We drive to Southern Maryland after visiting Grandma Lois in Northern Virginia. We pass slowly trotting horse-drawn buggies and turn onto a small country road, Woodburn Hill Road. We pass small family farms, grassy fields, wooly horses, and four young Amish children walking home pulling two more children on a wagon. Finally at the end of the pavement, the road turns to gravel and we see the sign, “Woodburn Hill Farms” (WHF). We park and walk further down the road noticing a harvested garden, wind chime and a big red barn, when a man with a fluffy white beard smoking a pipe waves to us and beckons us to the Main House. Linda and Neil are the first to greet us. They raised their children on the farm and have lived in this community for 20+ years. Through the rest of the day we explore the farm, meet the other residents, and help to prepare a delicious family-style meal of Syrian Stew with Phebe, one of the original share owners-residents from the 1970’s.
We stay for three nights and check out the neighboring towns of Mechanicsville and Leonardtown (the county seat of St. Mary’s County.)
Although only 40 miles from Washington D.C. this area maintains an agricultural focus due to the large Amish population. Quiet rural life is appealing here. WHF covers 120 acres of mostly woods, 20+ acres of cultivated fields, ponds, creeks, and seasonal streams. They have substantial infrastructure for farming with roads, equipment, and a cluster of buildings. There are currently six open bedrooms for new short-term or long term residents. Unfortunately of the 12 adult residents none are active in farming. A few work from the farm, most residents commute for work as teachers, health practitioners, chimney sweep, massage therapist, yoga teacher, artists, musicians and other trades.
The community here is warm and friendly, showing us around and letting us tag along on farm chores. They are concerned about the aging population and the future of this beautiful property. We think there is a huge potential for success. What this intentional community needs are a few energetic folks to bring this farm back to its agricultural roots. Could we be the right ones? Stay tuned to find out. You can now subscribe to our blog with email updates making it easier to follow along and comment on our travels! Just look to the right for our new subscription feature.
A huge thank you to Woodburn Hills Farm and its kind residents for hosting us! We wish you the best. The photo album from this part of our trip here