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Brickyard Educational Farm Teaches Organic Farming to Youngsters

August 14, 2012 Green Blog 1 Comment

Gaithersburg, Md

August 13, 2012

By: Jennifer Quinn

Have you ever tasted yellow grape tomatoes?  When was the last time you wandered rows of vegetables where you could have your pick of red and yellow grape tomatoes or green striped tomatoes?  Do you know the sensation of biting into a warm tomato?  The liberating feeling of eating from the vine with no worries of washing off pesticides?  How about a garden taste test of basil – lemon basil, cinnamon basil and Genovese basil?

Did you know chickens love to eat bugs?  Have you ground soy bean in a century-old feed grind and fed chickens from your hand?  Have you ever collected eggs from a chicken coop?

Have you seen three sisters farming?  It’s the method of farming native Americans used when they planted corn with beans and squash.  The beans climb up the tall corn stalks and the broad leaves of the squash plants keep the moisture from evaporating from the soil underneath.  All three vegetables thrive in this permaculture.

My sons and I experienced all this and more during our two hour visit to Brickyard Educational Farm (also known as Nick’s Organic Farm) this weekend.  As we were preparing a bed for planting by pulling old kale plants and discovered a hoard of Harlequin Beatles, one of my boys asked “why don’t we bring the chickens over since they love bugs?”  Guess what we did next?  When we left Brickyard, the five chickens and one rooster were happily scratching and pecking the former kale bed in a newly placed pen under a shady canopy.  We weren’t the only ones on a lucky field trip!

I knew my boys and I would enjoy a Saturday afternoon Brickyard family tour and work day, but I was surprised by how much we learned and experienced in such a short time.  Brickyard Educational Farm is a rare treasure.  Not only does Brickyard welcome visits for education and enjoyment, but it harvests all of its organic corn and soybean (save a bit of feed for its small family of chickens) to sell as organic seed  stock which it sells to farms around the country.  Brickyard Educational Farm in Potomac, Md, is isolated from other farms and potential cross-pollination with genetically modified corn.

You may have heard there is a legal battle over the fate of Brickyard Farm.  The county-owned lease is up in a matter of days; and MSI Soccer is counting them because they intend to build the county’s 502nd and 503rd soccer fields there.

I hope we get to visit Brickyard Farm again.  Our family already talks about pesticides and organic food, but now my sons are inspired.  On our ride home, my oldest son, a middle school student, was talking with me about genetically modified corn and asking about relevant college programs.  My younger son, a fourth-grader, asked why everyone just doesn’t have a farm and grow their own food.  It’s a lot of hard work running a farm, I explained.  My oldest son replied “Maybe there wouldn’t be so many fat people.”  Hmmm.  Food for thought!  I then launched into a conversation about the simultaneous rise of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the popularity of processed food!

Pretty impressive produce from one afternoon of physical activity and whole foods at Brickyard Organic Educational Farm.  If you are interested in learning more about Brickyard Educational Farm and supporting the effort to save 32 years of organic soil in Montgomery County, visit these links:

http://www.savenicksorganicfarm.org/

http://www.brickyardeducationalfarm.org/

 

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Naomi says:

    What a wonderful article, Jen! It made me smile to hear how your sons “get it”, too because it is their future that we are fighting for here.

    This afternoon the judge granted our request for a stay, too! So, your family likely will be able to visit the farm again and again… and….

    Stay tuned for the results of the next steps. And thanks again for this terrific article. :-)

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