By Guest Writer Laren Rusin
This past weekend was Montgomery County’s Farm Tour Weekend, where different farms and agricultural venues held open houses and markets for the public to explore and enjoy. I decided it would be fun to broaden our family’s horizons and check out a few new places on the map, and see what there was on offer.
Saturday we started at Chocolate and Tomatoes Farm, where there was an abundance of fresh produce for sale, including several heirloom varieties of tomatoes, and peppers (including the “mystery batch”-sweet or hot?). After perusing the green house and gardens, we sampled chocolate and bought a few truffles for later. Start with veggies, then finish with dessert! Then right across the street was Red Wiggler Farm, a farm that creates a huge CSA while providing job training for adults with disabilities. While I’ve driven by this property on rt 27 countless, times, I had no idea what they offered. In addition to farm tours, food and produce for sale, there was a “medical tent” from the 1850s etc, where two very fun and knowledgeable volunteers talked about farm medicine in the mid to late 1800s, re-enacted treatments, and allowed the kids to make home remedies (a sachet to keep the moths away, smelling redolently of lavender, cedar, and thyme). The kids were horrified to hear that cough syrup back then consisted of onions mixed with sugar, and you drank the juice that resulted!
On Sunday we visited Kingsbury Orchard to check out their 52 different varieties of peaches (a rough weekend for harvest due to all the rain during the week prior), and other fruits and veggies. Then we went to Star Gazing farm to check out the kids activities, including crafts, facepainting, and tours of the rescue animals they harbor. Plenty of cute rabbits, llamas, goats, and a massive bull!
Spending time on the weekend like this reminds me of what an amazing job Montgomery County does of protecting land and dedicating that land use to a wide variety of good uses, from job training, to education for kids on history, culture, and where our food comes from. My sometimes picky toddler will avoid veggies at the table, but will gobble purple tomatoes, basil, and arugula when he can pick it out of the ground. It was a fun way to try new produce, see new properties, get a little history lesson, pet a llama, and spend time on some beautiful rural properties.
Our thanks to Laren and her family for this great piece about the farm tour! Would you like to write an Ag Reserve reflection for MCA's site? Contact email@example.com
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.