Montgomery Countryside Alliance

Montgomery Countryside Alliance Promoting and Protecting the Land that Sustains Us in Montgomery County and the Sugarloaf Region. www.mocoalliance.org
Montgomery Countryside Alliance is a 501c3 tax exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of Montgomery County Maryland's 93,000 acre Agricultural and Open Space Reserve and surrounding rural areas.

📍Your voice matters. Hans Riemer’s proposed zoning change for the Reserve is problematic.40 years ago... the Reserve was...
02/07/2020
Action Needed: Large Scale Solar Arrays on Productive Farmland

📍Your voice matters. Hans Riemer’s proposed zoning change for the Reserve is problematic.
40 years ago... the Reserve was established and much effort to conserve it has been spent.
Please. Let us operate with a plan. Where these facilities are sited matters.This proposal is silent on prime soils and loss of forest for example.
Read on. Give voice to the imperative to act wisely.

Climate Change is an emergency - let's meet this challenge with a comprehensive plan.

🌱Celebrate Black History Month🌱“Henry Blair was an inventor and farmer best known as the second African-American to hold...
02/06/2020

🌱Celebrate Black History Month🌱
“Henry Blair was an inventor and farmer best known as the second African-American to hold a U.S. patent. Blair was born in Glen Ross, Md., in 1807. Little is known about his personal life or family background.

Although he came of age before the Emancipation Proclamation, Blair was apparently not enslaved, and operated an independent business (in Montgomery County). He was a successful farmer who patented two inventions: a corn planter and a cotton planter.

The corn planter had a compartment that held and dropped seeds to the ground, and rakes followed to cover them with soil.

The cotton planter was horse-drawn and had two shovel-like attachments that divided the soil. Behind it, he put a cylindrical wheel that dropped the seeds into the newly turned soil.

Both of his inventions greatly increased efficiency on the farm by limiting labor and time.”
Read more:

http://www.myblackhistory.net/Henry_Blair.htm

📍Still time to write in. Our request is that the bill be withdrawn. A comprehensive effort with a variety of tools to ma...
02/05/2020
Montgomery Countryside Alliance

📍Still time to write in. Our request is that the bill be withdrawn. A comprehensive effort with a variety of tools to manage the deer overpopulation is needed and that requires careful thought and multiple stakeholders with the capability to weigh benefits and possible detriment. 

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

Bask in the coziness of a "soupscription" from Coop's Soups they make all their soups from produce grown at Common Root ...
02/04/2020

Bask in the coziness of a "soupscription" from Coop's Soups they make all their soups from produce grown at Common Root Farm in Derwood. Local farms have positive effects for other businesses - we got sustainable economic development in a bowl right here.

✨COOP’S SOUPS SOUPSCRIPTION✨ YES, it’s a THING!
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You can now order warm cozy jars of Coop’s Soups all winter long!
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Our Soupscription is a fun and healthy way to stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions, gift a friend or neighbor a night off from cooking, or make a new friend each week. You can do all this while SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL SMALL-FOOD SOUP BUSINESS!
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Visit Coopssoups.com to learn more and sign up today!

Why we press forward with reforestation and supporting regenerative farming here...While confronting climate change pres...
02/04/2020

Why we press forward with reforestation and supporting regenerative farming here...
While confronting climate change presents a daunting task, we can take hope in fact that 40 years ago forward thinking planners established the Reserve, a nationally lauded model of nearly 100,000 acres, for the purpose of food and fiber production and stewardship of the natural world.

Water is life.Through the lens of Kai Hagen
02/02/2020

Water is life.

Through the lens of Kai Hagen

Productive day cleaning up along several rustic roads. Found a kid’s drawing among discarded beer bottles that was very ...
02/01/2020

Productive day cleaning up along several rustic roads. Found a kid’s drawing among discarded beer bottles that was very sad.

Take Action Before 2/3: Rifle shot can travel miles - rifles are proposed to be added to other firearms allowed for deer...
02/01/2020
Take Action Before 2/3: Rifles in the Ag Reserve Could Cause Harm

Take Action Before 2/3: Rifle shot can travel miles - rifles are proposed to be added to other firearms allowed for deer culling on all Ag properties (in yellow) that have obtained deer management permits. Ask MD legislators to collaborate and find other solutions.

Let your day be amazing... like this Reserve sky!Early rising lens of Terri Pitts! Rustic Hughes Road
01/31/2020

Let your day be amazing... like this Reserve sky!

Early rising lens of Terri Pitts! Rustic Hughes Road

The glory of McKee Beshers...
01/30/2020

The glory of McKee Beshers...

Rifle shot can travel miles. New proposed law would allow rifles for deer culling 365 days a year in #Moco 's Ag Reserve...
01/29/2020
Take Action: Deer Management in the Ag Reserve: Rifles Cause Concern

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

How Far Can Rifles Shoot? State legislation introduced by MC Delegate Eric Ludtke (MC 06-20) would open Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve (Reserve) to deer culling with rifles (hunting with bow, shotgun and black powder is currently allowed). Under this proposed new legislation, anyone with...

Dr. Royce Hanson’s (architect of the Reserve) speech was terrific! This is the Reserve’s 40th year and his words provide...
01/25/2020

Dr. Royce Hanson’s (architect of the Reserve) speech was terrific! This is the Reserve’s 40th year and his words provide historic reference, humor, inspiration and, cautionary guidance.
Read:

http://www.mocoalliance.org/news/montgomery-county-historical-societys-annual-conference-dr-royce-hansons-remarks

Reads in part at closing:

I have dwelt, thus far, primarily on utilitarian justifications for the Reserve. There is, however, a deeper, moral reason for sustaining it so that it will still be here in 2080 and 2180. An urban, knowledge-based civilization has many advantages but one of its disadvantages is loss of connection with mother earth. The Reserve is an immediate reminder that there is a season for planting and one for growing and one for harvest and one for letting the earth rest before the cycle of life begins anew. For all of us it is a public trust to pass to future generations better than we received it.

This little patch of dirt is not magnificent in the great scheme of things. But, alone in this metropolis, in the midst of constant change and development, it is an intentional garden, guarded by law, rooted in history, a private place that serves a public purpose. In this urban and global age such a garden is more important than ever. It is a physical symbol and moral recognition of humanity’s inseparable connection with the earth, which is so easily diminished as we move from farm to industry to the virtual world of artificial intelligence. It is our Voltaire’s Garden, a local place of earth and heart where, as trustees of the future, we share with its fee simple owners, responsibility to cultivate, because by so doing we make ourselves and our community better.

Spent most of the day at the Montgomery County Historical Society’s annual conference. For me, the highlight of the day was hearing Royce Hanson (former member of the county’s planning commissioner and the “godfather” of the Ag Reserve) provide a brief history of the creation of the Ag Reserve and a thought exercise on what the Reserve might look like in 2080 (60 years from now!).

It seems clear that the greatest threat to preserving this incredible land is a local population that grows indifferent to the slow encroachment of developers (even those well intentioned!) into our open spaces. It’s my hope that the explorations we write about here, in addition to the incredible work by local organizations such as the Historic Medley District, Inc. and Montgomery Countryside Alliance, will ensure future generations remain interested, engaged, and vocal about protecting this amazing place we call home.

The barn bustled with new life and maternal care and the peace that flows from all of it...Shepherd’s Hey Farm - Carolin...
01/25/2020

The barn bustled with new life and maternal care and the peace that flows from all of it...

Shepherd’s Hey Farm - Caroline Taylor

Good stuff for the pantry!!
01/24/2020

Good stuff for the pantry!!

Purple Mountain will be at the Silver Spring market this Saturday and in Dupont on Sunday. Come stock up on oats, rice, beans and more!

This is love.Shepherd’s Hey Farm - Lee Langstaff
01/24/2020

This is love.

Shepherd’s Hey Farm - Lee Langstaff

An important read: Washington Post’s Rebecca Tan covers Montgomery’s new MCA Land Link producers in this beautifully wri...
01/22/2020
New to the country, veterans of the land

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.”

From suburban Maryland to the West Coast, immigrants reshape small-scale farming in the United States.

01/22/2020

New Life in the barn!
Shepherd’s Hey!

Congratulations to all who have signed up to volunteer in various ways to serve your community today! The MC Volunteer C...
01/20/2020

Congratulations to all who have signed up to volunteer in various ways to serve your community today! The MC Volunteer Center reports that the posted volunteers slots are filled! But wait! You can still do something to give back... clear trash, visit an elderly or ill neighbor, read to children, remove non-native invasive vines or plants, bring non-perishable food to nearest food pantry...
We honor strong community and the life and work of Dr. King in this way, today and everyday.
Photo: Good folks of Friends of Ten Mile Creek

After hearing concerns from many of our members and conducting research, our position was released on State legislation ...
01/19/2020

After hearing concerns from many of our members and conducting research, our position was released on State legislation introduced by MC Delegate Eric Ludtke that would open the Reserve to deer culling with rifles (hunting with bow, shot gun and black powder is currently allowed):

http://www.montgomerycountydelegation.com/2020/documents/MC6-20.pdf

MCA POSITION ON DEER MANAGEMENT
IN AGRICULTURAL RESERVE

MCA is aware of the significant crop damage by deer in the Agricultural Reserve (Reserve) and supports our farmers in the need to cull the deer herds. However, we are concerned about the safety implications for various stakeholders (diversified producers, equestrians, cyclists, tourists, hikers, rural residents, anglers, hunters, birders etc.) by allowing rifle hunting 365 days a year with Deer Management Permits in the Reserve. We would ask what other possible solutions have been considered. An option would be to employ teams of trained sharpshooters to hunt in designated areas at limited, designated times, as is done successfully now in the Montgomery County parks. Another approach would be to encourage natural systems where predators such as coyotes would help reduce the deer population.

We cannot support the rifle hunting legislation as written.

Be heard - your thoughts to:

https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacomo.html

This cold, wet weekend... grab a soft warm spot, a favorite drink,  and give a watch. What are your BIG ideas on how we ...
01/17/2020

This cold, wet weekend... grab a soft warm spot, a favorite drink, and give a watch. What are your BIG ideas on how we cultivate the future of local food... and fiber?
Produced by MC Planning:
https://vimeo.com/385052915

On a cold and blustery winter’s eve... here come the babes...
01/17/2020

On a cold and blustery winter’s eve... here come the babes...

The first lambs are always special, and these two are no exception. What's a tired shepherd to do when a newborn lamb crawls into her lap for a nap?! Bliss. And stiff legs 20 minutes later. These two were born outside this afternoon and although not terribly cold, the wind was howling, and one got chilled. Hence the sweaters, for now. Toasty and content. We're off to a great start. Meet SHF 2001 "Redbud" (ewe lamb) and 2002 "Oak" (ram lamb).

Sun sets on the Nation’s river...Through the lens of  Terri Carbaugh Pitts
01/16/2020

Sun sets on the Nation’s river...

Through the lens of Terri Carbaugh Pitts

Gorgeous day for site visit for next round of Re Leaf planting! Dave Mowatt from Potomac Valley Surveys is getting the j...
01/15/2020

Gorgeous day for site visit for next round of Re Leaf planting! Dave Mowatt from Potomac Valley Surveys is getting the job done!
Can anyone name the pictured native tree/seeds?

Goodnight moon...👏🏽Erik Pederson
01/14/2020

Goodnight moon...

👏🏽Erik Pederson

Eventide... Shepherd’s Hey Farm.The fine lens of  Michael L. Yarrington
01/12/2020

Eventide... Shepherd’s Hey Farm.

The fine lens of Michael L. Yarrington

🌳Why we plant forests...The Re Leaf participating landowner writes: “I wanted you all to know that every time I go visit...
01/11/2020

🌳Why we plant forests...
The Re Leaf participating landowner writes:

“I wanted you all to know that every time I go visit the trees there are at least six blue birds, often quite a few more, perched on the young branches. What could be better than this.”

What indeed.

Meeting with Katie Rictor, executive director of Montgomery Parks Foundation. MCA feline staffer Andy Anderson gives Kat...
01/10/2020

Meeting with Katie Rictor, executive director of Montgomery Parks Foundation. MCA feline staffer Andy Anderson gives Katie and the foundation 2 paws up!
Learn more about the important work of the foundation:
https://www.montgomeryparksfoundation.org

Exceptionally Rustic Martinsburg Road...Image - Sugarloaf Citizen’s Association
01/08/2020

Exceptionally Rustic Martinsburg Road...

Image - Sugarloaf Citizen’s Association

Martin Radigan capture’s the splendor of the snow!
01/08/2020

Martin Radigan capture’s the splendor of the snow!

Winter in the Ag Reserve

Montgomery Count Agriculture Reserve area, Maryland.

Cold! But the sun pierced through...
01/06/2020

Cold! But the sun pierced through...

01/05/2020
The Soil Story narrated by Larry Kopald

This short watch... for anyone looking for the basics on carbon farming/regenerative land practices... and why this is a focus of MCA and partners including SCA.

Narrated by Larry Kopald of Carbon Underground, The Soil Story reveals how soil can reverse climate change.

Good list!!🌞
01/04/2020
Top 20 Hidden Gems to Visit in 2020 | Visit Montgomery

Good list!!🌞

We searched far and wide to bring to you a variety of activities and attractions that you probably didn’t know existed throughout Montgomery County, Maryland. Here are our top 20 hidden gems that we recommend adding to your next weekend itinerary in 2020. 1. Environmental Center at Glenstone Museu...

2020 is off to a great start with events that stimulate collaboration around the future of agriculture here. See links f...
01/02/2020
The Future of Food - Montgomery Planning

2020 is off to a great start with events that stimulate collaboration around the future of agriculture here. See links for details.

1/14 Planning hosting Future of Food
1/18 Friends of Ten Mile Creek, MC DEP, MC Parks, MC Food Council, MCA and wonderful Dawson’s Market present: Biggest Little Farm

https://facebook.com/events/815579165538442/?ti=icl

Farming and farmland in Montgomery County continue to evolve since the establishment of the county’s Agricultural Reserve nearly four decades ago. While...

Sun sets on 2019...Glad tidings to all in this new year and decade!Rustic Budd Road : Fine lens of  Terri Carbaugh Pitts
12/31/2019

Sun sets on 2019...
Glad tidings to all in this new year and decade!

Rustic Budd Road : Fine lens of Terri Carbaugh Pitts

This evening’s sky delivers... wonder!Great capture Molly Smith, Poolesville
12/28/2019

This evening’s sky delivers... wonder!

Great capture Molly Smith, Poolesville

Address

PO Box 24
Poolesville, MD
20837

General information

Montgomery Countryside Alliance.... Advocates for land use and transportation policies that enhance agriculture and land preservation. Educates about the environmental, economic and recreational benefits of local farmland. Support local farms to strengthen our rural economy. Celebrate the beauty and abundance of the Ag Reserve. Conserve the economic value and rural landscape of the Ag Reserve for current and future generations of the region.

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Contact The Business

Send a message to Montgomery Countryside Alliance:

Videos

Farms on Metro’s Edge Need Our Protection

In 1980, Montgomery County set aside 93,000 acres to protect farmland and open space. We are the small (but mighty!) award-winning nonprofit organization that keeps our growing county and growing farms in harmony.

Learn More - www.Mocoalliance.org

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Comments

Many people in the community wanted to help and now you can.
Do you know what's being built on Comus Road between 109 and Peach Tree?
While in the reserve last week, I felt so much gratitude to all who made and continue to make agricultural preservation possible. No industrial uses please. Farmland is for farming.!
Of interest to the MoCoAlliance members? Leggett Seeks Applicants for Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board. The 20-member Board advises the County Executive, County Council, and the Regional Director of the Upcounty area on needs and priorities such as transportation, human services, the environment, land use, public safety, and other issues of local importance. https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/BCCpublic/ViewJob.aspx?id=309
Noted: County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill four vacancies on the Dickerson Area Facilities Implementation Group (DAFIG) for representatives of the affected upcounty community. The purpose of this Group is to address community and environmental issues and concerns pertaining to the County's solid waste facilities located in the Dickerson area. Vacancy info is at https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/BCCpublic/ViewJob.aspx?id=278 and DAFIG info is at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/SWS/dafig/.
Blue birds in Comus today, enjoy.
Looking forward to the bike ride.
Does anybody know about the "Coming Soon" for sale signs on the fields on Comus road between 109 and Peach Tree? I hope they're not selling the huge fields to developers!