What do “Rent-a-Chick,” “Holistic Agriculture,” “Award-Winning Wines” and “Proud Hokie Fans” all have in common? All can be found alive and thriving at Rocklands Farm (www.rocklandsfarmmd.com). Nestled in 34 scenic acres, near the Potomac River just thirty minutes from Washington DC in Montgomery County Maryland’s Agricultural Reserve, lies a delightful farm that aims to introduce people in the DMV to a unique, local farm experience.
Rocklands Farm was founded in 2009 by three friends who met while studying at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. They shared a vision of turning a historic property into a living classroom where the young and young-at-heart could experience agriculture in its many manifestations. Today the team has grown, but still is led by millennials in their 20s and 30s, passionate in their commitment to Holistic Agriculture, or “a farming strategy where the economic, social, and environmental elements are equally important for agricultural sustainability.” As diverse, working farm and vineyard, their product offerings range from pasture-raised meats (beef, pork, lamb, chicken), free range eggs, sustainably grown produce delivered through a Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program, fresh flowers to their most recent venture, viticulture and wine-making. As co-founder Shawn Eubank explains, “We provide a small picture into the world of holistic agriculture. Guests can see where their meat is raised, their produce grown and even where their wine is made. We want all to leave with a special experience and great memories.”
From the start, growing Rocklands Farm has been a labor of love….and an education for both the founders and surrounding community. Learning and experience continue to be themes throughout the many Farm operations. They regularly host school groups seeking to learn more about local agriculture; families who join in the “Weed and Feed” or summer “Tail Gating” parties; Cellar Club members who assist winemaker, TJ Fleming, for a day or taste handcrafted wines straight from their aging barrels; or for anyone who loves animals, their “Rent-a-Chick” program allows you to care for a fuzzy chick for a week around Easter time. “We want to demystify agriculture and give people the opportunity to have a “circle of life” experience through what we do at the Farm,” explains Eubank.
In addition to the educational experiences they provide, including a great summer camp for kids, Rocklands Farm is committed to being an active member of the local community in a multitude of ways. They host monthly farm dinners throughout the summer at various locations on the Farm. You can find their wine at Farmer’s Markets in downtown Silver Spring on Saturdays and Olney on Sundays. Whenever possible, they source additional grapes for their wine production from Maryland vineyards. And, probably the most fun, they receive donations of spent grains from two DC breweries that become special treats for the pigs. (Hear more about it here- http://tinyurl.com/q5hmwgw.)
So the next time you are looking to slow down and really smell the flowers, taste farm-fresh produce or imbibe some fantastic wine, make your way to Rocklands Farm. Tell them that Laura sent you!
Do you know a local business that produces something great in the metro DC area? Tell Laura! @LocalwithLaura or LocalwithLaura@gmail.com