My Favorite Farm Field Trip

A few years back, I did a bit of research on local farms and came across Fox Hollow. They sounded vaguely organic. I was intrigued. I announced to the family that we were taking a field trip. As we pulled into the tiny parking area, my husband was like, this is our big field trip? I think he was expecting Butler’s Orchard – but no, this is definitely smaller. It is a home. A family lives there. With a farm store on the side of their house, and fields out back. Well, I said, we’re here and we’re checking it out. And we’ve been huge fans ever since.

Because, you see, while Bethesda is great and all, we’re a bit lacking in the 4-H department. I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking of meat as just a blobby, shrink-wrapped product that mysteriously appears in the grocery store along with other mysterious items like crackers and sodas and year-round asparagus. Meat comes from an animal. And if you’re going to consume it, I think it’s smart (and kind) to give some thought as to how that animal lived. Ignorance breeds factory farms. So I like to drag my children out to real farms from time to time. Darn it, they need to see where food comes from. (And then they can be appropriately appalled when they learn what really goes down with most of the industrial food system … but that’s a topic for another day.)

So here’s the lowdown: Farmers Stephanie and Vince Scuderi and their daughter have sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, and pigs, raised as humanely and naturally as you could hope for. Fresh vegetables in season, grown right there and harvested just before purchase. Eggs laid that morning. Homemade bread that’s baked three-quarters of the way and then frozen, so you can pop it into your oven and finish it off – delicious. Homemade pies. Goat cheese made by a friend and neighboring farmer (doesn’t that sound like an intriguing field trip? Hmm, keep reading …) And lots of other seasonal, local products.

Now, if you’ve got kids (the human kind, not the goat kind), this is a (small) field trip worth taking. In more temperate weather, friendly goats will come running up to the fence to enjoy freshly plucked blades of grass offered by little hands. Over by the chicken coop, happy, free-range chickens peck around your feet – now that is thrilling for a toddler! Then back up at the farm store, the kids can buy honey sticks while you check out the various food offerings and take advantage of the ability to ask the actual farmer how everything was grown/raised/prepared. It’s good to feel connected to your food.

So before we go any farther, stop right now and either ”like” them on Facebook or go to their website and sign up for email updates. Because Stephanie’s Facebook updates will make you smile. Because it’s good to know when they’ve got bread, or pie, or Thanksgiving turkeys, or Easter hams, or whatever else available. And because they have events that you will want to attend. Like an open house. Or a sheep shearing. Or … new babies!

Yes, this past weekend the friends of Fox Hollow were invited to come meet the kids! As in, the baby goats. (That is what inspired this long overdue ode to Fox Hollow.) Oh, they were sooooo cute. They’ve got names – because, of course, they’re loved. They’re being raised for meat, but during their time here they are definitely loved.

The kids got their fuzzy animal fix. I got my farm fix. We picked up some meats, bread, and eggs. We managed to remind the children that the food we eat comes from a farm, not a grocery store. Yet another fun field trip to Fox Hollow (say that five times fast). But we’re not done with farm trips - oh no, we’re not done. This coming weekend, we’ll be checking out the new farm store at Cherry Glen Farm – home of the goat cheese we’ve been eating for the past few years. It’s the grand opening. And there will be goats. Stay tuned …

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1 comment to My Favorite Farm Field Trip

  • I can’t agree with you more! What a great discovery! I love finding and supporting local family farms – knowing who to buy eggs from, etc. You really see the care and thought into life – and being connected. Check out this great lecture by Williams prof Peter Singer on “what’s your eating ethics?” He talks about factory farms vs small family farms

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