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Category Archives: Farms

Fall Fest is On!

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Tired of being indoors from the rain? Want to get out and have a fun Sunday at the Howard County Conservancy? The festival tomorrow the 4th of October is still going to take place. Minus a few things, like the hay rides. Slippery, wet trails where they usually ride will make it impossible to hold the rides without creating ruts, which encourage erosion.

Besides that change, the rest will still take place. Pumpkin painting. Crafts and storytelling.

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You can visit the animals, including the alpacas from Pearl Moon.

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The square dancers will be inside the Gudelsky Center. The historic farmhouse will be open for tours.

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The blacksmiths will be operating. So will the chair caners, the woodturners, the basketweavers, and more.

The cost. Just $10 a car. Bring neighbors, relatives and friends. The more the merrier. Time is 11am-3pm. Food trucks will be there with waffles, BBQ, and other goodies.

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See you there?


Some of my favorite fall activities on the local farm scene.

The farms in this area have created many opportunities for people to enjoy the properties, pick some fruit, go on hayrides or get lost in a corn maze.

You can’t go wrong picking these events. There’s something to do most weekends.

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Right now.

Clark’s is always open. They even have dinosaurs, I hear, to go along with the Enchanted Forest attractions in the pine tree trails. So many things to do there, and really close to town.

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Larriland is open for pick your own, has a straw maze for the little ones, and has hayrides to the pumpkin patch.

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Gaver Farm just west of Mt. Airy is already open with their corn maze.

Starting next week.

Mullinix Maze opens next Friday the 25th with their huge corn maze, out by Western Regional Park.

Farm Heritage Days at the Farm Museum across from the Fairgrounds is next weekend.

Sharp’s Farm opens next weekend, too.

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In October.

TLV Tree Farm in Glenelg has something different every weekend out at the farm.

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Baugher’s in Westminster has their fall festival events every weekend in October, as well.

Good to see so many choices to get out, pick apples or pumpkins, go on hayrides, check out a petting zoo, or two, or three.

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Support our local farms, who offer much more than the farmer’s markets. These agritourism events help their bottom line, and keep them healthy to be there every year, giving us fresh fruit and vegetables.


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An abundance. A very large amount. A very heavy CSA basket.

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It is obvious that this is the height of harvest for our supplying farmers. When they said eggplant, they meant two. When they said mixed cherry tomatoes, there were two boxes. When they said red cabbage, there were two of them also.

As for the rest of the stuff, we are again blessed with watermelons. For I think the fourth week in a row, twice we had yellow seedless, once a monster regular and once a smaller seeded variety. And at least a half dozen cantaloupes this summer. Even our newsletter called this the summer of the watermelons. The weather cooperated in making them large and juicy.

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Have you had the pleasure of tasting a yellow seedless melon? They are simply awesome.

As for what we are doing with this bounty. How about baked casserole?

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Layered eggplant, yellow squash, onions, red pepper, tomato and goat cheese. Covered in a light vinaigrette and oregano. Baked for an hour until absolutely delicious. Served over this.

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I heated a few naan after sprinkling with za’atar and scallions. Roasted chicken legs and boiled some corn. What a wonderful Sunday night dinner. Nothing like fresh vegetables a few days out of the ground. If you haven’t been taking advantage of the many farmers markets, you should. Or, if you are blessed with a CSA that gives you fresher than grocery store produce, you know what I mean.

Now, tomorrow, I need to make fritters from the latest tromboncini I got from my garden.

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Zucchini on steroids. The Italian heirloom is still producing in my garden.

Anything interesting growing in your garden?

A Tale of Two Counties

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Specifically …

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… suburban Howard County.

And …

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… rural Howard County.

What prompted this post was an editorial in the Sun during the Howard County Fair. Not far off the mark, about the differences between those two worlds. Also I was intrigued that the county will be offering a Farm Academy starting in October.

The first session is out at Triadelphia Lake View Farm. Details to sign up will be on the Live Green Howard page next month.

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I wrote about them in my Farm series. They are known throughout the county due to their participation in a number of farmer’s markets and their pumpkin fields and cut your own Christmas trees.

For many people moving out of Columbia into the new developments all over the once rural west county, learning to live with combines, tractors, manure spreaders, noise from machinery and the other everyday occurrences on the farms has been enlightening to say the least. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people saying that the surrounding rural lands have unsightly buildings or fields.

We don’t all live on manicured lawns, and many outbuildings get a bit rusty. There are no covenants or HOAs out here in the older areas. Which is why many of us live here.

Learning to respect those who have farmed or who run businesses here is important. Trying to force the farmers to restrict what they do isn’t the way to peacefully coexist.

Yes, cow manure reeks. It’s a spring ritual out here to fertilize the fields. It isn’t noxious. It isn’t hazardous. It is necessary to maintain good soil for planting. Yes, we need tall strong fences to keep livestock in. Strength is more important than looks to keep horses, goats, sheep, alpacas, cattle, dairy cows and hogs where they belong.

Yes, there are naturally growing meadows that get harvested when the weather cooperates. I just close my windows and turn on the A/C if my allergies go a little crazy when my surrounding neighbors bring in the equipment to cut and bale hay.

If you ever wanted to learn more about how people live out here beyond Clarksville, check out this new initiative. And thank TLV when you see them at the markets for volunteering to be the first host.

And if you really want to know why we love it out here so much, scenes like this are way better than all the words I could write.

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Don’t Miss

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At the Howard County Fair starting Saturday. Some new things. Old things. Every year it keeps getting bigger and better, yet the favorites still remain.

Like the Critter Barn.

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Or the daily pig races. Every day. Check out the events highlights here.

We like wandering around the barns looking at the animals.

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This year there’s a new addition to the fair. A beer garden. Thanks to Howard County’s home grown brewery. Manor Hill. They will be located at the rear of the main exhibition hall.

There’s a few more special events this year too. And old favorites that must be done. Like getting fresh squeezed lemonade. Or a soft serve cone.

For us we also love wandering the home arts building looking at the photographs. The farm and garden building, including buying our supply of honey from the beekeepers.

On our way out, we will get peaches from the farm stand, and Bowling Green cheese.

Our future farmers spend the week there. It’s a labor of love. Come support them.

This sums it up quite well.

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Fair Weather

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Today let’s talk about the weather. The weather that impacts gardeners and farmers. The weather that influences what we harvest. And whether, for me, it’s good enough to give me flavorful heirloom tomatoes.

Growing these tomatoes was on my bucket list. My 50 things I wanted to do before I die. Back 12 years ago when I turned 50 I wrote that list. Before we bought this house in the country. Before I ever tilled and weeded and suffered through our awful summers.

This year our county fair is a week later than the past. Giving me more time to get those heirlooms ripe. Except all that rain has made them a mess.

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They are cracked. They aren’t as full of flavor. Still, I try and pick the best ones to submit.

Submissions are due by Saturday morning, although I try to get mine in on Friday night. Today, I harvested all my leeks. I picked one of my unusual vegetables, hoping I may get a better one Thursday. I still haven’t chosen my herbs.

If you have never made it to the county fair, you really ought to come out.

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Come see what our traffic jams look like. Ride a few rides. Have some unhealthy foods. The fair runs from Saturday to Saturday. We like heading over there early before the crowds. And we buy a season pass.

See you at the fair?

Code Red Days

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The temperatures are soaring. It was supposed to rain today and cool it off, but so far, no such luck. Sunday and Monday the temperatures were in the high nineties and the heat index in triple digits.

Just think how hard the farmers have it, dealing with heat while trying to harvest, feed the animals and do all those other chores. If your days are spent going from A/C home to A/C car to A/C job to A/C car to A/C restaurant to A/C home, you have it easy.

We spent part of Sunday (early) dealing with some yard things. Not too long. Monday I had to go weed, harvest and water my garden. That hour and a half was brutal, so I can’t imagine having to spend hours getting things ready for CSAs, markets and deliveries.

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Not to mention working in steamy kitchens in the restaurants. My hat is off to those who have to work outside in this weather, and to those working the line making your farm to table meals.

If you hit any of the markets this week during the Buy Local Challenge, or go out for Restaurant week, take the time to thank those who make it possible. They aren’t sitting in front of an A/C vent. Also, take time to vote for your favorite adult beverage, and go try a few at the local restaurants. They have a “Garden to Glass” competition going on.

No matter what, keep supporting our local small businesses. And let them know you appreciate them.

Remember the saying, If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher.

How about —- Before you eat that, thank a farmer.

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