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)
Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park
Historic Farm Buildings
Animals on the Farm
Map and Brochure
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.
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!
Bluegrass on the Farm
September 14, Noon-6pm. Starring Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Maryland’s own Clear Spring. Admission: $12 pre-sale online; $15 at the gate. Kids under 12 are FREE with an adult. Click here for more information.(128KB)
October 5, 11am-4pm. Featuring family-friendly activities, live farm animals, music, games and more! The Harvest Festival provides people of all ages a taste of farm life from the 1850s to present through a day of hands-on activities and experiences on a working farm. Live performances from Cider Press Boys and the Patuxent Partners, Storytelling by Dogwood Dogs 4H Club, working sheep demonstrations and more. Click here for more information. (334KB)
Blacksmiths & Friends Traditional Arts Show
November 2 & 3, 10am-4pm. Blacksmiths, silversmiths, coppersmiths and other artisans will demonstrate their art. FREE Admission. Click here for more information.(128KB)
Christmas on the Farm
December 14 & 15, Noon-5pm. Come and enjoy the holiday spirit on the farm. Turn of the century decorations, holiday music and caroling, homemade baked goods for sale, free hayrides, children’s activities and more. Click here for more information.(128KB)
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 ducks. 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||301-948-5053|
|Barn Wedding Information (no new reservations accepted after July 1, 2013)||301-774-1900|
|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: September 19, 2013