Hours of Operation: Park is open year round, sunrise to sunset. The historic buildings are available for public tours only during special events.
24th Annual Harvest Festival: October 3, 2015
Join Montgomery Parks for the 24th Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.! The event will be held at the Agricultural History Farm Park and will feature live farm animals, scarecrow making, a corn maze, farm house tours, garden tours, antique farm equipment, candle making, hay rides, an archaeology dig, working farm animal demonstrations and more! The cost is $15/car. Additional fees are charged for some activities. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Click here for more information.
About the Agricultural History Farm Park
See the past, the present, and the future of Montgomery County farming at the Agricultural History Farm Park (AHFP)! Situated along Rock Creek in Derwood, Maryland, the Agricultural History Farm Park is a 455-acre complex with a historic farm site and a modern farming activity center. The Park offers visitors a unique perspective on the County's rich farming heritage.
The historic area takes visitors back to a typical early 20th century Montgomery County farm. This area includes the original farmhouse, bank barn and several outbuildings. Today's Montgomery County farming is supported by several federal, state and county agencies with offices in the Activity Center. These agencies assist the County's extensive farming community to increase agricultural production and conserve farmland for future generations. Agricultural History Farm Park Brochure (pdf, 625KB)
Annual events at the Agricultural History Farm Park include:
- The Annual Gas & Steam Engine Show, held every April by the Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park.
- Bluegrass on the Farm, held every September by the Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park.
- The Annual Harvest Festival, held each October by M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks.
- Blacksmiths & Friends Traditional Arts Show, held every November by the Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park.
- Christmas on the Farm, held every December by the Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park.
Educational programs that the whole family will love will be coming to the Agricultural History Farm Park in the near future. Please check back for updated information!
A master plan for the program and facility development of the park was completed in 1990. On October 20, 2005, the Montgomery County Planning Board reviewed an analysis of programming options for the Agricultural History Farm Park, and approved Option 4, which is a fully functioning farm operation with farm interpreters. A link to the staff report is attached here.
The Park's original bank barn, constructed in 1895, is typical of barns found in Montgomery County at the turn of the century. The barn was the most valuable asset on the farm. The dairy cattle were milked and draft animals were house in the basement. Hay was stored and grain threshed on the barn's main floor. The barn is open year-round; it is accessible on the upper level only.
The Bussard Farmhouse is a fascinating view into early 20th century farm life. The house was the heart of the farm and the center of family life. The birth of children, the washing of laundry, the preparation of food and many other activities of daily life all took place here. Several additions to the house show how it expanded as the family grew. The Farmhouse is open for house tours during special events. Click for more information.
Visitors can see each of the historic outbuildings, including a granary, a maintenance shed, an equipment shed, a water tank house, a corn crib, a woodshed, a smoke house, a chicken coop, a broody house, a carriage shed, a hay barracks, and of course, the privy. Each of these buildings played an important role in the operation of the turn-of-the-century farm.
The Park includes a 39-acre parcel on the western edge of the farm that was once home to a kin-based African American community begun in 1879. Albert and Mary Newman purchased a part of the "Cook's Inheritance" and constructed a house and several outbuildings. Two of their sons built houses on the property as well, Morton in 1885 and Fenton in 1914. None of the houses or out-buildings survive today.
Orchards were typical of many turn-of-the-century farms. Fruits were picked, canned and consumed throughout the year by the farm family, and the fruit was sold at markets for additional income. In 2006, 24 apple trees were planted at the Farm, and five different species of apples now grow successfully.
The Farm is home to many farm animals, including goats, chickens and pigs. Larger livestock are also on site for many of the Farm's annual events.
Enjoy over 4 miles of natural surface hiking and equestrian trails throughout the park. Horse trailer parking is provided. Bicycles are prohibited on trails at this time.
Several groups play an integral role in the maintenance and programming of the Agricultural History Farm Park:
- The Friends of AHFP offer programs and provide demonstrations on historical farm life and agriculture. To volunteer or join the Friends, please call 301-670-4661.
- Back in Time 4-H provides and cares for the farm's animals and offers programs on farm animals, farm life, and agriculture.
- MCE Master Gardeners offer a variety of plant-related programs and maintain a demonstration garden. For more information, call 301-590-9638.
|Fire and Rescue EMERGENCY||911|
|Park Manager's Office||301-563-7520|
|Park Naturalist's Office||301-924-4141|
|Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park||301-670-4661|
|Park Information Line||301-495-2595|
|Park Permits Office (Silver Spring)||301-495-2525|
|Volunteer's Services Office||301-495-2504|
Agricultural History Farm Park map (pdf, 437KB)
Agricultural History Farm Park Brochure (pdf, 625KB)
Date of last update: August 20, 2015