Today you guys get a bonus article.  I generally try to post on this blog once a day Monday through Friday.  As I was planning out the week and posting on my web site update page, toddmccree.com, I realized I need to get 6 articles out this week. The MonoCulture or Polyculture in the heading is what makes this article site relevant and a future research project and post. So here you go.

MonoCulture or Polyculture

MonoCulture or Polyculture

Last weekend we went to Valley View Farms to see the fall festival, Christmas ornaments and Halloween decorations.  This is an annual affair for our family.  After the run through Valley View we always go out to lunch.  This year we went to a place called Friendly Farm Restaurant.

Friendly Farm Restaurant is about a twenty-minute drive from Valley View Farms.  It is a beautiful drive in the country to the 200 Acre farm in north Baltimore County.  As you drive up the driveway you see the original restaurant farm house that opened in 1959.  The current restaurant is behind the original.  The property has a picturesque farm house surrounded by three ponds and corn and soybean fields.

Dining FacilityWhen you enter the restaurant they have a menu on the wall and a video running that gives you a history of the farm, business, and the owners.  After you figure out what you want to eat you go to a hostess and order your main course, pay for it and then you are seated.  The dining faculty, as shown in the picture, can handle quite a few people.  The Friendly Farm website claims that they have been serving family style meals since 1959. A family style meal is where you order the main course meat or seafood and the sides are placed on the table and passed around.

The excerpt below was taken from their web page at: www.friendlyfarm.net/about/: “A choice of individually presented entrées, such as Roast Beef, Fried Shrimp, Fried Chicken, Country Ham, Steak or “Our Famous” Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes are offered. Included with your meal are servings of the daily vegetable, fresh hand-cut, french-fried potatoes, fruit, apple butter, cottage cheese, our relish dish, and an abundance of dinner rolls and deep-fried sugar rolls with butter and beverage. Completing your meal is a generous scoop of dairy-fresh ice cream.”

Fried ChickenBecause we were at a farm house in the county, I figured I’d order fried chicken.  I received a full half a chicken as shown in the picture.  It was tender, juicy, and completely delicious.  All of the sides that we passed around were wonderful as well.  Of the six of us at the table, everyone said they loved the meal.  We took some fried ham home that my father in-law couldn’t finish and had it the next day with eggs.  It was wonderful.

They allow you wander around the farm, so after the meal we did just that.  The first thing you run into are the over zealous ducks greeting you and wondering if you have anything in your to-go bag for them.  Check out the video of my wife and mother in-law feeding the ducks some left over bread.

MonoCulture or Polyculture - Geese

MonoCulture or Polyculture

They also have ponds and streams.  There were several Canadian geese around the large pond.  They were not as friendly as the ducks were.  If you got within 100 feet of the geese, they started to move away from you.

MonoCulture or Polyculture - Crops

MonoCulture or Polyculture

A little further out from the farmhouse there were fields of soybeans and corn.  These were not the usual mono-crop of 200-acres of just corn or soybean.  They had strips about 100-foot wide of soybean that went about 10-acres long.  Then they had a 100-foot wide strip of corn.  I’ll have to investigate this style of farming a little more.  My guess is they still saturate everything with fertilizer and insecticide, but it is closer to poly-culture than 200-acres of just one crop.

They are open daily from noon to 8PM and accept reservations for groups of 10 or more.  Friendly Farms offers catering and special event venues as well. They are located at17434 Foreston Road, Upperco, Maryland 21155.

All around we agreed that this would be our new dining spot after our annual trip to Valley View Farms.  It is absolutely worth the drive to check it out and take in the countryside beauty.

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