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“Our Local Bounty” Farm Market Comes to Croom, MD

August 1, 2010

Jane Young – Agri-Social Entrepreneur: Jane, our neighbor, is not a farmer; she works for the Department of Education – commutes to Washington – and is the mother of two young boys. She is a member of the historic St. Thomas Episcopal Church in the heart of Croom. (See their website). Out of the blue, Jane announced that there was going to be a farm market on the grounds of St. Thomas Church every Saturday. She got the blessing from the Church authorities and lined up a number of local farmers to sell their produce. She got the word out which spread like wildfire. After about 6 weeks, “Our Local Bounty” (OLB) is not only a place to buy freshly grown tomatoes, corn, watermelon and freshly baked goods but to chat with your neighbors and meet new friends. Jane has a big vision. For example, two weeks ago, she arranged for one of our “Croomites” to hold a free Yoga Class at the Saturday market. Hands on pottery demo coming soon. What a wonderful mix of generations.


Jane Hodgdon Young, Farm Market-Miester. Our Local Bounty, Croom, MD


For those of you who don’t know: Croom, is located in a beautiful rural area of southern Maryland, part of the Patuxent River watershed – and only 28 miles from the Capitol building in Washington, DC.  My wife Claudia and I moved here some 20 years ago and there are many other former urbanites here who enjoy the more bucolic life.

Tobacco used to be king here quite profitable to grow. Of course, that went up in smoke — the state bought out the allotments more than a decade ago. The fields are now in other crops: corn, soy beans, and hay (the latter for the many horse-steads in the area). Some of the old farms are now subdivisions where developers were able to get  variances from the rural tier zoning.  (The  “monster mansions” bubble crashed here in 2007/2008.)


Thanks to St. Thomas Church


But something else is beginning to happen out here: a growing number of rural Marylanders  are beginning to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers, poultry, beef and pork for the local and metropolitan markets.  Much of the stuff is organic or with minimal chemical pesticides and fertilizers. A number of vineyards have sprung and there are a bunch of bee keepers as well.

Yet it’s not just about the tomatoes.  I believe that Jane intuitively perceived the deep personal, spiritual and social connection between the land, food, and people — between farmer and consumer and that this connection can serve as a foundation for the strengthening of community. We thank her for insight, leadership and hard work. To she what she has to say click on:  Jane Hodgdon Young. As Jane says there are many other players:

The Turners: As shown below, you always count on the Avis and Andy Turner  to put out a spectacular display of  freshly picked produce. We interviewed their daughter Emily, a college student, home for the summer.  The Turners have been farming in Croom and selling in urban markets for many years. To see the interview click on  (TGIF)



TGIF Blackberries picked an hour before. You can also get their produce at the Hyattsville Farmers Market





Range fed and growing fast at Windy Willows Farm


Windy Willow Farm: If you’re not a vegetarian but want  wholesome, humanely raised meats you should know about Windy Willow Farm.

Here is our interview with Debbie Jones (Click) .

You can get more information go to the Windy Willow Farm Website.

See also Windy Willow customer: Chris Rasmussen and kids.



Scott Hertzberg, Jug Bay Market Farm and CSA


Jug Bay Market Garden: Scott Hertzberg and Tanya Tolchin of Croom started the Jug Bay Market Garden about five years ago. The farm provides freshly picked, local produce to about 80 families in Croom, Washington, DC, Upper Marlboro, and Brandywine. See the Jug Bay Market Garden website.


H & H Produce: Linda and Mike Quattrociocchi retired into a new life — farming. The farm produces a variety of produce including cukes, squash, potatoes (3 kinds), onions, and many other veggies, all freshly picked. To hear what Linda has to say click here.  301 579 2334



Wild and Cultivated Flower Bouquet from Heron There Farm


Claudia Raskin offers Asian Pears, Okra and spectacular flowers


We interviewed a number of happy shoppers; we’ll let them explain why they like Our Local Bounty.

Minerva Sanders knows the difference

Christel Libiot (A must see).

Little guy eats a freshly picked blackberry Shows early signs of the skilled diplomat.

Charlie Arnold (Sorry Charlie that you’re sideways in the video, we are learning how to edit videos). But this one’s very funny.


Susan Spangler's free Yoga class at "Our Local Bounty" Farm Market




Jug Bay Market Garden








Susan’s enterprise is Pilates Plus. See their website.







Ecosystems and their “farm markets.” Readers of this blog know my hypothesis that ecosystems offer many important lessons for our struggling human economies. In nature it’s all about the food. Crows, deer, wasps, and ants are fond of dining at an apple tree, and a myriad of bugs, beetles, bacteria and fungi, prefer an old log. Butterflies, bees, humming birds, moths, dragon flies, and many other pollinators are frequent visitors to a stand of wild flowers – it’s a great place for courtship as well. So it’s not surprising that people like to congregate at farmer’s markets.


Jeff Colburn Croom's Bee Keeper



Jeff Colburn shows hive construction


Jeff Colburn is our local beekeeper. His bees are raised naturally; the hives are  not moved from crop to crop and the bees are allowed to wander and discover the best sources of blooms. These guys pollinate tulip trees, clover, apple trees, cherry trees, etc. They get the nectar, we get really tasty honey. If you want some:













I found this humming-bird like moth (click) fluttering and pollinating our cleomies. HC


For more on nature’s economic lessons, see: The “About” Section (click) and also the post, “Nature avoids monocultures like the plague” (click), and our post on the rebirth of a dying Christmas tree plantation.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. treegoddess permalink
    August 5, 2010 9:04 am

    Great pics! What a wonderful market.


  1. Our Local Bounty Market Celebrates its first season: Nov. 20! « Ekos²

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