Montgomery County Maryland Agriculture and Horticulture

Montgomery County Maryland Agriculture and Horticulture


on a recent trip to my hometown a family
friend told me about the agricultural history farm she does volunteer work
there it sounded pretty cool so I decided to go take a look and let me
just tell you I found myself just 45 minutes outside of the nation’s capital
surrounded by rolling green hills and Shakespearean Gardens I was in the
suburban countryside if you leave to see in head north you
will enter Montgomery County Maryland it’s one in the nation’s capital
wealthiest metropolitan suburbs it’s home to the National Institute of Health
the FDA with the current population at a little over 1 million and still growing
it’s also hard to imagine that’s home to 540 working farms 350 horticultural
businesses and over 10,000 horses grazing about but it’s all true all
these three components we have about 287 million dollars a year that’s
contributed to the county’s economy jeremy chris is the director of the
office of agriculture for Montgomery County he says that the horticulture
industry is booming there’s a huge need for trees and shrubs and flowers that
are planted in the yards of the residents not to mention office
buildings and schools currently there are 350 horticultural businesses in the
county that employ more than 7,000 people we also have a huge equestrian
community in the county were right currently second in the state with the
total number of horses the equine community in Maryland has been thriving
since I was little currently there are whopping 783 horse
ponds in the county in 2003 we were the first jurisdiction in the state of
Maryland to change our definition of agriculture to include both horses and
equestrian facilities the majority of farms in the county are cash crane
operations with an equine industry that is so strong the benefits are enormous
they need to eat so the farmers will be growing all types of hay this is the
agriculture history farm park in Gaithersburg Maryland the farms at South
moncaster road on 455 acres it’s a place that stimulates the senses and a truly
rural atmosphere their magnificent flower gardens home to honey bees and
butterflies there is also a master Gardener program designed for aspiring
horticulturist the park also serves as the resource hub for farmers and
horticulturist in the county if a farmer has an erosion problem we can go out and
assess the field we can make recommendations on how to correct the
erosion problem Montgomery County has been active in farmland preservation for
over 30 years in 1980 the county spearheaded a major movement in farmland
conservation when it created a 93 thousand acre agriculture reserve for
farming it’s important about our farmland preservation programs is that
they preserve farmland for future food and fiber production and they minimize
the potential for development the program has been characterized as the
most famous most studied and most emulated program of its kind in the
United States

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