Information on Nick's Organic Farming at the Brickyard Road Property in Potomac
Leased Organic Land Where Nick Has Farmed For 31 Years To Be Turned Into Ball Fields
View Sophia Maravell, Nick Maravell's daughter, speaking about the farm at a meeting about the Brickyard Road School Site at Potomac Elementary School on April 4, 2011:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact your legislators and local news outlets (through letters to the editor)! This is extremely helpful. For email addresses and phone numbers of legislators and news organizations, click here.
Click here to see a sample letter to County Executive Isiah Leggett supporting the creation of a County Food & Agriculture Policy Council, with Nick's Organic Farm as a down-County anchor. Feel free to use the text of this letter, if you wish.
Sign the petition started by Montgomery Countryside Alliance called "Turn a 30-year-old Organic Farm in Maryland into a Food Education Hub, Not Soccer Fields" by clicking here.
TO HEAR THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE'S RECENT COMMENTS: On March 23, County Executive Isiah Leggett commented on the Brickyard Road property at a community meeting in Kensington. To see his remarks on YouTube, go to minutes 29:50 to 32:00 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRzedk7LthE.
LETTERS: For some of the letters people have written in support of Nick and organic farmland on the Brickyard Road property, please scroll down the page.
TESTIMONY: For public testimony in support of organic farmland on the Brickyard Road property, delievered at the Montgomery County School Board meeting on March 8, 2011, click on the links (names) below.
"Please determine if there is real need for ball fields on this site; balance the provision of ball fields against the benefits of established, rich, organic farmland; and take the time to consult the community affected by this proposed change." -- Burnworth
"Montgomery Countryside Alliance has been working with the County on their stated goal of strengthening our local food system and getting more new farmers started on the ground. Current and future farmers are watching the proceedings today very closely." -- Bostick
"How much oversight will there be? How well will drainage be supervised? What will happen to our wells if the renter decides to add synthetic turf to maximize playing time. How will traffic be handled on narrow Brickyard Road – especially if tournaments are scheduled. How well will trash be picked up." -- Cowles
"This site is unique for organic seed production because it is miles away from conventional farms whose corn and soybean fields could contaminate the seed crop with their airborne GMO (genetically modified organisms) pollen. GMO contamination is becoming a serious problem in organics." -- Horst
"If you were a neighbor or a landlord or a son of a landlord and not a faceless government organization, you would be embarrassed about how this has been handled. You would have a 31 year relationship with Nick and integrity might force you to discuss plans with such a renter." -- Freedman
"While I understand the allure of building playing fields for the children (I myself had two boys grow up playing on existing fields in MC), I strongly believe that maintaining agricultural uses in MC, especially this unique Organic agricultural use, is critical for our children." -- Kurth
"Traditionally in this County, farmers have been the stewards of these vacant sites with the understanding that they could be reclaimed by the school system at any time for school construction. While this site is not slated for school construction, I have been informed just a few days ago that I would not be able to renew my lease. So the tradition has been broken." -- Maravell
"The Board of Education may not be aware what a magnificent treasure the soil on Nick’s farm is. Good soil is like gold! The Agricultural Research center in Beltsville has even commented on the quality of Nick’s soil. You may not realize how much time it takes to build healthy soil. One farmer told me it took him 10 years to restore the soil fertility on land that previously had pesticides. Nick’s soil is rich, fertile soil. The richer the soil is, the more nutritious the crops, the larger the harvest, and the more pest and drought resistant." -- Schnoor
"The impacts of six to seven soccer fields, which require 60 parking spaces each, on this residential neighborhood and its watershed raise significant compatibility issues. We respectfully urge you to take a closer look at this proposed transfer of land use and extend Mr. Maravell’s lease while the issues of impacts are being studied." -- Milmoe
"Montgomery County happens to have the perfect location for a non-GMO farm, with a Nationally recognized Farm already on it ~ miles from any other farm that may be using GMO materials, and it seems that the BOE wants to destroy that." -- Fusco
Chip Smallwood, farmer
No written testimony is available at this time.
Keith Ohlinger, farmer
No written testimony is available at this time.
To read some of the letters people have sent to local officials in support of Nick and organic farmland on the Brickyard Road property, click on the hyperlinks (names) below:
Diana Conway, President of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Councilman (in Potomac Almanac, March 10, 2011)