Howard County's rich agricultural heritage dates back to the earliest settlers in our town. You may recognize the names of a few of these important farmers such as the Ellicott brothers — John, Andrew and Joseph — and Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and wealthy landowner.
Today, we are fortunate to have approximately 335 farms in Howard County spanning almost 30,000 acres that carry on the important work of these pioneers.
To celebrate Howard County farms and their legacy to our community, every summer Howard County hosts the Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks where top chefs across the county incorporate locally grown products to serve scrumptious farm fresh meals at attractive prices.
Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks runs July 17 to Aug. 5. with 19 Howard County restaurants featuring menus utilizing locally grown products, often paired with Maryland Wine or local beers. Enjoy your favorite restaurants or try new ones with innovative prix fixe menus at discounted prices ranging from $10.13 to $40.13 (beverages, tax, gratuity not included).
Alexandra's American Fusion, Stella Notte, Portalli's, Kelsey's Restaurant and Catering, and Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant are five Ellicott City establishments that are participating in the program.
For more information, go to the Howard County Tourism and Promotion website at http://www.visithowardcounty.com.
Want to know more about Howard County's local-food movement?
Sign up for Miller Branch Library's What's In Season program on July 25, from 7 to 8 p.m. Learn from Lynn Moore of Larriland Farm and celebrated chef Christopher Lewis of the Iron Bridge Wine Co. about what produce is in season, how to select the best, tips on growing, and how to prepare it for delicious and nutritious meals. To register for this free class, call the library at 410-313-1950.
Miller Branch Library is also the site of a Howard County farmers market and Howard County's Breezy Willow Organic Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up.
Every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m., visit 12 farm stands selling a variety of local produce and products in the library parking lot. The farm vendors include Love Dove Farm, Bowling Green Farm, Great Harvest Bread Co., TLV Tree Farm and Thai Spices. For the times and dates of all the Howard County farmers markets go to http://www.howardcountyfarmersmarkets.com.
Every Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., Breezy Willow Organic Farm CSA members pick up their in season weekly farm fresh bounty including local fruits, vegetables, eggs, Great Harvest and Breadery breads, herbs and honey. For more information about Breezy Willow Farm CSA programs, go to http://www.breezywillowfarm.com.
One of the most well known and historic farming families is that of our very own Martha Clark and her daughter, Nora Crist, whose family has been farming in Howard County for 214 years. Their Clark's Elioak Farm is near the corner of Route 108 and Centennial Lane. The entrance can be found on Route 108 near the "Farmland Forever" sign.
Their operation includes a petting farm, a seasonal roadside produce stand (on Route 108 opposite The Iron Bridge Wine Co.), a retail outlet for 100 percent grass-fed beef, pasture-raised lamb, chicken, eggs and pork, and local farm products.
To find out more about Clark's Elioak and Clark's farms, go to the website at http://www.clarklandfarm.com.