Ahead of a late morning tour of Red Wiggler Community Farm, and after the “growers” had dispersed to complete their duties, the farm’s chief steward and founder Woody Woodroof explained why he named the 15-acre farmstead after a worm.
“Red wiggler worms create fertile soil, where plants are likely to be successful,” Woodroof said. “We're a place where we hope our community is successful. We create the conditions to nourish a healthy and inclusive community through fertile ground.”
Established in 1996, Red Wiggler Community Farm comprises part of the 300-acre Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park in Clarksburg. The farm is part of the 15-stop Farm Tour and Harvest Sale the county’s agricultural services division has scheduled for Saturday and Sunday to promote local agriculture.
Woodroof said he’s using the tour to promote another element of sustainable farming — inclusiveness.
Each season, the farm produces 40 varieties of crops. Much of the work is performed by workers with developmental disabilities, a corps of 16 “growers,” as Woodroof calls them, who are paid minimum wage or more.
Last year the farm produced nearly 28,000 pounds of produce, of which 30 percent went to low-income families. The rest went to group homes for adults with disabilities, food banks such as Manna Food Center, and to the farm’s CSA.
If you go …
WHAT: 23rd annual Montgomery County Farm Tour and Sale
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28, and Sunday, July 29
WHERE: 15 farms throughout Montgomery County. Some farms, including Red Wiggler Community Farm, 23400 Ridge Road, Germantown*, are participating Saturday only. Other tour stops near Germantown include:
- , 22200 Davis Mil Road, Germantown
- Star Gazing Farm, 16760 Whites Store Road, Boyds
- , 16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown (Saturday only)
- , 18028 Central Park Circle, South Germantown Recreational Park, Boyds (Saturday only)
The full list is available at the Agricultural Services Division’s website and in the PDF that accompanies this article.
*Note, though Red Wiggler Community Farm’s mailing address is in Germantown, Census maps place it in Clarksburg, near the Aurora Hills development