Mobile Slaughter, a Solution for Small Farmers

The Post recently ran an article on Mobile Slaughter Units (sometimes called Mobile Processing Units). As the business of farming becomes more consolidated, small scale farmers must drive their livestock great distances for processing. Mobile units come to the farmer, reducing animal stress and other complications.  In the Ag Reserve, the closest slaughter option is in Mt Airy, a 2 hour drive for most Reserve farmers.  MCA has been discussing the possibility of mobile slaughter in the Reserve with USDA representatives.

On June 24th, the USDA will be hosting a Mobile Slaughter information session in Boonsboro, MD (Washington County), this event was mentioned in the article above. Click here for the  agenda.

A farm in Silver Spring (really!) makes SilverDocs

When Carlie Koiner was growing up, MoCo was all farms. Charlie is now 83 and the 1 acre plot he farms behind his house in downtown Silver Spring is the only MoCo  farm below the beltway. This tenacious farmer has caught the attention of local documentary film makers and his story ‘Corner Plot’ will be featured next week at SilverDocs, the documentary film fest hosted by the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring.  See the Gazette article for info on all  three showtimes.  We highly recommend the trailer.

Maryland’s Dairy Farmers Take a Hit

Read Gazette Coverage on the downturn for area dairy farmers.

This Summer “Go Wild” in Montgomery

Looking for summer fun for the family?

Click here for the County’s Go Wild site!

Get out and explore the Reserve this summer!

Montgomery’s Competitive, Sustainable Edge!

Seems that elected officials in Montgomery County have been worried that Fairfax is taking the lead.   See Coalition for Smarter Growth’s Stewart Schwartz’s excellent letter in the Gazette detailing why MC is the real leader in preservation and building sustainable communities. He also offers common sense guidance on how Montgomery can keep its edge.

Ten Mile Creek Deserves Protection

MCA Partner, Audubon Naturalist Society, has been working hard to ensure that future land use does not jeopardize the quality of County treasure Ten Mile Creek.  MCA was alerted this  spring that Brown Trout were spotted by an ANS member near a Reserve rustic road.  Armed with video camera, staff and volunteer Global Ecology students set out to document the species.  The stream was clear and cold on the overcast afternoon.  First, nothing and then…in shallow fast running water…there they were:  8-10 beautiful Brown Trout.  As quickly as we spotted them, they shot upstream and were gone.  No time to even attempt to film.  A local wildlife biologist explained that the trout are very wary of people.  No kidding. We will keep trying to capture them – just a bit more stealthily.   Their presence in the stream says much about the quality of the water and why it is crucial to protect it.  The County should not develop its huge bus depot near this stream.  The County should re-evaluate Clarksburg Stage 4 buildout and trim the density back.   For actions needed see this Audubon fact sheet authored by Diane Camerson.

Sustainable Farm Incubator Site Chosen!


Shannon, Maeve and Luke Varley at Bella Terra Farm











Plowing ahead on Montgomery County’s sustainable farm incubator (model: Intervale, VT)…  See Gazette Coverage of the location approved by Park and Planning.  See related story under “Take Action” section of our website: “Calling On New Farmers!”

Full Montgomery County planning staff memo with Incubator details