Spring House Manor Farm Visit

A couple weekends ago my husband and I were invited to visit Spring House Manor Farm, about 10 minutes away from our old house in Frederick. The owners of the farm are Abby and Tony Brusco, ALSO known as the owners of Hometown Harvest (blog sponsor and organic+local grocery delivery service extraordinaire!).

Spring House Manor Farm

The Brusco family moved out to Spring House Manor Farm a little over a year ago, and they wanted to share the experience with me and fellow blogger Rachel. The farm’s property is stunning, backing up to the watershed and full of lush, green pastures.

It was quiet, serene and only a stone’s throw from downtown Frederick. Perfect, right?

A group of 12 of us (including the Brusco kids) gathered to tour the small farm, complete with chickens, a family garden and big plans for moving the Hometown Harvest offices and warehouse to a chunk of their acreage in the next couple of years.

We ate a large farm-style dinner outside under a tent, adjacent to the beautifully restored farmhouse and the small orchard. Two of the recipes (lasagna rolls and summer couscous salad) were inspired by recipes on my blog – a terrific surprise!

Hometown Harvest Farm Lunch

Rachel, who grew up in the city, wrote a really great recap of our visit here (complete with lots of photos), and since I’m still getting our house in order after the move to my parents’ farm and don’t have time to write a longer post (yes…it has happened!! More to come….), I’d suggest you visit hers for all the details. We had a tremendous time!

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m being compensated for things like spreading the word about what they do. Interested in learning more about their delivery service in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia? Click here for all the details!

Hometown Harvest

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means they are compensating me for things like referrals, sharing product info and talking about my experience using their services. In a nutshell, for spreading the word! As always, all opinions are my own, and I only choose sponsors whose missions I support.

Hometown Harvest Organic Carrots

Pretty exciting news over here on the sponsor front! Those of you that like my Facebook page already got a sneak peek last week when I announced that Hometown Harvest has become a blog sponsor!

Back in January I started a recurring delivery of a small fixed bag every other week, after hearing about Hometown Harvest from a friend. Ironically, even though it’s based out of Frederick, I’d never heard of them. How this happens, I’m not sure; but, I swear I don’t live under a rock. Really.

I started out with a small fixed bag that was spaced out every two weeks so that I was able to figure out just how much my family of four would need. The great thing about Hometown Harvest, versus a traditional CSA, is that you’re able to customize your order, even if you choose a fixed bag option. If I know I’ll need more potatoes, or if I want to add applesauce or meats, it’s no problem as long as I’ve made my changes before the delivery cutoff date. The flexibility is so handy! Check out what’s in their “shop” here.

The weekend before my delivery, I get an email (or I can check online) that lists what’s going to arrive in my small fixed bag, along with notes telling me where everything came from. I love that little attention to detail; it’s not easy. Did I mention DELIVERY???

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the reasons I’ve liked Hometown Harvest so much, and why I chose to use them in the first place. Remember, all of this happened before they asked if I’d like to work with them – it’s an organic experience! (Pun intended.)

You can read all of the Hometown Harvest FAQs here.

Hometown Harvest Organic Broccoli

It’s all organically farmed!

About 95% of everything we offer is organic. There are a few exceptions to this rule. During our local growing season, there are some items that are just not possible to find locally and certified organic. These items include tree fruit and sweet corn, and are usually grown following Integrated Pest Management practices (IPM) that closely mirror organic methods, do not yet have official certification. We always make it clear what items are organic and what items are not on our menu each week.

Delivery, FTW!

We currently deliver to parts of Maryland, D.C., and Virginia, and we are sprouting new routes all the time. Please check out our “Delivery” page for specific areas. We have both night and day routes. Your delivery day and time will depend on when our truck is traveling through your area. Please check out our “How It Works” page.

Hometown Harvest Organic Carrots

It’s kinda like a CSA, but not…

No [we’re not a CSA], but many of our growers participate in CSAs. Just like a CSA, you are supporting local agriculture with your order, but unlike a CSA, you can complete customize your experience.

They support local farmers first!

We have a growing list of local farmers that we source from. We always go to our local farmers first. So while we are in season, our menu is 100% local. During the off season (typically Dec-April) we try to include as many local items as we can find, but then we also bring in organic produce from outside of our area—always keeping it with in the U.S., and again as close to home as possible.

Hometown Harvest Organic Broccoli

Like the photos? The carrots and broccoli were both a part of last week’s small fixed bag!

If you’re planning to sign up, make sure to mention my name during the process. I’d love for the team to know you heard about them from me!

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means they are compensating me for things like referrals, sharing product info and talking about my experience using their services. In a nutshell, for spreading the word! As always, all opinions are my own, and I only choose sponsors whose missions I support.

2014 Frederick Restaurant Week: March 3-9 #FredRestWK

2014 Frederick Restaurant Week #FredRestWK

Food photos in this collage were taken by Jennifer Gerlock

2014 Frederick Restaurant Week begins in less than a month!

I was invited to take part in the 2014 Frederick Restaurant Sneak Peek this past Saturday. I had so much fun last year at the 2013 preview, hanging out with other foodies made up of journalists, writers and well-connected Frederick folks! So when the invitation graced my mailbox for this year’s event I eagerly RSVP’d with YES!

Then, a couple weeks later, I realized my daughter’s dance company dress rehearsal was the same exact day, at the same exact time. So I had to decline. VERY REGRETFULLY.

Oh, the choices we have to make as a parent. Also? First world problems.

Dancer

Luckily my good friend Jennifer from Hip As I Wanna Be attended and enjoyed all the spoils! I begged her to asked her to share a couple of preview picks with me along the way so that I could share them with you guys! Thanks, Jen!

{DROOL}

This year, Frederick Restaurant Week runs March 3-9, and includes the following restaurants with price-fixed menus:

Mark your calendars!

For more info visit FrederickRestaurantWeek.com and follow the hashtag #FredRestWK!

2013 Best of Frederick (It’s Time to Vote!)

Warm up your typing fingers, ponder our great city, and start thinking about your favorite Frederick, Md., destinations, restaurants, hair salons AND…

 

…YOUR FAVORITE BLOG!

(You should be voting for my blog (a)Musing Foodie in case you need a gentle reminder.)

frederick md, best of frederick, best blog in frederick

 

That’s right – it’s time to vote in the 2013 Best of Frederick with Frederick Magazine! It only takes a few minutes to breeze through their easy-peasy updated form and mark down your favorite EVERYTHING in our great town.

Share this, tell your friends, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, vote for (a)Musing Foodie in the Best Blog category!

Cheers!

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