Nick’s Organic Farm in Maryland could be the only one of its kind in the nation.
But by August 16, Montgomery Co had planned to evict Nick and begin turning the farm into soccer fields.
UPDATE: Partly due to public outcry, including support from Governor O'Malley, a judge has just put a temporary stay on these plans. However, the farm still sits on shaky ground, and the school could still evict them. PLEASE continue to sign and speak out until Nick's Farm and Brickyard Educational Center become permanent fixtures in Montgomery County!
Nick’s is a 32-year-old organic seed farm and children’s educational center that inspired the “first organic certification legislation on the East Coast” and has served as a model for other environmentally sustainable farms.
Because of its location, it is one of the few farms in the country able to grow GMO-free, organic heirloom corn seeds.
Located near 65 public schools, its Brickyard educational center has served 1500 students. It’s also working with community stakeholders to supply public school cafeterias with fresh produce, as outlined in Maryland’s Jane Lawton Farm to School Act.
Instead of soccer fields, Nick’s would like the acres used for organic seed saving, education, and an incubator program for beginning farmers.
Tell Montgomery County: soccer fields are replaceable. Nick's is not. Save Nick’s Farm!
We, the undersigned, believe that Montgomery County can find a more suitable place to build its soccer fields.
By saving Nick’s Organic Farm, it could help Maryland lead the nation on farm education, farmer training, farm-to-school programs and a sustainable farming future.
Already signed on to the coalition to save the farm are: Rodale Institute, Audubon Naturalist Society, Green America, DC Farm to School, Growing Power, growingSoul, Slow Food DC, Sierra Club, Maryland and Montgomery County Chapter, Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition, Environment Maryland, Maryland Public Interest Research Group and Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
Brickyard Educational Farm is vital to state programs that are supporting the environment and good health. The coalition letter describes how the farm supports initiatives like “No Child Left Inside” and the Jane Lawton Farm to School law “by connecting children with the food, land, and water that sustain them.“ It “brings together farm education programs for children and training programs for beginning farmers, and integrates sustainable, organic, and environmentally responsible farming practices.” Furthermore it is working to supply school cafeterias with healthy organic produce.
Most important, perhaps, is the farm’s contribution to food security though its seed-saving and production that preserves genetic diversity and saves locally adapted varieties from extinction - ones more able to withstand assaults by evolving pests, climate change, and disease.
Owner Nick Maravell has been an avid promoter of and spokeman for sustainable farming throughout the country and has helped found several related organizations.
Soccer fields are replaceable. Nick's is not! We request that the county save this valuable farm and build its soccer fields somewhere else.