If you read HowChow, then you should buy vegetables at Gorman Produce Farm as soon as you have a free afternoon.
I'm blogging about food in Howard County. Go buy from people growing food in Howard County at the newly-rejuvinated farm between Rte 29 and U.S. 1.
Lydia and Dave Liker have leased the farm on Gorman Road, and they sell produce just in from the field. This is about a mile south of the Harris Teeter in King's Contrivance. Much of the Liker's produce goes out through their "community supported agriculture" program where people paid $550 for weekly boxes of vegetables from June through October. But you can pick up fresh vegetables by stopping at the farm and buying from the Likers -- or from Dave's father, who helped me buy on Saturday.
(Update: My friend was turned away from the farm on July 15, 2009. A guy there told her that they wouldn't be open for a few weeks. Then, an anonymous comment on another post said that a guy told them that you should come Thursday or Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. Please check out my update. As I mentioned below, they told me that they're open most days. I assume they're working out the kinks. Please be patient because it's a family farm.)
I saw a new sign for the Gorman Produce Farm on my way to the Savage library. The sign doesn't really say that you can buy vegetables there, but I drove down a gravel road to the signs that say "park here" and "produce here." Inside a building were plastic tubs and boxes full of vegetables -- squash, basil, cabbage, green beans, eggplants, chard, and on and on. I broke out my "emergency" $20 bill, and I bought carrots, kohlrabi, squash and lettuce. They're beautiful and delicious.
The vegetables are not certified organic, but the Likers say on their Web site that they grow everything according to organic principles. That works for me because I'm skeptical of government "organic" labels -- just like I'm skeptical about the government labels for "local" produce. Why not believe a farm where you can look around yourself?
You can meet the farmers most days until about 6 pm. The CSA pick-up is Thursday, and they say people can pick up until 6 pm. Dave Liker said that the gates on Gorman close when they're closed for the day. His father pointed out that it's a working farm, so there are times when people drive up and the Likers are too busy working to make a sale.
Gorman's prices seem about what you pay at the Howard County farmers markets. Tomatoes should ripen in a week or so. The fields are just going to deliver more and more through the end of the summer. The Likers apparently moved from Colorado after researching places to run a farm. Go show them that they made the right decision by coming to your neighborhood.
Click here for more about CSAs in Howard County. For the full list of Gorman Produce Farm's crops, click for their list.
Gorman Produce Farm
11051 Gorman Road
Laurel, MD 20723
NEAR: This is on Gorman Road east of Rte 29 and west of U.S. 1. This is south of Rte 32, just minutes south of Columbia and almost walking distance from King's Contrivance.
From Broken Land Parkway, take Broken Land south of Rte 32 until it deadends. Turn left and then right on Murray Hill Road. Take that until it deadends into Gorman Road. Turn right on Gorman. You'll see the farm's sign on the left just before a point where the road bends to the right.
From Rte 29, take the exit for Johns Hopkins Road, which is also marked for Gorman. Turn left at the top of the ramp and go through the next traffic circle. The road changes name to Gorman, and you just drive until you see the farm's sign on the right at a point where the road bends to the left.
From U.S. 1, go west at the light for Gorman Road. You'll pass the Savage library. Gorman Road actually turns right. The "straight ahead" changes name to Skylark Boulevard as you enter a housing development. After you turn right to "stay" on Gorman, the road curves and curves. You'll see the farm's sign on the left just before a point where the road bends to the right.