Local Handcrafted Cutting Boards For Sale

maple, walnut, cherry and oak, locally harvested and crafted

Grace your kitchen with local style. Chris Holmgren of the Reserve’s own Seneca Creek Joinery has crafted cuttingboards made from maple, walnut, cherry, and oak harvested by municipal crews in MoCo and the District. Boards are 8″ x 14″ and 5″ x 8″ and will stand up to years of wear. Small ones are $15.00  and larger ones are $20.00. Part of each purchase goes to support MCA! Contact Chris at: woodsurgeon@juno.com to purchase.

Farming at Metro’s Edge Conference- full brochure!

MCA has been involved with several local groups and both Frederick and Montgomery Counties to plan a farming conference called Farming at Metro’s Edge: Sustaining Agriculture in Montgomery and Frederick Counties. Learn more and support the conference by checking out this printable brochure or the Conference website.

Local Honey: A Means to Battle Seasonal Allergies?

While there is only anecdotal support for the use of local honey to help sufferers of seasonal allergies – the word is getting around.  How simple the notion!  And how tasty!

Read More!

Where can I buy local honey?

Check out our links by clicking on any page and see them on the right:

Farm Markets:  including Olney, Bethesda and Potomac!
Banner Bee
Kingsbury Orchard
Lewis Orchard
Butler’s Orchard
Homestead Farm

WIC Training for Farmers

From our friends at Future Harvest:

Q: FARMERS: Are You Leaving Money at Your Farmers Markets?

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WIC

A: You might be if you are not certified to serve shoppers using federal nutrition benefits.

The newest benefit program eligible for use at farmers markets is the WIC Fruit and Vegetable Check (FVC). More than $11 million in FVCs circulate in Maryland each year, dwarfing the $487,000 in the better-known WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). However, only 0.1% of the FVC redemptions in Maryland in 2010 were at farmers markets.

WIC FMNP vouchers provide a flat $20 for the entire market season per recipient. Recipients of WIC FVC receive between $6 and $15 every month, all year-round, to use for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, a total of $72-$180 per year. With more than 144,000 WIC households in Maryland, if you are selling at farmers markets and you don’t accept WIC FVC, you are potentially leaving money on the table and cutting a significant number of shoppers out of your customer base.

One reason farmers are not getting a larger slice of this pie: only half the market vendors who are certified to accept WIC FMNP have also become certified to accept WIC FVC. With so few farmers accepting the FVCs, recipients haven’t realized they can bring their FVCs to market and use them in addition to their FMNP vouchers. While we all hope to see more integration of the various benefits programs in the future, why forfeit the potential revenue stream now?

Future Harvest CASA is making it easier for farmers to get certified to accept WIC FVC and to learn from other farmers at a market with high redemption rates. Our Waverly Market Tour and Workshop will offer a compact 1-2 hour FMNP (WIC and Seniors) & WIC FVC certification session following the market tour. Register now for this free event. (This event will also be offered at the Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park, MD, in June.)

ebt_banner2Saturday, March 24 – 9 am – 12 pm
Market Tour and Workshop:
Increase Your Farmers Market Revenue
with WIC FVC and FMNP

Waverly/32nd Street Market – Baltimore, MD
Registration: FREE, but required
Meet at the Market Manager’s tent, 32nd St & Barclay St

MoCo to protect Ag Reserve Easement Fund

The Gazette reported on the Council’s move to shift some of the Reserve’s costs to the General fund to cover a gap in funding for Ag Easements.

Ag Services Director Jeremy Criss says that there are 9,000 more acres of the Reserve that could be protected under these easements. Learn more about the easements here.

Balt Sun Op-Ed: Ban Arsenic in MD Chicken Feed

Arsenic in Chicken Feed? Yes its true, even though the  FDA pulled the arsenic-laden chicken feed ingredient Roxarsone off the market last year while they investigate its safety (really?), most Maryland chicken farms are against a ban. This Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun suggests that MD farmers are missing a huge opportunity to use a ban to tout their chicken as safer and healthier than that from surrounding states while the FDA takes its time to decide if a known poison has a place in our food system.

Historic Preservation: Tax Breaks and “Places from the Past” book

Announcing two developments in  Montgomery County Historic Preservation: tax breaks for 2011 work on historic structures and a re-release of the County’s “Places from the Past” book on county history. Read on…
Own a Historic Structure? Submit an Application for Tax Credits

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery County is home to more than 3,000 structures designated as historic. Owners of historic properties who maintain and rehabilitate the structures may be eligible for tax credits that reward them for preserving a slice of county history.

The county Historic Preservation Commission is accepting applications for county tax credits on work completed in 2011. If you received a historic area work permit for a rehabilitation project that exceeded $1,000, the work may qualify for a tax credit. Many routine maintenance projects that do not require a HAWP are also eligible, although only exterior work qualifies.

Tax credits, which total 10 percent of renovation costs, are applied toward property tax bills. Eligible work ranges from a total rehabilitation to painting and roof replacements, although not all exterior projects are considered eligible.

The HPC is staffed by historic preservation planners at the county Planning Department, who review applications and assist applicants.

Submit applications by April 15. Visit the historic preservation section’s webpage for information and application materials.


The county Historic Preservation Commission is accepting applications for county tax credits on work completed in 2011. If you received a historic area work permit for a rehabilitation project that exceeded $1,000, the work may qualify for a tax credit. Many routine maintenance projects that do not require a HAWP are also eligible, although only exterior work qualifies.
Tax credits, which total 10 percent of renovation costs, are applied toward property tax bills. Eligible work ranges from a total rehabilitation to painting and roof replacements, although not all exterior projects are considered eligible.
The HPC is staffed by historic preservation planners at the county Planning Department, who review applications and assist applicants.
Submit applications by April 15. Visit the historic preservation section’s webpage for information and application materials.
Planners Release 10th-Anniversary Edition of Book Featuring Montgomery County’s Historic Sites
SILVER SPRING – The 10th- anniversary edition of the award-winning Places from the Past: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County, Maryland, a book that inventories the county’s historic sites, is now available online.
The coffee table-type publication, illustrated with photographs, architectural drawings and maps, is available as free downloads by chapter or as a print-on-demand digital edition for a fee. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic
Gardez Bien is the county motto adopted in 1976 that means to guard well or take good care.
Recognized with awards from the Maryland Historical Trust and Montgomery Preservation, Inc., Places from the Past documents the history of architecture and community planning in Montgomery County. The book features a series of essays on building traditions, housing types and outbuildings as well as an inventory of historic districts and sites. The inventory is organized by geography within the county and includes orienting maps as well as images and descriptions of some 400 individual historic sites and 20 historic districts. Those curious about how their communities were settled or the history behind some of the county’s oldest homes will find the book an informative and engaging read.
Initially printed a decade ago, the 357-page book had gone out of print. The new release, with an updated forward, makes the encyclopedic Places from the Past available again in durable paperback or, for the first time, in hardcover binding and electronic format.
A border county in a border state, Montgomery County’s architectural heritage has a dual nature:  metropolitan and rural, northern and southern. Early European settlers were tobacco planters from the Chesapeake and wheat farmers from Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, residents were divided in their loyalties, with those in the western county with Virginia family ties sympathizing with the South, while Sandy Spring Quakers and northern-born residents aligned with the North.
After the Civil War, African Americans, comprising over a third of the county population, lived in more than 40 settlements established throughout the county. The nation’s capital, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the B&O Railroad’s Metropolitan Branch had tremendous influence on the county’s growth and development.
Author Clare Lise Kelly is a historic preservation planner who has been researching historic sites in the county since 1989. Kelly has dedicated the book to property owners and citizens who, through their hard work and commitment, have protected historic sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations.
Find book and digital ordering information at http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic/places_from_the_past/

County Ag Land Preservation Opportunities Now Open

Two County-sponsored agricultural land preservation opportunities are presently available to landowners within the agricultural reserve.  These programs are summarized below:

Building Lot Termination Program (BLT)

The Department of Economic Development Agricultural Services Division’s opened the purchase period for the Building Lot Termination Program on February 1, 2012.  This open purchase period will end on April 2, 2012 at 5 pm. Applications for the BLT program are now being accepted.


Agricultural Easement Program (AEP)

The Department of Economic Development Agricultural Services Division’s is also announcing an open purchase period for the Agricultural Easement Program.  The open purchase period for AEP will begin on March 1, 2012 and will end on May 1, 2012 at 5 pm. Applications can be downloaded here.

During open purchase periods, landowners submitting applications should make an appointment to discuss their applications and what information they need to provide.  Contact Ag Services here.