The first year at Roundabout Hills

We started up Roundabout Hills Market Garden because we wanted to provide our neighbors with great tasting food that is safe to eat.  So in 2009 we bought the old place and broke ground in 2010 on a patch of lawn behind the house.  We started our first season with about five families in the fall of that year, growing cold season vegetables and greens such as arugula, mizuna, radishes, cabbage, turnips, and beets.  The following spring we launched our first full season, starting up in April and producing steadily until December, feeding ten families from our kitchen garden.  We grew potatoes, spring onions, sugar snap peas, green beans, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, leeks, golden beets, beautiful d’Avignon radishes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, arugula, lettuce – including the heirlooom variety ‘Black Seeded Simpson,’ sweet Asian salad turnips, rutubagas, yellow, pink, and red stemmed chard, Toscano kale with its beautiful wrinkled leaves, and traditional curly kale.  The work was hard, but we loved presenting our neighbors with the best that we could grow.

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Sabbath poem, Friday March 23

I spent the day mowing, splitting and stacking next winter’s wood, and tidying up the farm.  The week is ending, and next week I begin again my day job downtown , which will take me from this house, this bit of ground that I love and where I could happily spend my weeks.  This poem by Wendell Berry (from his collection, A Timbered Choir) seems a good way to end this work week and begin my sabbath rest.

To sit and look at light-filled leaves
May let us see, or seem to see,
Far backward as through clearer eyes
To what unsighted hope believes:
The blessed conviviality
That sang Creation’s seventh sunrise,

Time when the Maker’s radiant sight
Made radiant every thing He saw,
And everything He saw was filled
With perfect joy and life and light.
His perfect pleasure was sole law;
No pleasure had become self-willed.

For all His creatures were His pleasures
And their whole pleasure was to be
What He made them; they sought no gain
Or growth beyond their proper measures,
Nor longed for change or novelty.
The only new thing could be pain.

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Welcome to the Roundabout Hills Market Garden Blog!

Welcome to Roundabout Hills Market Garden Blog!  We are the owners of a tiny farm in Howard County providing fresh produce to our neighbors on the grounds of the historic Roundabout Hills Plantation house.  We’ve been in business since 2010, starting first as a community supported agriculture venture providing weekly shares to subscribers in the Olney, Rockville, and Columbia area.

We specialize in varieties of produce especially suited to the mid-Atlantic region, including heirloom varieties that your great grandparents may have eaten.  This year, we also plan to start our first flock of layers, and look forward to providing our customers with fresh local eggs along with our produce.  We’ll be keeping a photo record of our venture into free range layers, so watch this space!

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