RSS Feed

Category Archives: Farms

It’s Turkey Day

The rush is on. At Maple Lawn Turkey Farm. Our local farm that raises free range turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

big cork and maple lawn 029

From 7am until 5 pm, before Thanksgiving, and then they still have hours after Thanksgiving, but these are the busy three days. I am brining my turkey overnight tomorrow, and cooking it Wednesday. Getting ready ahead of time and then I only have to brown it for the dinner. I am finding that to be a bit more manageable.

I also picked up a few extras.

big cork and maple lawn 049

Drumsticks. Six to a package. Seven pounds. $5 for the package. The ultimate winter staple. Destined to become a number of pots of turkey noodle or turkey rice soup. I split them into two packs and vacuum sealed them. They are back in the freezer. The smoked breast will become a meal sometime next week. I put the breast and the turkey in the little fridge in my laundry room. Set to 35 degrees to keep them fresh.

big cork and maple lawn 047

I got a 13 pound hen. Wrapped in butcher paper. Brought it home. Cleaned it up. Plopped it in a big bowl and put it away. Tomorrow I will make the brine and get it ready to cook.

It wasn’t that bad there this morning. At 10 o’clock, there was still close in parking and no real lines. You have to pay by cash or check. They do have a portable ATM outside, for those that forget. You can also pick up turkey bacon, ground turkey, wings and tails/necks, frozen, to take home for future use.

big cork and maple lawn 038

Can’t get any more local than 10 miles down the road. The price is great, too. Thanks to the Iager family.

Talking Turkey

Posted on

Yes, it’s time to order that Thanksgiving turkey.

snow and turkey day 019

We have all sorts of options around here. I can order directly from Maple Lawn Farms. If I want to pay by cash or check, and stand in line a very long time. I can get a free range bird for around $2.50 a pound.

england acres and maple lawn 006

I can pick one up at other sites, like Boarman’s or MOM’s or David’s or Roots or Whole Foods. I will pay more at these places but they do take credit and debit cards.

whole foods t'giving 001

Whole Foods will also sell you all the fixings. Easier than DIY, but pricey.

As for other options, there are restaurants open for dinner. Check out Richard Gorelick’s new blog, with a list of places that are open in the area. I did leave a comment that The King’s Contrivance is also open.

Other sources. Friends and Farms, just slightly more expensive than Maple Lawn. Lancaster Farm Fresh, my CSA, is offering organic turkeys but they are closer to $5 a pound. I will probably get mine from Boarman’s like I always do.

I will also head over to Maple Lawn between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To get some drumsticks for the freezer. Maybe a smoked turkey breast this year for our Christmas buffet here. You can pre-order all of these items.

Somehow the holidays are sneaking up on us. Even though the weather is still really nice.


Posted on

To the Local Resources Page. I have been doing some maintenance on my pages. Added a few items to my local page. And, subtracted one place.

I try to keep my pages up to date. But, sometimes I do get behind. I will be doing other pages the next two weeks, but today, I cleaned up my Local Page.

I deleted Bonaparte Breads. A few years back, they were an excellent source at the DuPont Circle Market. Since then, change of ownership and other issues. At Savage, I see review after review saying they don’t open on time. They sell older stale breads. I haven’t been there in a while and when I got there last year, they weren’t open. So, they’re gone.

I added Canela for bread. They sell at many local stores, at Olney Market and other markets. Check them out. I buy mine at Boarman’s. I buy a few loaves at a time and freeze some of it. That gives us bread for toast, or to clean our plates after a really nice dinner.

I added a “newer” winery. Old Westminster. The closest winery to us in Howard County. They are opening their tasting room in two weeks. For a great fall dinner, pack a picnic. Head up there on a Friday night or Saturday. Listen to some great local music.

old westminster

I added Shepherds Manor Creamery to our cheese listings. I love their sheep’s milk cheeses. We get them from Friends and Farms, but the Creamery has their product all over the area.

christmas and CSA dec 22 018

You know? We are lucky. So many options for local foods. And wine. And, beer. I do need to check out Manor Hill. And add them to my list.

fandf fair anniversary 016

The CSA Model

Posted on

Gorman farms style. How to grow a Community Supported Agriculture program from 28 families to almost 500. In six years.

We learned this yesterday at the Farm Academy. Over at Gorman Farms. Just southeast of Columbia, and northwest of Laurel. At a location chosen for its access to the market.

Dave Liker runs Gorman Farms. Currently on leased land, but soon to expand to their own farm slightly west of its current location, to Highland.

They had their big announcement earlier this month. It will be a great location and addition to a farm committed to organic growing and the production of quality vegetables and fruit for their loyal CSA members.

Those of us who loved their farm stand, miss it. We knew they dropped it because it took away from their attention to their immensely popular CSA.

We will also miss their Christmas tree operation this year, as they turn their attention to getting the new farm ready for production.

Here is more information about the new farm.

Dave’s presentation to the Farm Academy and his two hour tour of the farm were full of details that show his commitment to the land, the soil, the farm, and to providing us with fresh healthy organically grown food.

gorman and 25th 001

Information such as how successful his pick your own strawberries have been.

gorman markets and csa week eleven 001

By the way, there are quite a few more rows of strawberries in the ground, to make sure there are enough for the very great demand every spring.

gorman and 25th 011

They provide medium and full CSA shares for a 20 week season. If you live in the east or south part of Howard County, or northern Montgomery or PG county, you should check them out.

Craving Comfort Foods

Posted on

Autumn. When the weather changes and we exit grilling mode and enter comfort food mode.

csa and soup 015

Like the beef noodle soup I mentioned a few days ago. That arm roast which has already given us two meals, now will give us at least two more. Made with the leftover beef and the broth from the crockpot.

farm academy and amish meal 055

This is only the beginning for me. We are most definitely soup people, but I also love to make stews and other one pot dishes.

This week our CSA, which is in its next to last “summer” delivery, gave us quite a bit to process. At the end of the season, we get very large amounts of food. It’s as if they are emptying the fields and sharing the bounty.

csa and soup 005

Squash. Cabbages. Potatoes. Carrots. Greens. Food destined to flavor those soups and stews.

New to us.

csa and soup 010

Japanese pie squash, and Guatemalan blue banana squash. Time to get creative and roast these.

We also got some very interesting apples this week.

csa and soup 003

The crispins on the left are organically grown apples. Not IPM. Let’s just say they aren’t the prettiest fruit in the basket, although they have a wonderful taste. I can understand why farmers don’t want to go completely organic with fruit, as many of these apples would never be selected at a market or farm stand. They have bumps, bruises and bug bites.

The Cortlands on the right are a perfect baking apple, and already my husband requested them for a weekend dessert treat.

Do you have a fall favorite that invokes your childhood? Mine is applesauce, and it seems to be time to make this year’s batch. Just another of those comfort foods.

For those who want fresh apples for baking, Larriland has a couple of weeks left. They also have all sorts of cooking pumpkins. Me, I’ll be dealing with what our CSA gave us. And wishing Indian summer didn’t make it too hot to want soup.


Posted on

What you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

farm academy and amish meal 037

The Farm Academy is answering all those questions. And more. I feel like I am living in an information overload scenario when I attend these three hour sessions. But, they are so worth the time to do them.

I am learning so much more than I expected, by attending the farm visits. These are serious lectures and tours, not a hayride through a farm.

I found all sorts of resources, and got quite an education on the status of much of the farmland in Howard County.

farm academy and amish meal 002

Exhibit A. The preservation map. Also available on the web site, as an interactive map, showing just how much land is in some sort of preservation status. If you click on the interactive map link, you can find all sorts of information.

Did you know that over 21000 acres of land in our county are in these programs? That’s almost 2/3 of the current agricultural land in the county. No wonder there won’t be much more development out here. The land is covered in preserved areas.

Planned service area maps tell the same story. There is no current plan to extend the water and sewer lines out here. In order to develop with other than rural residential or rural conservation limits in place, there would have to be a plan to run those utilities to the small towns. Not going to happen in this fiscally conservative time.

As for what happens on these farms, I found the Academy participants to be incredibly open about what they do. We have visited TLV Tree Farm.

farm academy 005

And the UMD Research Farm.

farm academy and amish meal 039

Dairy and equine facilities at the UMD farm. I feel like I attended classes at UMD, we were given such an in depth tour. I hope to do another post about this facility.

Next weekend, we end up at Gorman Farm.

The county plans to offer these visits again in the spring. If you want to get a better idea of what is happening around you, down on these farms, you should look for them and sign up.

I know that I learned so much more about dairy operations than I ever expected.

farm academy and amish meal 013

Tidbit Tuesday Again

Posted on

Doing a fly by. Quick information because there is too much going on, and I haven’t updated the blog in a few days.

Did you know that the Farm Academy is simply awesome?

farm academy 010

The first session was at TLV Tree Farm. Two more. UMD farm, and Gorman. If there is still room, you should sign up. I learned quite a bit and I thought I knew much about our local agricultural business.

I did learn more about the Roving Radish. For $28 you can get two meals for four people, or four meals for two, like us, with all the major ingredients and the recipes. When it first started, they used about 10% local sourcing, now it is close to 70% local. Want to have better food, easy to make? Affordable? Check them out!

More later, when I get all the information about the local farms, but you really need to see how much the county is doing to promote local vendors and farms. I am seriously impressed.

farm academy 012


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 534 other followers