Save Nick’s Organic Farm

By Mark T. Mitchell for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

A farm in Montgomery County, MD may be shut down to build soccer fields. Will the community defend the farm?

Nick Maravell has farmed the land on Brickyard Rd. in Potomac for 30 years. He has farmed it organically and sustainably, benefiting the local community, consumers and other farmers in the county, and our environment, including the Chesapeake Bay. He has farmed so well that in September of 2010, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Mr. Maravell to the prestigious National Organic Standards Board.

Nick’s Organic Farm is a heritage farm, one of the few organic farms in our county and the only one to produce genuine organic seed. And now the Montgomery County government wants to destroy it.

Earlier this year, the Montgomery County School Board, which owns the land, gave Nick three weeks notice that they intended to cancel his lease, and give the lease to the county government in order to build… soccer fields. The deal was made with no public or community input.

We support sports and youth sports in particular. But we are appalled that the Montgomery County government would destroy a 30 year old organic farm – and the only one in the county producing organic seed – in order to construct the county’s 502nd and 503rd soccer fields.

We do not intend to let this happen. Our vision for the farm is a down-County educational anchor to provide opportunities for school children and adults to learn about local food and agriculture, and their relationship to the soil and water that sustains us. But we need your help to make this vision happen.

If you care about the environment, healthy local food, and organic, sustainable agriculture, we need you to join our effort. We need to demonstrate to the Montgomery County government that the citizens of this county value organic, sustainable agriculture, and we refuse to see it destroyed because of back room political deals.

Visit the website for more information.

h/t Adam Nicholson


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