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Rock Hill Orchard

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Nestled in between Damascus and Mount Airy along Route 27 is where you will find Rock Hill Orchard,
family owned and operated by John and Mary Fendrick.

The Fendrick’s didn’t grow up on a farm as they both were raised in the city. They were however, influenced
by their parents to be backyard vegetable growers. These lessons in growing vegetables served to stir
their passion to learn more about farming. John and Mary have now been farming for more than 17 years.
They initially focused on breeding good quality Guernsey cows on the farm they owned in Germantown.
As the size of their herd grew they needed additional farmland to support their milk cows and to expand
their operation to include a milking parlor and creamery. In 2010, Richard and Nancy Biggs, former owners
of Rock Hill Orchard, decided to retire from farming and placed the orchard up for sale.  John and Mary
saw this as a great opportunity to expand their dairy operation.

Rock Hill Orchard provided sufficient acreage to graze their herd of Guernsey’s as well as a viable orchard and vegetable operation. Products produced on the farm include Grade A bottled milk from their grass fed cows,
their own brand of ice cream, apples, peaches, sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, and squash.  
They also sell flowers and herbs, blackberries, and pumpkins. They recently started to produce more exotic
crops like ginger plants, imported from Hawaii.

Mary said what makes Rock Hill Orchard special is while many farms today specialize in certain types of crop
or animal production, Rock Hill Orchard has the dairy component known as Woodbourne Creamery. The
creamery was established in 2013 and it was the first new dairy in Montgomery County in over sixty years and
it is also the first all pasture robotic milking parlor in North America!  They are licensed as a Grade A dairy and processing facility and are selling their Golden Guernsey Creamline white or chocolate milk and ice cream
at the market. They are currently testing for cheese production that they hope to make available soon and in
the near future they plan on starting grass fed beef production.

Mary is very passionate about farming, she says it is really satisfying to raise quality food and it provides her
the opportunity to get know her customers in the community. Mary also has a great love for raising livestock. 
She says “each animal has their own name and we provide excellent care for them.”  She continues “and
besides who couldn’t fall in love with the cute baby calves!”  Mary says it’s very satisfying seeing them grow
right before her very eyes.

Like most farmers say, farming is a great way to learn about life.  For Mary farming has taught her “to not
stress over what I cannot control, but rather work with what Mother Nature gives you and be flexible and have patience”.  Farming is very important to her because “while it takes a lot of work to grow nutritious food, no
one can live without it”.  Mary continued “and besides, in my opinion farming is still way better than sitting in
front of a computer all day”.

Visit Rock Hill Orchard during the Farm Tour Weekend as they offer hayride tours of the farm and have their beekeeper on site to discuss the importance bees are for crop production. The Orchard will also host special events throughout the growing season. Some of these events include the fall “pumpkin chunkin” and the
premier of a brand new corn maze. The Orchard also hosts on the first Saturday of the month an open
house for those that would like to tour the dairy and the creamery.  Please check their website http://www.rockhillorchard.com/ for more information about product availability, their events and for the specific dates for the first Saturday of the month tours.   The farm market is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 5pm.
We hope you will stop by and visit with John and Mary on Farm Tour weekend and enjoy the quality agricultural products produced from their farm.




 


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

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