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Red Wiggler Community Farm

Located along Maryland Route 27 between Germantown and Damascus is Red Wiggler Community Farm. It was founded by
Woody Woodroof in 1996.  While Woody began his career as a farmer with no experience, through trial and error, and learning
all he could about growing food, he learned how to farm and now has over 21 years of farming experience. 

The main goal of the Red Wiggler Community Farm is to provide meaningful employment for adults with developmental disabilities
and educational experiences through a unique agriculture program that uses organic and minimal input of agricultural practices.  “Here
at Red Wiggler, we promote a sustainable farming operation where people with and without developmental disabilities come together to
work, learn and grow healthy food” explains Woody. 
 

Their program focuses on building a vocational and educational structure that identifies and expands the capabilities of their clients.
In 2005, Red Wiggler Community Farm moved its base of operations from Wildcat Springs Farm to Ovid Hazen Wells Park in the
vicinity of Germantown, Clarksburg and Damascus.

Red Wiggler Community Farm is the oldest Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) operation in the County and is the 2nd
continuously running CSA in the State.  What is unique about this operation is that a CSA provides members an opportunity to purchase
shares in the crops harvested.  During the growing season, the CSA member receives a portion of what is grown or harvested that week
and throughout the growing season.  Red Wiggler has three cycles during the year for which shares can be purchased: spring, summer,
and fall.  Woody explains “by March of any given year, we typically have sold all the shares that are available”.  Red Wiggler Community
Farm currently has about 120 CSA members.  While the consideration of priority is given first to current members, there are opportunities
for new members to join the CSA. In addition to the CSA about 30% of the total yield of crops are supplied to Agencies that serve low
income county residents including Manna Food Center, The Arc of Montgomery County, Community Support Services and The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes to name a few.

While Woody and his team farms about 15 acres, the land that is in production is carefully managed to maximize space and yield potential. 
“We produce an assortment of mixed vegetables” explains Woody. The farm produces Asian greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers,
eggplants, green beans, kale, collard, and many more. “We grow over 50 different crops here on the farm which provides a variety of
products throughout the growing season for our members” Woody explains.   Red Wiggler works very closely with the local school system
and through the farm, it provides opportunities for students to learn and the farmer’s to teach. “Classes and youth groups come out to the
farm throughout the year, and this provides us an opportunity to educate, and mentor both special education and typically developing
students in a very meaningful and fulfilling way”.  The farm impacts over 600 students annually.

Woody explains that farming is hard work but it is rewarding and enjoyable because every day presents new challenges and opportunities
to learn.  “Each day is different and I love the variety of the work, but more importantly, farming teaches discipline as well as values
and responsibility that comes when your grow food for people to eat” says Woody. There is nothing more rewarding than growing food to
feed people, you are doing something that is very meaningful and makes you appreciate the value of diversity” explains Woody.  “I don’t just
mean cultural and ethnic diversity but diversity in the agricultural products we produce” Woody continued.

Woody became a farmer because he wanted to do something that would leave a positive imprint on society, effect change and impact
others’ lives in a very positive way. Woody explained “we all need to eat, we all need to be healthy and eat well and the Red Wiggler
Community Farm can help to address these needs”.

While the Red Wiggler Community Farm will only be opened on Saturday of the Farm Tour, they are very anxious to demonstrate what
they do on the farm.  “We really hope you choose to visit us on Farm Tour Saturday, we like to think that here at Red Wiggler, we are
“putting the tour in the farm tour, not solely attempting to sell you our crops” Woody explains.   On Farm Tour Saturday, Red Wiggler
will be conducting tours of the operation demonstrating how they farm and how the CSA operates.  Red Wiggler farm is normally not
opened to the public; however farm visits can be arranged by calling ahead for an appointment.   “You can also visit us on our Facebook
page or by accessing our website at  www.redwiggler.org.

“Montgomery County is home to over a million residents and most people do not know that organic farming is happening right here in
the County” says Woody   “I see the Farm Tour as a great way to introduce residents to the Ag Reserve and to see that farming is alive and
well here in the County.” Woody says. 

 

If you want to learn more about Red Wiggler Community Farm, please visit their website which is www.redwiggler.org.

Return to the Farm Tour and Harvest Sale homepage
 
 








 

The Office of Agriculture · 18410 Muncaster Road · Derwood, Md 20855
Phone: 301-590-2823 · Fax: 301-590-2839

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