Little Gunpowder Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm in beautiful Monkton, Maryland, approximately thirty minutes north of Baltimore City. The property is 37 acres, with 12 acres of farmland. We grow over 30 crops, consisting of more than 100 cultivars. We also keep a flock of heritage breed laying hens for eggs, and one beehive for pollination.
We chose to name our farm after the Little Gunpowder River, which flows through the woods next to our farm fields. The farm is in the Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed. As our name suggests, we believe in being good stewards of the watershed in which we live. We believe farmers should do what they can to preserve water quality and encourage biodiversity on and around their land. Biodiversity can be seen as the foundation for a whole host of ecological services which help us grow healthy food and keep the surrounding environment thriving. While farming inherently involves modifying a natural landscape, we believe that a great deal can be done to encourage natural processes both above the soil surface and below. In turn, these ecological processes make it easier for us to cultivate healthy vegetables without the need for large quantities of inputs from beyond the farm.
Our growing processes are deeply connected to our agricultural philosophy. We pursue sustainable farming practices that meet or exceed organic standards. We never use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We preserve soil fertility and minimize erosion by avoiding intensive tillage and continually cover-cropping. To manage pests, we encourage natural predator-prey relationships by maintaining habitats for a broad range of native insects. The Little Gunpowder River watershed provides us with well water, which we deliver to our crops via drip irrigation. This system helps protect the Little Gunpowder River and Chesapeake Bay by minimizing wasted water and runoff.
Little Gunpowder Farm’s mission is to grow vegetables in an environmentally responsible manner, to provide education and skill development opportunities about farming and the local environment, and to distribute the products of the farm to residents of the Baltimore area, so that customers may have access to healthy food at an affordable price.