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.

We've been fielding unprecedented numbers of new land seekers in our Land Link program. They are looking for anywhere fr...
06/17/2020
Land Link - Profiles of Two Matches

We've been fielding unprecedented numbers of new land seekers in our Land Link program. They are looking for anywhere from 1-50 acres, for vegetables, fruit, livestock, the list goes on. Hosting a farmer is the best way to support local ag. Here is a profile of two successful matches http://ow.ly/1Xuj50AawRY

Land Link: How we grow new farmers in Montgomery County

The Agricultural And Open Space Reserve turns 40 this year. Over 90,000 acres set aside for food and fiber production bu...
06/17/2020

The Agricultural And Open Space Reserve turns 40 this year. Over 90,000 acres set aside for food and fiber production but also this remarkable area provides critical habitat preservation. You have, via this page, been meeting some of the many many species that live here.
But challenges in the form of proposed land uses that gobble up acres for industrial purposes... are looming. Stay tuned for action you can take to protect the land that sustains life.

Here’s a helpful diagram depicting habitat fragmentation. My area, and many others, are seeing extensive, human caused fragmentation, which leads to a plethora of issues if land is not developed responsibly. This is why it’s so important for us to try and restore native habitats in our own yards.

Habitat fragmentation happens in many facets, including urbanization, agricultural development, and housing development. Although these expansions are not entirely preventable, it is important to keep a few key things in mind. Here are a few issues we’re seeing with current human caused habitat fragmentation:

• Once large habitats are divided into smaller, more isolated habitats, which creates less biodiversity of native species and ecosystem decay

• It may introduce disease to native species from nearby domesticated animals

• Increased crowding and competition for native species, for food and reproduction

• Eventually creates smaller gene pools

• Causes the “Edge Effect”... altering light, temperature and wind exposure to species that may not have dealt with originally (or evolved to deal with) example; clearing a forested area and now exposing a cluster of shade loving woodland plants to sunlight and higher temperatures. Those particular plants may have supported unique species

• Many bird species evolved to stay within heavily forested areas and rarely venture out to avoid predation from avian predators

• Introduces invasive plant and insect species

This is just a reminder for all of us to keep advocating and planting native plants in our own yards to help combat habitat fragmentation. It doesn’t matter how big or small your yards may be, as long as we pitch in and do our part, together. It only takes a little change to have a huge, positive effect!

(Diagram sourced from Penn State Ext Master Watershed Steward book)

Meet yer gorgeous neighbor! The Red-Winged Blackbird...photo - John Whitaker
06/16/2020

Meet yer gorgeous neighbor! The Red-Winged Blackbird...

photo - John Whitaker

06/14/2020
Cable Natural History Museum

If you are lucky, you’ve got these musical neighbors!

Spring and Summer in 22 seconds! In this animation, eight common species of frogs (including a toad!) give their calls through the season. Wood frog, boreal chorus frog, spring peeper, northern leopard frog, American toad, Gray treefrog, green frog, and bullfrog. See if you can identify each species as it joins the chorus.

Full First Grade-level lesson (including individual calls of the frogs) is now available at: https://www.cablemuseum.org/school-field-trips/museum-mobile/museummobile-spring-programs/first-grade-spring-a-northwoods-frog-chorus/

A promise of better days...Photo: Molly Mo
06/12/2020

A promise of better days...

Photo: Molly Mo

Cheers to Fantastic Fungi ! Thanks for the inclusion!
06/11/2020
How To Support African-American Farmers

Cheers to Fantastic Fungi ! Thanks for the inclusion!

During this time of great uncertainty, many people are looking for ways to help our African-American communities. We’ve seen the deep roots of racism and divide in our country, but we are recognizing our shared humanity and interconnection. Leah Penniman, the founding co-director of Soul Fire Farm...

Meet the persistent Eastern Box Turtle... your neighbor...John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath - Chapter 3 reads in part:And...
06/10/2020

Meet the persistent Eastern Box Turtle... your neighbor...

John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath - Chapter 3 reads in part:

And now a light truck approached, and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it. His front wheel struck the edge of the shell, flipped the turtle like a tiddly-wink, spun it like a coin, and rolled it off the highway. The truck went back to its course along the right side. Lying on its back, the turtle was tight in its shell for a long time. But at last its legs waved in the air, reaching for something to pull it over. Its front foot caught a piece of quartz and little by little the shell pulled over and flopped upright. The wild oat head fell out and three of the spearhead seeds stuck in the ground. And as the turtle crawled on down the embankment, its shell dragged dirt over the seeds. The turtle entered a dust road and jerked itself along, drawing a wavy shallow trench in the dust with its shell. The old humorous eyes looked ahead, and the horny beak opened a little. His yellow toe nails slipped a fraction in the dust.

Please join Montgomery Parks planners for a free, live, online chat today - June 9 from 12 – 1 p.m. to learn about what ...
06/09/2020

Please join Montgomery Parks planners for a free, live, online chat today - June 9 from 12 – 1 p.m. to learn about what the future holds for parks, trails and open spaces in the county, as part of Thrive Montgomery 2050. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the update to Montgomery County’s General Plan, its long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth.
Planners will discuss how to:
Improve access to parks, open spaces and trails by 2050
Ensure everyone has access to parks, not just those living in single-family areas
Encourage more people to lead active, healthy lifestyles
You must register in advance to participate. Visit this link: https://montgomeryplanning.org/events/community-chat-parks/

These good folks!
06/09/2020

These good folks!

Clover came to DEFHR when she was just a day old as part of a neglect case, and now she is a two year old with unlimited potential! This sweet filly would make a great prospect for any discipline. She just started a 60 day challenge with our Head Trainer through the Forever Foundation. Let’s wish this pair good luck!

For more information, on adopting Clover visit https://www.defhr.org/horse/clover.

#4thehorses #DEFHRClover

Eat yet greens and oranges! From the good folks at Dodo Farms...
06/07/2020

Eat yet greens and oranges! From the good folks at Dodo Farms...

Did you know?
That carrot leaves (greens) are highly rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins?
They contain 6 times more vitamin C than the root!
And area great source of calcium and potassium?

All CSA shareholders will receive carrot leaves with their roots this week. You can blend them or eat them as part of your salads!

Not a member of our CSA? Buy Certified Naturally Grown carrot roots and leaves from Dodo Farms at Crossroads Farmers Market (Wednesday) or FRESHFARM Markets (Silver Spring on Saturday) this week!

Photo Erik Pedersen
06/06/2020

Photo Erik Pedersen

06/03/2020

The pandemic has shed needed light on numerous challenging weaknesses in this nation’s systems. In our professional arena - an industrial food system that has failed to promote necessary resilience is being met with the agile response from local sustainable and organic growers and businesses.

And laid bare again and again and again... the deep wound of systemic inequity as witnessed from brutal violence and too often ignored disparate treatment of people of color every single day. Dr. King warned against the "appalling silence of the good people." First, We must all listen, then use our voices and positive actions to uplift others.

The system must change.

In solidarity,

Staff and board of MCA

🐑Little help! 🥕We are lending a hand to find advertisers for next issue of the remarkable LOCAL publication. The folks t...
05/31/2020

🐑Little help! 🥕
We are lending a hand to find advertisers for next issue of the remarkable LOCAL publication. The folks that bring this to us plow their time and talent into crafting it - collecting stories and images that inspire and uplift. It is a labor of love but has associated costs.
Some help is needed to get enough to print/pull together the next issue... as you might guess the pandemic has suppressed advertising.
So here’s a chance to help... either by placing an ad (which gets full County coverage online and in print) or making a targeted tax deductible donation that will go entirely toward the publication. MCA views PLENTY as an important tool to help celebrate and protect the Reserve and our local farms.
Even a little bit will help!
PLENTY - info on advertising
https://www.plenty-agmag.com/magazines
Donate - note “PLENTY”

http://www.mocoalliance.org/mhome.html

Explore the C & O Canal Historical Park!Photo: Four Locks by Margaret Johnson Clingan
05/29/2020

Explore the C & O Canal Historical Park!

Photo: Four Locks by Margaret Johnson Clingan

Waredaca getting it right!!
05/29/2020

Waredaca getting it right!!

There is a lot of new information about when openings will happen in Maryland. To keep you updated on what that means for us here at Waredaca, we have added a link on our website that we will keep updated with the latest developments. We thank you for your patience and we can't wait to see you all at the farm soon!

Updates:
https://www.orderwaredaca.com/covid19taproomupdates

If you need a mask - here is a way to get one and help hungry folks. Masks availible thru online ordering from Common Ro...
05/28/2020
Cotton Face Mask

If you need a mask - here is a way to get one and help hungry folks. Masks availible thru online ordering from Common Root Farm and Coop's Soups to benefit Community Food Rescue. Common Root Farm has gathered great produce, breads and other items from local MoCo vendors all for pickup either on the farm or at the Olney Farmers and Artists Market
http://ow.ly/3WLs50zSJYA

Reversible and washable cotton face masks with comfortable elastic ear straps made locally. Regular and large sizes available. Design varies. Small (for kids) and XL are available at request. All proceeds from the sale will go to Coop's Soups for soup donations to Community Food Rescue in Montgomery...

Meet your dandy neighbor! The Leopard Frog!Photo: Kai Hagen
05/28/2020

Meet your dandy neighbor! The Leopard Frog!

Photo: Kai Hagen

Produce well grown! Three cheers for our friends at Dodo Farms!
05/27/2020

Produce well grown! Three cheers for our friends at Dodo Farms!

We are live at Crossroads Farmers Market. Come stock up on fresh Certified Naturally Grown produce!

Meet your neighbor... the stoic and stately American Sycamore. Take note: looks like the cool/wet conditions hereabouts ...
05/26/2020

Meet your neighbor... the stoic and stately American Sycamore.
Take note: looks like the cool/wet conditions hereabouts have promoted anthracnose, a fungus (see second photo). Experts say trees will recover. So - please do not assume the worst and remove affected trees on your property.

Remembrance...Peace to each of you on this Memorial Day.
05/25/2020

Remembrance...
Peace to each of you on this Memorial Day.

Good day!Meet yer neighbors! The small ruminants... here come the goats!Photo: Darina Callear
05/24/2020

Good day!
Meet yer neighbors! The small ruminants... here come the goats!

Photo: Darina Callear

Winter wheat... and this evening’s soft sky.
05/23/2020

Winter wheat... and this evening’s soft sky.

Good news! Please share.Thanks to the effort that made this happen.
05/22/2020
Maryland approved for SNAP online grocery purchases

Good news! Please share.
Thanks to the effort that made this happen.

Low-income families in Maryland will be able to purchase groceries online for delivery or pickup with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits beginning next week, the latest measure the state has taken during the coronavirus pandemic.

🌞🥕🐑Good news from the Reserve! This flock has found pasture through MCA’s Land Link program! (Photo - flock’s arrival ye...
05/21/2020

🌞🥕🐑Good news from the Reserve! This flock has found pasture through MCA’s Land Link program! (Photo - flock’s arrival yesterday)
Cheers to the land owners who offer acreage so that agriculture can thrive... right here in Montgomery County! Cheers to the farmers whose labor sustains us!
What’s Land Link you ask?

http://www.mocolandlink.org

FOUND!! Reunited with his family!!Sugarloaf Mtn area alert. Eyes out...
05/21/2020

FOUND!! Reunited with his family!!
Sugarloaf Mtn area alert. Eyes out...

The weather has been hard on local farmers - we've been hearing about total crop losses and that pick-your-own strawberr...
05/19/2020

The weather has been hard on local farmers - we've been hearing about total crop losses and that pick-your-own strawberries are now delayed as a result of the recent cold snap.

Hey Rocklanders — Unfortunately we have a bit of bad news we need to share...

Although this past weekend felt like a taste of the summer ahead, the weekend prior saw overnight temperatures below freezing. Despite all our efforts to prevent frost in the vineyard (which included @theregularmike & team working overnight), our vines sadly fell victim to a pretty severe frost and we lost the majority of our fruit set (grapes) for the year. We’re taking the loss in stride and will persevere to make the best of this difficult situation! We want to be transparent with you as we work on our plan for the 2020 vintage. We're so grateful for your continued support and we are truly looking forward to the day you can enjoy wine on the farm again. We'll continue to keep you updated as things progress. ❤️🍷 @ Rocklands Farm Winery

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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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

Crimson clover over and over.... Local farm in Poolesville. Also known as Italian clover.
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!