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.

Operating as usual

7:30 tonight - join us for an hour on zoom for the Ride for the Reserve route reveal. We'll cover each route 8-62 mi, pl...
09/03/2020
Ride for Reserve

7:30 tonight - join us for an hour on zoom for the Ride for the Reserve route reveal. We'll cover each route 8-62 mi, plus all the stops. Registered and non registered riders welcome! https://bit.ly/3jFpqAf

Join us September 12-27 for Ride for the Reserve-Virtual Edition!

Reminder: Tomorrow at 7:30pm, our Reserve Ride Route Reveal on Zoom. A few hills, lots of thrills, plus a look at the st...
09/02/2020
Join us for Ag Reserve Bike Route Reveals 9/3 and 9/9

Reminder: Tomorrow at 7:30pm, our Reserve Ride Route Reveal on Zoom. A few hills, lots of thrills, plus a look at the stops along the way on routes from 8-62 mi. Join us!

Also - Your Voice Needed On Commercial Solar on Farmland/Forests ‌ Ride for the Reserve 2020 registration is open! This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Montgomery County's treasured Ag Reserve! We

09/02/2020
Summer’s symphony in the Reserve!

Where crop fields and wildflowers meet... pollinators abound... sound on.

Montgomery’s Agricultural and Open Space Reserve hosts life... biodiversity. Let’s steward this land carefully.

While we can't all be together for the Ride for the Reserve this year - before you head out join us for the Zoom Route R...
09/01/2020
Join us for Ag Reserve Bike Route Reveals 9/3 and 9/9

While we can't all be together for the Ride for the Reserve this year - before you head out join us for the Zoom Route Reveal where we break down each (all new!) route from 8-62mi. 9/3 7:30 pm

Also - Your Voice Needed On Commercial Solar on Farmland/Forests ‌ Ride for the Reserve 2020 registration is open! This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Montgomery County's treasured Ag Reserve! We

Join us for Ag Reserve Bike Route Reveals 9/3 at 7:30 on Zoom. We'll cover all the routes from 8-62 mi plus stops to vis...
09/01/2020
Join us for Ag Reserve Bike Route Reveals 9/3 and 9/9

Join us for Ag Reserve Bike Route Reveals 9/3 at 7:30 on Zoom. We'll cover all the routes from 8-62 mi plus stops to visit. Plus - your voice needed: 3 sq mi of commercial solar proposed on prodctive farmland w/ no protections for forests.

Also - Your Voice Needed On Commercial Solar on Farmland/Forests ‌ Ride for the Reserve 2020 registration is open! This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Montgomery County's treasured Ag Reserve! We

📍URGENT- Action needed: County Council is  thus far not addressing the  broad and growing concern with both content and ...
08/31/2020

📍URGENT- Action needed: County Council is thus far not addressing the broad and growing concern with both content and process of the proposed zoning change that will develop as many as 150 separate 2mg solar facilities on green fields/farmland in the Reserve... to start.
See:
These images underscore one aspect of the widely held trepidation:
Over 3 acres of trees... cleared and developed for solar facility - signed off by the County. Research revealed that no forest mitigation was required for the project... None. Was the trade off a net positive?
How can a linear approach of deploying solar wherever solve a complex systems issue and provide true climate change resilience? Renewable energy must be pursued but with care in MC ... as recommended by the County’s Climate Change Task Force. Protecting forests, productive farm soils and water resources should be central to our plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation... for resilience.

Quick Action and more:

http://www.mocoalliance.org/news/commercial-solar-proposal-in-the-reserve-moves-toward-the-county-council

http://www.mocoalliance.org/news/are-forests-protected-in-siting-of-commercial-solar

Bloomin’ at Homestead Farm!Lovely lens of Susan Early Petro
08/28/2020

Bloomin’ at Homestead Farm!

Lovely lens of Susan Early Petro

Orchard science from your friends at Waters Orchard and Doc Waters Cidery at Waters Orchard this is so cool and also str...
08/28/2020

Orchard science from your friends at Waters Orchard and Doc Waters Cidery at Waters Orchard this is so cool and also strangely beautiful.

Every year as our apples start to ripen we do an iodine starch test to see if the starches have turned to sugar yet. If they turn black in iodine they aren't ready yet. If they stay yellow they are ready to harvest. We like to use the ripest apples for our cider to develop the best flavor possible.

📍Action needed - Commercial Solar on productive farmland soils in the Agricultural Reserve? Quick action - Linked below....
08/27/2020

📍Action needed - Commercial Solar on productive farmland soils in the Agricultural Reserve? Quick action - Linked below. 📍

A pause from our celebration of the Reserve’s 40th to bring your attention to an issue of critical importance. In 2019 farm bankruptcies rose nationwide by 20%. 20% - before the pandemic hit.
Depression and suicides have risen, though CDC has been slow to gather and document these numbers.
And here in Montgomery County, our own County Council is preparing to add to farmer’s challenges with zoning change (ZTA 20-01) to bolster the bottom line of solar industry that seeks more affordable green fields for their facilities - in our nationally recognized agricultural and open space reserve. Farmers, here and elsewhere, operate on thin margins. Setting up a competition for farm acreage with the solar industry will have unintended consequences.

MCA, through our Land Link program, has been sussessful in helping new and expanding farmers get on the land here through leases with landowners. http://www.mocoalliance.org/land-link.html
The numbers of farmers seeking land to grow our region’s food and fiber is, thankfully, growing. But how can we compete with the energy industry in the one place preserved by master plan for agriculture. The per acre farm leases range from $60-130/year. We gather that the solar industry is offering $1200 per acre/year... or more.

Be clear... the zoning text amendment being pushed, during this pandemic, does not require that farming continue on the acreage leased to solar companies... it simply says that it should host pollinators or “be suitable for grazing.”
MCA supports increasing the amount of farm generated renewable energy from the current 120% to 200% - meaning that a farmer can produce the energy needed by the farm and the same amount more to feed into the power grid. This puts income into a working farm and promotes our County’s goal of meeting lower carbon emissions. The key is that this provision supports the master planned purpose of the Reserve, as opposed to potentially undermining it.

How we advance solar, whether on structure, degraded lands, pavement or ground mounted here in MC... matters. ZTA 20-01 represents a linear approach that misses the need to address the complexity of climate change mitigation and adaptation. We share a goal in addressing climate change but call for more and deeper thought in advancing action.

TAKE ACTION (thank you!) - and update:

http://www.mocoalliance.org/news/commercial-solar-proposal-in-the-reserve-moves-toward-the-county-council

The theme... your blue neighbors. First to Name them all gets  a free blue, 100% soft cotton 40th anniversary of the Res...
08/25/2020

The theme... your blue neighbors. First to Name them all gets a free blue, 100% soft cotton 40th anniversary of the Reserve tee! See comments for pic. Hint: each has “blue” in the name😉

Photos from the magnificent lens of Susan Petro.

08/24/2020
Zwift - First Ride on France Map - R.G.V. Route - Part 1

What do the Tour de France and the Ag Reserve have in common? You can bike on part of the route for the tour while supporting the Reserve! If you choose to join us on the online platform Zwift, you'll be riding virtually through the French countryside, the same route that the elite cyclists are doing this year on the Tour de France. Learn more, including a Zoom check in before the ride here-> http://www.mocoalliance.org/ridereserve2017.html https://youtu.be/KxQKD_lxwcQ

Zwift - First Ride on France Map - R.G.V. Route - Part 1

Though the Ride for the Reserve is different this year, we still are supporting our riders. Join us for Zoom Route Revea...
08/23/2020

Though the Ride for the Reserve is different this year, we still are supporting our riders. Join us for Zoom Route Reveals (Reserve rides and Zwift) starting 9/3. We will share the routes (8mi-62mi), highlight the farms to visit and why your support of the Reserve matters. http://ow.ly/3Ev950B6I93

Our Landlinked friends!!
08/23/2020

Our Landlinked friends!!

We are live at the farmers market! Come see us for the freshest locally and Certified Naturally Grown produce!

Poolesville - The Commons!Today...
08/22/2020

Poolesville - The Commons!
Today...

There are three ways to Ride the Reserve this Fall - in the Reserve, on your own elsewhere or even riding on virtual pla...
08/18/2020
Ride for the Reserve Registration is Live!

There are three ways to Ride the Reserve this Fall - in the Reserve, on your own elsewhere or even riding on virtual platform Zwift. No matter your choice you are supporting local farms- Join us!

From the good folk at Thanksgiving Farm.
08/18/2020

From the good folk at Thanksgiving Farm.

Hard to believe that it is time for fall CSAs but here we are. The Farm at Our House has some spots. Check out our websi...
08/17/2020
Fall CSA 2020 Application - We are accepting new applications for the fall season.

Hard to believe that it is time for fall CSAs but here we are. The Farm at Our House has some spots. Check out our website for tons more farms to find the CSA that fits you best. #whosyourfarmer

Thanks for applying to be a member of our CSA! Our members are essential to the success of our farm and job training program. This season we are offering two pick up locations. Spots are limited. To join the 2020 Farm at Our House CSA: Step 1. Complete and submit this form. We will get back to you t...

Photos from Montgomery Parks:Recent flood damage at Little Seneca Lake... regional backup drinking water supply for 4.3 ...
08/15/2020

Photos from Montgomery Parks:
Recent flood damage at Little Seneca Lake... regional backup drinking water supply for 4.3 million.
Precipitation patterns have changed bringing increasingly high volume and velocity rain events.
MCA has joined with Friends of Ten Mile Creek and partners to ask the County to embark in a more proactive water quality protection plan, including parkland acquisition, closing developer advantaged loopholes, and reforestation.

🌳Great news from the Reserve!MCA’s Re Leaf the Reserve program, a part of ReForest Montgomery, is forging ahead with pla...
08/15/2020

🌳Great news from the Reserve!
MCA’s Re Leaf the Reserve program, a part of ReForest Montgomery, is forging ahead with planting more acres in stream corridors with native tree species.
We are really proud of our team: Carole Bergmann is program chair and Amy Stanbury Seely (Garth Seely and Gardens by Garth) is our contractor.
Trees from Maryland nursery - Schott’s Nursery.
Kristen Taddei is our partner at MCMNCPP.
Healthy native forests need to be established where we can and carefully stewarded.

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

https://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/environment/forest-conservation-and-trees/reforest-montgomery/

See pg 45 for story of the pilot:
https://view.joomag.com/p-l-e-n-t-y-summer-2019-plenty-summer-2019-joomag-copy/0805629001560084773?short

08/14/2020
Whip-poor-will Song

Meet yer elusive, sweet singing neighbor... the Whippoorwill. Have you heard them lately?

🌳Breeds in rich moist woodlands, deciduous or mixed... their numbers here have, sadly, greatly declined. They forage for insects at night... with their mouths wide open... swallowing their meal whole.
Local birder Pete Given writes:

During the day they sleep either on the ground or on a horizontal branch. While it is nearly impossible to see them on the ground, it is possible to see them on a tree branch. On a horizontal branch look for a large bump on the limb. Look for the eyes or the tail or some other feature that will give away the identification. Whippoorwills range throughout the eastern United States and just a bit of Canada. They breed in the northern part of that range and migrate to the southern part in the fall. They prefer deciduous forests that also have open meadows. When I used to live alongside Sugarloaf Mountain in Frederick County, MD more than 40 years ago, Whippoorwills were out every night constantly singing. If you appreciate birds, its song can be very relaxing on a summer evening. Their numbers are in decline, possibly because of loss of habitat, possibly because of declines in the insect population, and possibly because of predation by feral cats and dogs. Whatever the reason, their conservation status has been moved to “near threatened”.

Eastern Whip-poor-will, which is named for its call, is harder to hear these days: The nocturnal birds are experiencing steep declines in parts of their Nort...

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said that early estimates indicate that 10 million acres, or nearly a third of the state's crop l...
08/14/2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said that early estimates indicate that 10 million acres, or nearly a third of the state's crop land was damaged by a powerful derecho packing 100 mph winds. In addition, tens of millions of bushels of grain that were stored at co-ops and on farms were damaged or destroyed as bins blew away.

Folks, including some Montgomery County electeds, seem to be operating under the premise that our region’s food system will be adequately supplied from elsewhere... so keeping Agricultural Reserve land in farming and supporting new and expanding farms here is not really front burner stuff.
We strongly beg to differ.

(Photo by Daniel Acker/Getty Images)

Local onions...Not subject to current recall due to listeria.Local farms made possible by the creation of the Agricultur...
08/12/2020

Local onions...
Not subject to current recall due to listeria.

Local farms made possible by the creation of the Agricultural Reserve 40 years ago - A Master Plan for the preservation of farming in bustling Montgomery County, whose purpose grows in importance with each passing year.

Farmer Jared came from Massachusetts to Montgomery County... to farm... organically. Through MCA’s Land Link program he ...
08/12/2020

Farmer Jared came from Massachusetts to Montgomery County... to farm... organically. Through MCA’s Land Link program he was paired with land and a place to live through lease with an Ag Reserve family. In this first year, Jared has a CSA and sells at local farm markets. He also donates hundreds of pounds to produce to local food banks. Ensuring that the next generation of farmers gains access to affordable land and mentoring here is critical to establishing a strong and equitable local food system.

https://wildflowerfarmcsa.com

http://www.mocolandlink.org

This. Coming together. Strength of strong rural community.
08/12/2020

This. Coming together. Strength of strong rural community.

July and August are “tough” months for (Maryland) farmers. Not only does the heat make physical labor harder, it also creates a “scarcity” of produce, especially leafy vegetables, and increases the work that needs to be done. So, you can imagine how happy we felt when Thea and Sophia (from Potomac Vegetable Farms) came to the farm to help us out today! These ladies, just like Robin who helped last week were amazing!
We are also grateful to our dear supporter and customer Alexa! Alexa has been a customer of Dodo Farms since our first season, not only does she belong to our CSA, she also orders produce from us on behalf of her neighbors every single week.
Thank you to these incredible women who make Dodo Farms great! We are truly grateful for your support.

The butterflies are here!Spicebush Swallowtails on Cardinal Flower.Elizabeth Miller’s nice shot!
08/11/2020

The butterflies are here!
Spicebush Swallowtails on Cardinal Flower.

Elizabeth Miller’s nice shot!

Rock Hill Orchard is elevating the ice cream game, here to shake up your little vanilla world. Check them out in Mt. Air...
08/10/2020

Rock Hill Orchard is elevating the ice cream game, here to shake up your little vanilla world. Check them out in Mt. Airy before summer ends.

Our pop-up flavor this weekend....
Midnight Matcha Mango
This beautiful blue ice cream is made from organic Buterfly Pea Flower tea that is naturally blue, caffeine free and high in antioxidants. If you add citrus to it, it will turn purple.

Mixed in are bursting boba filled with mango juice.

If you try it, let us know what you think.
#blueicecream

Our friend... fungus.Nice shot! Molly Mo
08/10/2020

Our friend... fungus.

Nice shot! Molly Mo

08/09/2020

I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.
🌿🍃🌱🌳
Happy 86th Wendell Berry!

📍UPDATE- LOCATED and being reunited with family.Eyes out...
08/08/2020
Silver Alert Issued for Man Missing from Poolesville

📍UPDATE- LOCATED and being reunited with family.

Eyes out...

The Montgomery County Department of Police is asking for the public’s help in locating a man missing from Poolesville. A Silver Alert has been activated for 72-year-old Richard Anthony Darling.

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


Comments

Hi! Cozzi Family Farm Farmer's Market is growing, and looking for more produce vendors! The more the merrier! We are looking for Organic, IPM produce. Many of our vendors are super small scale, and we would love to branch out!! We realize that a lot of us took a hit to our crops due to the weather. Right now are are located in Poolesville, on Saturdays we are on Whalen Commons, and Sundays we are behind Bassetts. We have a good presence, and we are growing every week. We do not require you to be there both days, or every week. We love variety, and supporting as many vendors as we possibly can.
Still ISO another produce vendor! Saturdays ❤️ Come try us out tomm! Send me a message.
Calling all produce farmers! Our market is looking to add produce vendors! ❤️ send me a PM
Cozzi Family Farm started off as a small husband and wife operation. They had no idea if they would ever make it in Maryland... Well, not only did CFF make it, starting off with just eggs, they branched into creating the first of it's kind, farmer's market cooperative in Poolesville, MD. Filling a much needed void, creating income for local producers, and providing a safe, enjoyable space to shop locally!!! CFF could NOT have come this far without Caroline and Kristina. CFF was able to connect with other vendors though Land Link!! CFF was also able to move to an INCREDIBLE space, thanks to Land link. Stop on by so we can share our love!!
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.