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Field and Fiddle Festival

On Saturday, July 23rd the Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) will host the 2nd Annual Field & Fiddle Festival at Linden Farm in Dickerson.  “The festival is a great way to unwind after a day of touring farms where you can enjoy local fare and entertainment in the
beautiful rural setting known as the Agricultural Reserve” explains Ellen Letourneau one of the festival’s organizers.  The event is
sponsored by and supports Montgomery Countryside Alliance, a non-profit organization whose key mission it to promote and protect
rural Montgomery County. 

Founded as “Solutions not Sprawl”, the organization clarified its mission and was recast as the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. This
change lead to an expanded role of supporting and growing agricultural enterprises in the Ag Reserve, and providing a service known as
Land Link Montgomery. This service matches owners of agricultural land with farmers needing land to farm.  They also partnered with Montgomery County on their Farmer Project (for  upstart and beginning farmers) and other agricultural initiatives as well as teaming up with the Montgomery County Farm Bureau to advance opportunities for agricultural education in the County’s public schools.

The Field & Fiddle Festival was created out of an idea for a new way to help showcase Montgomery County’s nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve.  The event is designed to educate the community on the beauty, benefits, history and unique nature of the Ag
Reserve in an immersive way.  The Festival will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Linden Farm in Dickerson, Maryland from 6 pm to
10 pm.  Linden Farm is owned by Montgomery County, however the farm is leased to the Sugarloaf Citizens Association (SCA) as the
nonprofit organizations’ headquarters.  SCA consists of community volunteers that are dedicated to the protection of rural Montgomery
for all residents to enjoy. The farm is also used as an historic agricultural center.

“We see this event as a great way to bring down county residents, up county residents, and others in the DC region together to share an evening of local food, family fun and entertainment in the spectacular rural setting of the County’s nationally renowned Agricultural
Reserve” says Ellen. “There will be many local products and businesses showcased at the event” Ellen explained.   These include 3rd
Alarm BBQ, Wood Fired Pizza Brama, Linda’s Luncheonette, South Mountain Creamery, Chocolates and Tomatoes by Mark Mills –
a land link and  Farmer Project participant - as well as live music from groups like locals Smoke N’ Mangos and Justin Trawick and
The Common Good, a DC region favorite.  In addition there will be a screening of the award winning student film “Call of the Land”,
along with vendors, games and fun for the entire family.

“What makes the Field and Fiddle event special” says Ellen “is that it provides a way to extend the Farm Tour day, and an opportunity for
all county residents and those further afield to connect with the farm community”.   After a long day of touring County farms, you can
unwind at the beautiful venue of Linden Farm, sample the local fare and enjoy the music along with all of the other festivities that are
offered.  “We wanted to develop an event to help promote and grow the annual Farm Tour, while at the same time, grow awareness of the County’s Agricultural Reserve in a way that is both fun and educational” says Caroline Taylor, Executive Director of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. “Everyone eats but many people have forgotten their connection to the land and the importance of farming” says Caroline.

“We want everyone to appreciate the gem of Montgomery County known as the Agricultural Reserve” says Ellen Letourneau. “It’s a place
that provides us food as well as opportunities for recreation. It cleans our air and provides a back - up water supply to the whole region.
It’s something to love, and treasure and we want to inspire people to want to see it protected”.   The organizers plan on rotating the venue
of the festival each year as another way to promote the Agricultural Reserve.  “We hope this event sounds exciting and a lot of fun and
that you will choose to spend the end of your tour day with us at historic Linden Farm” Ellen explains.

 

If you want to learn more about the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and the Field and Fiddle Festival, please visit their website which is www.mocoalliance.org

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

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