This is from Martha Stewart. Roasting any kind of winter squash with brown sugar or maple syrup is the most classic way to do squash as a side dish. I like it stuffed better as it can be a main meal all done in one pot.
Coming back in May 2018, its the Common Ground Market in Poolesville! This is the place to get all your local flowers, vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, bread, and cheese. This season there are two locations. The first Sunday each month will be the monthly market at the Blue Hearth from 12-3pm starting on May 6 - October.
Every Tuesday will be the evening market - 4-7 pm at the Watershed Cafe opening May 15.
The Market will host a plant sale on Earth Day, April 22
Follow the Market here for the most up-to-date information
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.