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West County

Nov 15, 2011 10:26PM ● Published by Anonymous

For many people, fall signals the time to reap what’s been sown during the year. That’s why Kathy Zimmerman, agriculture marketing specialist for the Howard County Economic Development Authority, thinks that there’s no better place to enjoys nature’s diversity than the farms of Howard County.

She knows that much of what most people will want and need on Thanksgiving will be readily available locally.

For instance, chances are that whatever accoutrements people want to complement their next feast is available at Gorman Farm (www. gormanproducefarm.com) in Laurel, where most of its extensive crop list (offering more than 40 options) is available through November. The rewards of a good harvest are available on site at The Farm Stand, which is open Wednesday through Saturday. The farm serves as a certified.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up location. At Clark’s Elioak Farm (www.clarklandfarm.com) in Ellicott City, not only can visitors pick out their pumpkin from the patch this fall, they can bring it back on the farm’s last weekend of the season, November 5th and 6th, for some good-natured punkin’ chuckin’. While they’re there, they can also browse through many of the lovingly refurbished attractions from that classic area attraction, The Enchanted Forest. Not only is another large pumpkin patch available at Triadelphia Lake View Farm (www.tlvtreefarm.com), in Glenelg, the site offers several different varieties of live trees, notably the Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Canaan Fir, White Pine, Blue Spruce and White Spruce. It provides a large selection of fresh-cut Frasier Fir trees that are brought in from the mountains of North Carolina, too.

The crew at Sharp’s at Waterford Farms (www.sharpfarm.com) in Brookeville, grows vegetable transplants for commercial growers, specialty herbs, what are known as “heritage” vegetables (which are grown from original seeds of varieties that were grown in the U.S.), and cutting garden flowers. Its niche is the harder-to-find varieties, and its plant list includes garden plants, garden flowers/cuttings, herbs, vegetables, and cool weather vegetables.

Also prominent in the fruit and vegetable department is Larriland Farms (www. pickyourown.com) in Woodbine, which is famous for, as its website implies, customers picking from a list of offerings too numerous to mention—and features its Red Barn filled with blueberries, yellow Red Haven peaches, cantaloupes, Larriland tomatoes, white sweet corn, sweet onions, fresh herbs and more. Just be sure to make it over by early November.

Breezy Willow Farm (www.breezywillowfarm.com), in West Friendship, is another CSA farm with varied offerings; foremost in its case are eight fruits and vegetables, breads made with freshly milled wheat, plus a vast selection of fresh meats, lambs that provide wool that’s naturally dyed, and a host of toiletries and other products.

As we move closer to the holidays, note that Maple Lawn Farms (www.maplelawn.com) in Fulton is famous for its registered Holstein dairy cattle and bills its “Sho-Nuf” oven-ready fresh turkeys “with absolutely nothing added.” The turkey’s nutritional needs are overseen by a Ph.D. nutritionist, which is “unusual for a small farm,” says Zimmerman, noting that Maple Lawn offers sizes ranging from 10 to 50 pounds.

She also pointed out that Howard County runs five farmers markets, with Oakland Mills Village Center and the Howard County Library’s East Columbia Branch remaining open up to the week before Thanksgiving, so “people can come and get apples, pumpkins, and gourds for their pies.”

The farms being open from spring through the end of the year bodes well for local consumers “and lovers of what’s grown locally” and, to Zimmerman, just makes sense.

“On average, food travels 1,800 miles before it gets to the grocery store,” she says. “Picking your own is good for the economy. It’s good for your health, and you can’t beat the taste or the freshness.”

 

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