Remember Springfield Farm ? We wrote a post about them almost a year ago now. One of our CollectiveX members went for a visit a couple weeks ago in search of free range organic meat and wanted to tell us about her encouraging experience with some delightfully cared for farm animals.
Written by: Baltimore resident Erin Fostel
My first time at Springfield Farm was everything that I hoped it would be. I went in search of happy farm animals who lived a nice life up until the moment they made it onto my plate. What I found was an amazing place that was welcoming for both animal and human. I saw over 200 hundred turkeys hanging out in the fresh air listening to, none other then, Beyonce on the radio. Having been told that if I talk to the turkeys they will respond, I said the only thing I thought a turkey would understand, “gobble, gobble.” Sure enough in response, all 200 turkeys stopped moving and gobbled back in unison! I nearly collapsed with glee. Next to the turkeys was a wooded lot that I mistook for the edge of the farmland. Inside the woods were pigs. Huge, beastly, muscular pigs that came barreling up to say hello. I was upset to have left my camera at home.
The store where they sell their meat and eggs is right inside their garage, a pure Ma and Pa operation. Every question is welcomed and their prices are on target with anything of quality from Super Fresh or Whole Foods. I recommend calling ahead if you are shopping for something specific. Having made the decision that I would only eat meat that came from a farm where they respected and cared for their animals, I feel that I have hit the jackpot with Springfield Farm.
Check out more organic farms here
One Straw Farm is the largest organic vegetable farm in Maryland and has been in operation since 1985. Located in White Hall of I-83 and a pit stop away from Heathcote Community in Freeland. The farm supplies families, restaurants and wholesalers with a seasonal collection of certified organic produce. You can receive produce individually through a member fee or visit over 30 different markets, grocers and restaurants in the Baltimore area including Mill Valley Garden Center and the Waverly Farmers Market. The farm has 750 members all of which are within a 50 mile radius. Their website has a helpful harvest chart which lists when and what produce will be available. There’s a great article in Baltimore Eats, November 2008 Vol 3-#11, about how Drew and Joan Norman got One Straw started.
Heathcote is an intentional community located in Freeland Maryland just 30 mile north of Baltimore City. It sits on 112 acres some of which is in a community land trust the other owned by several community members. All of the houses and communal facilities are renovated farmhouses and old grain mills. Additional houses have been built using straw bale. There are many efforts within the community to use renewable resources and become energy independent. Whether you decide to live at Heathcote or just take part in one of there exciting permaculure classes you can always expect to enjoy and organic/ vegetarian meal(s), some of which is fresh from the garden, music, hiking, lounging in a stream-side hammock or helping out with some of the many natural building projects. Heathcote is a drug-free and smoke-free community and is currently looking for members. To find out more about everyday life at Heathcote one of its members has started a blog called Hippie Chick Diaries . You can also go to their website or take a visit to the farm.
South Mountain Creamery is a nationally recognized family-owned farm in Maryland, serving quality milk and dairy products. Most importantly, they promote an environmental health-conscious vision of food production. They use no hormones or antibiotics on any of their cows and encourage recycling of their glass bottles, sparing unnecessary landfill space. Using glass bottles not only maintains quality taste but also minimizes toxic residue seepage from cardboard or plastic. Come down and see the farm in Middletown firsthand; they welcome observation and assistance in milking and calf-feeding!
FARM is devoted to ending the cruel confinement and mutilation of animals in factory farms. Since 1976, FARM is the leader with national grassroots campaigns like the Great American Meatout. Check out their information on animal rights conferences, equal justice alliances or hunger solutions. They even offer a free vegetarian starter kit, just in case.
The MDFMA is a group comprised of hundreds of produce-growers — which specialize in such items as green beans, cantaloupes, beets, beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, watermelon, cantaloupes, strawberries, and pumpkins — from each of Maryland’s counties. Via the MDFMA website, consumers can locate farms, check harvest dates and produce-availability, and peruse seasonal events and educational programs offered by the myriad farms.
Located near Frederick, Md., on the banks of the Monocacy River, the Hedgeapple Farm has been in operation since the mid-1950s. It is home to more than 50 Black Angus cattle, all grass-fed and raised on sustainably-managed farmland. Working with the Frederick Soil Conservation District, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the farm also strives to enact best-management practices in its environmental impact.