By Martina Today I toured Grassential Farm in Potomac, MD. Just a few miles outside the beltway and surrounded by McMansions, this ten-acre farm is incredibly productive raising cows, pigs, goats, lamb, ducks, chickens and rabbits. The owner, Matt Rales is a three-year veteran of Polyface, the nation’s favorite sustainable farm just outside of Charlottesville, and he’s using all their innovative techniques to get the most out of his land while putting the most back into his land.
He’s incredibly knowledgable about soil replenishment and doesn’t mind explaining how his cows eat 1/3 of the grass they graze on and trample 2/3 back into the earth, mixing it with their manure and making it better than before. He prefers calling it restorative or regenerative farming rather than sustainable farming, because sustaining depleted soil is not enough…we need to restore it to its former richness.
He supplies a number of restaurants in the DC area, including Restaurant Eve, Komi, Equinox and Brasserie Beck. He also has a farm store on sight, open 9a – 5p, Mon-Fri, selling a variety of beef, veal, lamb and goat cuts as well as chicken and duck eggs. Go check it out, and bring the family. He runs a completely transparent operation, encouraging people to walk around and take a look. Guaranteed the little ones will have as much fun playing with the baby goats as I did! 🙂
Wow, incredible that a farm like this exists so close to the Beltway. I would love to see it myself– are tours available for anybody and is there a charge?
I went with a meetup group that did charge, and we had Matt’s undivided attention for several hours, but anyone can stop in at any time at no charge.