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Homestead Farm

 

               A trip to the Poolesville area would not be complete without a visit to Homestead Farm.  The farm is owned and operated by
     Ben and Maureen Allnutt along with their son’s Ian and Russ.  The Allnutt family has farmed in Montgomery County, Maryland
     since 1763 when James Allnutt purchased 746 acres by the Potomac River.  Today, Homestead Farm consists of 230 acres of the
     original purchase and the Allnutt family is proud to continue the family farming tradition and legacy.  Ben took a stab at working in
     the private sector but soon returned to the farm doing what he knows how to do best….growing food!  Ben has been growing
     food for over 40 years and despite the hard work, he loves to farm.

 
           “My family has been farming for generations and I learned a great deal from both my father and grandfather” says Ben 
    Ben’s father and grandfather served their country during  World War II by working on the  farm producing food as their contribution
    to the war effort.    Most of the work on the farm was all done by hand but over time as farming became more mechanized the operation
    began to change.  Today Ben’s operation is one of the most productive and diverse fruit and vegetable operations in the County. Ben farms
    about 300 acres of owned and leased  land and he is very proud of the products his farm produces.  Among the crops produced are
    peaches, apples, blackberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, tart cherries, pumpkins, squash, cantaloupes, watermelons
    and a multitude of seasonal vegetables.

 
          “Our farm is not only a family farm but we also consider ourselves an international farm”.   He explained that many visitors come from other
   countries.  “We have a very diverse clientele and we try to cater to their needs” he said.  There is always something to learn when you are
   growing food and the challenges and successes are something that makes farming enjoyable for him. “I like to learn by trying new things,
  there are lots of nuisances when it comes to growing food, it may look easy but it does involve a lot of trial and error” explained Ben 
  “The more I learn, the more fun farming gets”.

 
         Farming teaches the value of hard work and the rewards that it brings. “I remember a time when we didn’t have a tractor and we did
   everything by hand” he explained.  He has also had to learn that you have to adjust to what Mother Nature brings and things may not always
   turn out the way they are planned. “I have learned to not expect perfection” Ben explains. “No matter how hard you try things are never perfect,
   but being flexible and having patience is something every farmer must learn”.  Ben joked “I didn’t start out that way but over time I have
   become a lot more patient”. 
 


        Ben loves to farm and can’t imagine doing anything else. “I really do love farming, it has become more difficult with all the changing weather
   conditions and governmental regulations, but I can’t think of another job that provides me with such satisfaction”.  He loves being his
   own boss and being able to work outside every day.  Another benefit is the positive feedback he is able to receive from customers that
   enjoy the food that he produces. “When you find something that works and you are able to make a little money doing it, it becomes a great
   inspiration for wanting to do more of it” Ben explains.  Growing food for people to eat is one of the most important jobs and it carries a big
   responsibility.  “We grow healthy food to feed your family and ours”.  “Most people in this country have forgotten where their food comes
  from and how it is produced” Ben explains “Without farmers, there is no food and since we all need to eat, someone has to do it, so why
  not me”.  One thing is for certain, there is nothing like tree ripened fruits, or vine ripened tomatoes that are locally grown, fresh picked
  and are provided as a healthy alternative to what is offered in the big chain supermarkets.

 
         During the Farm Tour weekend, Homestead Farm will have pick-your-own blackberries, fresh sweet corn and other seasonal fruits and
  vegetables at the on-farm market. Visitors will also have an opportunity to interact with their farm animals.  Homestead is a busy
  operation throughout the growing season. “We host a lot of school field trips in the fall, whereby we do hayrides and pick your own
  pumpkins and apples”.   These trips are very popular with school aged children.  Group visits and outing can be arranged by
  appointment.  You can contact Ben through his website http://www.homestead-farm.net/ for more information.

 
       Homestead farm is opened 7 days a week, generally from March through Halloween. Ben wants you to “Come visit us on Farm Tour Weekend
  and enjoy the same tasty and healthy food that we feed to our own family”.  For more information please visit our site
  at http://www.homestead-farm.net/.

    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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