Lots of us have visited farms and orchards to pick apples, strawberries, pumpkins, or maybe on an annual trek to cut down the family Christmas tree.
But have you ever toured a working farm? I’m not talking a super farm, one with thousands of acres. I’m talking about a farm with 200 acres or less, one that strives to source its food directly to the local community.
A farm whose mission is to remove the middle-man and educate its neighbors on the benefits of getting to know your farmer, and understanding what it means to eat locally and in season.
You may remember that I’m a part of this year’s Leadership Frederick County class. Last Friday was “Agriculture Day,” and we had the opportunity to visit five Frederick County farms. Despite the fact that they farmed different things (beef cattle, dairy cattle, produce, grain, nursery plants, wine, etc.) I noticed several amazing commonalities:
- Many farms are family-owned and operated, and all the farms we visited last week were, some in the third generation!
- All the farms we toured made it a point of showing us how little waste they have, if any! Almost every part of what’s produced is either purchased or recycled. How’s that for being environmentally friendly?
- Education is a big piece of what these smaller farms do, and in the future they all see that part of their business growing as the community continues to yearn for knowledge about the food they eat.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day, but you can click here to view the entire series from these farms!
You can also visit the Frederick County Virtual Farmers’ Market for more!