Criteria for farms:
1. Operates in Wicomico County (either the farm is in Wicomico County or the farm sells products in Wicomico County at stores or farmers markets).
2. Has been in operation for at least 3 years.
3. Uses at least 3 of the following sustainable practices: no-till, low-till, cover crops, crop rotations, diversified plant species, buffers and pollinators, integrated pest management (if a livestock farm, uses rotational grazing practices).
4. Is a good community member (willing to mentor and share knowledge with other farmers).
5. Uses innovative practices.
Farm of the Year Award:
At the Wicomico Environmental Trust Annual Dinner, one farm is selected as the Farm of the Year. The recognized farm not only meets the above criteria but has also been in operation for at least 5 years and is a primary source of income for at least one adult member of the family.
Spring 2021 Favorite Farm – Ard Brac Acres (Pittsville, MD)
Amanda and John Ruchalski have been relentless in their effort to provide clean, natural food to Wicomico County residents even before they purchased their current farm in Pittsville in 2017. Originally starting with vegetables and layers in their backyard, and running their first meat chickens in Salatin-style chicken tractors in a friend’s field, they have now expanded to free-range chicken and duck eggs, pastured chickens, pastured pork (some of the best scrapple you will ever eat!), fruits, vegetables, and popcorn, and they recently acquired quite a few goats! They have various CSAs and their farm is open on Sunday afternoons to the general public.
Amanda has been working with WET on planning farm trips for Wicomico County students. She and her husband have also excelled at bringing community members together for special events, including the Winter Market highlighting a variety of local products.
WET is proud to make our good friends at Ard Brac Acres our first Favorite Farm!