In the Ag Reserve, a crescent moon rises over Sugarloaf Mountain
Volunteer organization dedicated to protecting the rural legacy and environmental health of Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve
Founded in 1973, the Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association (Sugarloaf) is a nonprofit organization of community volunteers with headquarters in the heart of Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve at the Linden Farm. As a dedicated network of citizens, we monitor and take action when zoning regulations in the Sugarloaf region are violated, the viability of farming is threatened or the environmental health of the area is compromised. As a result, Sugarloaf has established itself as a respected organization with considerable political clout. If you would like to know more about Sugarloaf or its current initiatives, please contact Beth Daly, President at [email protected]. Officers President -Beth Daly Vice President -Dick Hill and Ellen Gordon Secretary - Carrie Laurencot Treasurer - William Price e SCA 2014 Board Members Jim Brown Tina Brown Jim Choukas-Bradley Anne Cinque Jay Cinque Eric Cronquist Jaime Field Steve Findley Lauren Greenberger Jane Hunter Linda Pepe Gil Rocha Dan Savino John Thompson Election of Officers and Board Members by the Sugarloaf Membership takes place during the Annual Meeting.
Mission: Protecting our rural legacy
In the Ag Reserve, a crescent moon rises over Sugarloaf Mountain
Supporting the Farms that Sustain Us : Fair Farms
Right now, local farmers are a source of hope. Local farms are critical in ensuring that we have a resilient food system that can weather challenging and turbulent times. With fewer people going out to grocery stores and healthcare professionals stressing the importance of boosting our immune system...
VIRTUAL PLANT SWAP!
Perhaps more than any other year, our gardens are calling to us. So we scratched our heads and came up with a way to hold SCA’s 12th Annual plant swap without gathering at Linden Farm. If you want to take part; if you think you might have extra plants, or if you’re likely to need plants, send your email address to [email protected] by April 29th. That’s the only information we need from you, and we will not make your email address public. On May 1, we’ll go live, by sending an email out to everyone who gave us their address, announcing that the Virtual Plant Swap has begun!
At that point, if you’ve got plants to swap or sell or give away, you just reply to the group and let them know what you’ve got. You will need to include your email address, so that anyone interested can contact you directly. It’s then between you and whoever responds to work out the details, including whether you want to drop off, pick up, meet (in a social-distancing kind of way) at a local park—whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re looking for certain kinds of plants, you can also post that request to the group, including your email address so that anyone who might have what you’re looking for can reply to you.
Working together as a community, we’ll get through this pandemic—with thriving gardens!!
Greetings and Update
Our thoughts are with you all in these extraordinary times. We hope you and your family are healthy and sequestering peacefully.
As with everything, SCA's activities have been impacted by the pandemic. Our annual membership meeting scheduled for later this month will not take place.
That annual meeting has one function that we'll need to do online - the election of officers and a board of directors for the next year. Please watch for a future email that will ask you to vote on our proposed board slate.
Amid the pandemic, we continue to work on a range of issues. Montgomery County leaders are moving ahead with "Thrive Montgomery County 2050, "the county's first new growth, land-use, energy use, waste processing, and economic development policy framework since 1964." We remain actively engaged in this complex unfolding effort, with the aim of ensuring that the Ag Reserve not just survives but thrives as a farming-centric rural area.
In that context and spurred by recent regulations proposed by several County Council members, we remain very much involved in ongoing discussions about the best way to foster a shift to solar and other renewable energy sources in the Ag Reserve and Montgomery County at large.
We're also working closely with the county to finalize plans to reduce the waste that ends up in the Dickerson incinerator--by fostering more food composting and recycling and through a pilot program that allows residents to pay only for the amount of trash they leave out on the curb for pick up.
SCA seeks a treasurer for 2020-2021. Responsibilities include tracking and reporting monthly accounting. If interested, please contact Heidi Rosvold-Brenholtz
at [email protected] or 240-388-5029, preferably by April 20.
Stay safe. We'll be back in touch soon.
Lauren Greenberger, president, and the SCA Board
If you aren't already buying local, it's time. Consider joining a CSA. Where? Check out these resources:
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/agservices/farm-to-table/csa.html and http://www.mocoalliance.org/community-supported-agriculture.html
The spike in traffic for businesses that have been delivering to customers for years has prompted others to consider adapting their business models.
CANCELLED!!April 25, 2020, 9:30 am. Please pencil this in on your calendar. Of course, if social distancing is still the best recommendation a month from now, we will postpone. Meanwhile, take precautions and take heart; the red maples are flowering, ephemeral spring flowers are popping up in the woods, and the spring peepers are in full chorus; hoping we all can spend some time outdoors enjoying fresh air and the blossoming of Spring!CANCELLED!!
Support Maryland bills to close Dickerson Coal Plant and assure workers secure job transition package!
This bill would close the six remaining coal-fired plants in Maryland. The most important thing to mention is that you have a coal plant in your district and that you have concerns because of health, air quality, pollution, climate change, etc.
The major hurtle we face is with labor. These power plants supply well-paying jobs to workers. The kicker is that these jobs are going away in the next several years because of market conditions (coal is more expensive than other sources of electricity). If the power plants close without passing this bill to provide for transition, the plants only need to give these workers 90 days, then they get nothing.
This bill provides for worker retraining, a safety net for workers close to retirement, and health insurance coverage.
If you want to learn more about ZTA 20-01, Solar Collections System - AR Zone Standards, which has been introduced to the Montgomery County Council, come to the hearing tonight in Rockville. Hear what your fellow citizens have to say about it. TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020, 7:30 – 9:30PM.
Third Floor Hearing Room
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Another important event happening at the same time as the Climate Town Hall. If you're interested in hearing about what's happening on the Frederick County side of Sugarloaf country, mark your calendars for this meeting!
Come to the Climate Action Town Hall! Thursday, February 27 at 6 pm. Montgomery County has declared a climate emergency and set a goal of achieving 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2027, and 100% reduction by 2035.
At this town hall and open house, the five community-based climate planning workgroups will present their recommendations for Montgomery County to reduce GHG emissions, build resilience to climate impacts, and support more equitable communities now and in the future.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the workgroup recommendations during the event.
Come learn about the climate workgroup recommendations to achieve zero emissions in Montgomery County by 2035. We want your input! Montgomery County has declared a climate emergency and set a goal of achieving 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2027, and 100% reduction by 2035. At this town hall and....
Whether you believe there's a role for solar in the Ag Reserve or not, we think we can all agree that it needs to be carefully considered. This ZTA rushes the process, and lacks protection for farmland and farmers, and ecosystems of all sorts (wetlands, forests). Our friends at MCA have made it easy to register your concerns, so please take a few minutes and follow up.
TAKE ACTION: MoCo paid experts/ enlisted stakeholders to develop Climate Change Plan. It is almost complete and is comprehensive. ZTA 20-01 sites solar arrays on 1800 acres of Ag Reserve w/ no safeguards for water/forests before the plan is finished. Yes it's a climate emergency but we have to get it right. https://conta.cc/2wzEtIx
Equine pasture help!
ANNOUNCEMENT: We're excited to tell you that this legislation has been tabled for this year! Representatives are calling for further research over the summer, to try to figure out how best to address deer damage of crops!! Your voice was heard!
There's still time to take action; please add your voice! This is about the safety of everyone who lives, works, enjoys being outdoors in the Ag Reserve.
Rifle shot can travel miles. New proposed law would allow rifles for deer culling 365 days a year in #Moco 's Ag Reserve on farms with deer management permits. (shotguns and bow hunting already allowed). Concerns? Take Action http://ow.ly/2N0L50y85yi
An important read: Washington Post’s Rebecca Tan covers Montgomery’s new MCA Land Link producers in this beautifully written piece.
This will be on the front page of the Metro section in the print edition tomorrow.￼ Take note of the landowner story... exceptional people.
“It just makes sense,” (MCA’s) Taylor said. “We have a million people in the county now. They aren’t all people who want to eat baked potatoes.”
If you have ever had any questions about how your septic system works--and how to make sure it keeps working--as well as how to ensure you've got clean well water, the Barnesville Green Team has the information session you've been waiting for! Thursday, January 23, 7 pm, Barnesville Town Hall. Parking at the Baptist Church. For more specifics, see the first "comment" on this post.
Rustic Martinsburg Rd in the snow, at SCA’s Linden Farm
Good morning Ag Reserve!
And please, if you need to text, pull over.
Rustic Roads are safe when drivers pay attention and do not speed. It is that simple.
Perdue, Vilsack and leading agricultural groups gathered in a Maryland barn to talk about the farm-country issue that dare not speak its name.
Besides supporting our neighbors, when we buy our food locally, we're also taking care of our own health. From the Organic Consumers Association:
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services Agency allows the use of the “Product of U.S.A.” label on any beef as long as the meat passed through a U.S.-based inspection plant, and/or was blended with meat from animals that were born and raised in the U.S.
Sales of grass-fed meat are nearly doubling annually. But about 80 percent of the grass-fed beef market is supplied by imports, compared with the total beef market where imports make up only 9 percent.
Those imports often carry a “Product of U.S.A.” label just because they passed through a U.S. processing plant, so U.S. grass-fed and grass-finished beef producers are hit hard by this policy.U.S. producers can’t differentiate their product in the grocery store from imported beef.
Happy World Soils Day!!
Today is World Soil Day, and though the radio stations and department stores have skipped ahead to festivities later in December, we at AFT want to pause and recognize the unsung heroes beneath our feet.
Good morning Ag Reserve! What we lose in hours of daylight at this time of year is somewhat alleviated by what we gain from the amazing way the winter sun illuminates our landscape!
A beautiful Ag Reserve sunset--looking toward the industrialized cluster in Dickerson, where within about 1 square mile we have: a coal-fired power plant, gas-fired power plant, county garbage incinerator, composting facility for county grass and leaves and a coal ash landfill that's leaking into ground and surface water. These human health and ecosystem threats are why SCA will never stop fighting against the siting of yet more undesirable land uses in the Reserve.
Monthly SCA Board Meeting tonight at Linden Farm, 7:30 pm. Members welcome to attend!
A well deserved recognition of an Ag Reserve ally!
Join us for Conservation Montgomery's Annual Meeting, Friday, November 8, 2019 in Bethesda. Our featured speaker is Serenella Linares of Audubon Naturalist Society. This year's recipient of the Joe Howard Environmental Award is Caroline Taylor of Montgomery Countryside Alliance. It's a party! and everyone is invited! We hope to see you there. At the Writers Center. RSVP at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=7ochkydab&oeidk=a07egjfevkdb711d444
A wonderful video about this place we call home, the Agriculture Reserve. Worth watching it all, but be sure not to miss the middle segment, about SCA & the history of Linden Farm!!!
Join "Ride for the Reserve" that celebrates the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve; tour Linden Farm in Boyds; learn about the Rustic Roads program; and ...
A recent state survey found that both Cecil and Harford counties have established populations of the invasive species. The state has attempted to reduce the lanternfly populations by treating about 2,700 trees in those two counties.
Maryland’s Department of Agriculture has issued a quarantine in an effort to contain the invasive species the spotted lanternfly in Cecil and Harford counties.
Good morning Ag Reserve!
From the ridiculous (our last post being about relaxing coal ash disposal requirements) to the sublime!
This is an opportunity to hear some amazing music--and benefit an important cultural site in the Ag Reserve!!
Warren Historic Site Committee, Inc.
A Gospel Extravaganza Fundraiser
Sunday, October 13, 2019 ~ 3:30 PM
Warren Historic Site
22625 Whites Ferry Road
Dickerson, Maryland 20842
~~ Gospel Singing Groups ~~
Who So Ever Will
Tree of Life
Refreshments before service @ 2:30 PM!!
The Dickerson power plant can still burn coal, and we still have a huge coal ash landfill on Martinsburg Rd that's known to be contaminating our groundwater. Now the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a weakening of coal ash regulations that would eliminate nearly any control on how coal ash is handled! EPA's virtual hearing is on October 10. If you're concerned, register to speak by October 7!
Would you be willing to take a minute of your time to tell EPA weakening coal ash regulations is a really bad idea? I testified last week at the public hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency on its incredibly ill-founded new proposed regulations concerning disposal of coal combustion re
Opinion | Montgomery’s Agricultural Reserve has a dark side
For decades, the county has neglected the western part of the county.
More good news, just over the border in Frederick County!
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling Thursday that nullified a 2014 agreement between Frederick County and developers of the proposed Monrovia Town Center.
Solar belongs on rooftops, brownfields, parking lots, highway medians and maybe on campus lawns—not destroying forests or farmland.
Maryland environmental officials have denied a permit for a Georgetown University solar project proposed on hundreds of acres of forest in Charles County.
20900 Martinsburg Rd
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