Category Archives: Local FARMacy Corner

Local FARMacy Corner: Wilson Dowell Farms

Local FARMacy Corner: Wilson Dowell Farms

The more I learn about the importance of quality food; the more I am convinced that we should all be buying our meats and produce from our local farmers.

Did you know that factory-farmed meats actually trigger disease and inflammation within our body? Most of the meats sold in grocery stores come from factory farms (places where large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in crowded conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost). These feedlots pollute nearby air and water, increase the risk of pathogens like E. coli and salmonella; fuel the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (called superbugs) through antibiotic overuse and cause cancer through the use of chemical toxins and added hormones.

Not to mention the energy that is passed from the animal to humans. Animals living in the inhumane conditions of factory farms cause great stress on the animals. When stress is short-term, temporary changes in chemistry within the meat make the meat tough and cause it to lose flavor. But if stress persists for an extended period of time, the changes are even worse. The persistent high acidity in the meat will deplete the meat of nutrition.

One solution to this huge health and environmental problem is buying local and pasture-raised grass-fed beef. Grass-fed meat is nutritionally superior to factory-farmed meats. Grass-fed meat contains higher levels of omega-3s and lower levels of omega-6s which means that the meat is much less inflammatory to our bodies than factory-farmed meats. High levels of omega-3 are also good for heart and brain health. Grass-fed meats also contain higher levels of critical nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. Pasture-raised grass-fed meat is significantly healthier than factory-farmed meat so, if you are consuming meats in your diet, consider buying from your local farmer.

In my series: Local FARMacy Corner, you learn about the local farmers I meet who are applying sustainable, humanely-raised and organic farming practices to their crops and livestock.

This month’s post introduces Wilson Dowell Farms – a multi-generational, family farm located in Owings, MD (Calvert County) across the street from Northern High School. Kristen and Jason Leavitt are the fourth generation owners who have been operating this 320-acre family farm for the past 10 years. Although the farm was started as a tobacco farm by Jason’s great grandfather back in 1939, they have always had cattle on the farm. Jason’s mom and family helped transition the farm from traditional methods to more sustainable farming practices.

In addition to operating this family farm, Jason is employed at a local engineering firm for the last 15 years which has given him phenomenal insight and knowledge on zoning, regulation and how our County Government works.  Jason also resides as the President of the Calvert County Farm Bureau, a local organization that promotes and protects Maryland agriculture and rural life.

Jason and Kristen have approximately 75 cattle at this time that graze on most of the 320 acres and are grass-fed most of the year and fed hay and alfalfa pellets during the winter months. Their cattle are mix of Angus, Hereford, and Charolais and are born and raised on the farm.

They select their high quality pigs and Kiko goats to be pasture-raised and finished on the farm also. All meats are processed at a USDA-inspected butcher facility, individually packaged, vacuum sealed and flash frozen at the peak of freshness.

I’m excited to share Wilson Dowell Farms with you. Give them a call at 703-899-6380 if you want to place an order for whole, half, quarter or individual cuts. They care deeply about providing the best quality beef, pork and goat to you to support your good health.

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Local FARMacy Corner: Chesapeake Farmery LLC

Local FARMacy Corner: Chesapeake Farmery LLC

Last week, I enrolled in my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. I’ve been considering this idea for a very long time. The more I learn about how food is grown and raised, the more I am drawn to buying my food from local farmers who value organic, non-GMO produce and humanely-raised animals.

When I looked into the benefits and risks of CSAs, the LocalHarvest was a great resource. It educated me on the pros and cons and I decided that the perfect CSA program for me and my family would include:

  1. Organic, non-GMO produce
  2. Year-round produce
  3. Minimal risk
  4. Delivery vs pick up

Meet Chesapeake Farmery, LLC – they are my perfect CSA program. Jimmy Jones and his daughter, Samantha, run this coop of Southern Maryland Farmers that grow and harvest food that is top quality organic and non-GMO. And like me, Chesapeake Farmery believes that food is medicine so it’s important to them that they provide their customers with the healthiest, safest produce they grow. Their standards are extremely high and I appreciate that!

During the growing season, the produce comes from plants grown in soil but, in the off season, the produce is grown both hydroponically and in soil in the current greenhouse in St. Mary’s County. They are transitioning into a NEW greenhouse being built in Prince Frederick, MD (Calvert County) this winter.  Click here to learn about hydroponics vs soil farming methods. The other great benefit to this greenhouse is that it will employ adults with special needs such as Autism, Down Syndrome, and veterans suffering with PTSD. So win-win-win all the way around!

I’m excited to share Chesapeake Farmery with you and the residents of Calvert County. Give them a call. They will be happy to provide you with their healthiest produce.

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