Colorful, Sustainable, Delicious
We are a Middletown, MD vegetable farm serving our neighbors and community. We nurture colorful, delicious vegetables using sustainable practices.
We spent 2019 preparing the soil and getting the farm ready to be a good partner with mother nature. When we say "sustainable practices," we mean that we DON'T use chemicals to kill bugs or weeds. We DO use "good" plants and bugs to keep the "bad" plants and bugs away. We also use flowers to help bring in "good" bugs.
- How do we keep our plants safe from pests that might eat them? There are three ways that we protect the plants from pests. First, we look at the plants regularly to spot problem insects quickly. Second, if we find pests we smoosh them with our fingers or we bring in good insects that eat the bad ones. Did you know that ladybugs eat bad bugs? Third, we grow some plants underneath a fabric called row cover. Row cover lets in the light and the water but protects against the bugs.
- How do we handle weeds? You might drive by or stop at the farm and think it is covered by weeds. Most of what you see we planted on purpose. Clover, buckwheat, winter peas, and winter wheat might look like weeds. The buckwheat and winter wheat especially get really talll. But all of that is on purpose. They help us to keep away real weeds that would choke the crops and they return important nutrients to the soil.
- How to flowers help? The vegetable plants need bees and butterflies to help the vegetables grow. When you see vegetable plants where the flowers turn into the vegetables, they need their flowers to get pollinated. Bees and butterflies do that by landing on multiple flowers. But, the vegetable flowers are not usualy enough to bring the bees and butterflies to the yard. That's why you see the whole front part of our yard covered in flowers and some side parts of our yard that way too. These are called pollinator habitats.
We Launched Our On Farm Market in 2020
We launched our on farm market for our fisrt Middletown season in June 2020. We set up tents at the end of the driveway and put the veggies out on tables and in bins. Between June and November, we grew and sold all kinds of diferent vegetables such as all types of lettuces, spinach, kale, chard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, zuchinni, yellow squash, patti pan squash, beets, carrots, onions, green onions, leeks, garlic, eggplant, peppers (sweet, mild, hot -- lots of varieties), corn, cantelope, watermelon, pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, koginut squash, lots of herbs (basil, rosemary, parsely, cilantro, dill), and of course TOMATOES (all types of heirlooms - red, yellow, orange, purple). If you came to the market, you know we sometimes had fruit (apples, figs, peaches) and mushrooms from farmer friends.
We also sold our veggies through Maryland Harvest and Frederick Fresh On-line Markets. Frederick County Public Schools bought a few items from us. And, we continued to work with Manna (a nonprofit in Montgomery County that provides food to the hungry -- we delivered to them about 12500 pounds of food.
The soil is resting in the winter. We have cover crop in some places and have brought in various types of compost to cover others. We plan to have many more flowers to bring in even more bees and butterflies. (And, we have a bee-keeper who will be setting up a hive right here!)
We hope to open the on-farm market in April and run through October. We expect to have a wide variety of vegetables again -- some the same and some different. And, we think some of the berries we planted last year will be ready to share fruit with us this year.