Flying Plow began during January 2010. Just a few weeks before Snowmageddon we, Tom & Sarah, moved to Joppa, MD after several months of searching for farms to lease in the mid-Atlantic area. We had cast a wide net over eastern PA, NJ, and northern MD, finally deciding to lease land from Nanasau Farm in Joppa.
After many years of interning, then apprenticing, then managing other farms we decided to have a go for ourselves and create our own farm according to our own vision.
The summer of 2010 was the first season for the Flying Plow CSA. We started the year with 35 members and finished the season with 55. In the fall of 2010 we also started our farm stand at the Jerusalem Mill Village, part of the Gunpowder Falls State Park.
In 2010 we made plans to expand our small grassfed beef herd by purchasing a bull to breed our 5 cows. Late in the fall we also raised a small batch of meat chickens as a precursor to adding meat chickens to our farm the next season.
After a successful first season, our CSA expanded to 75 members at the beginning of the 2011 season and ended the season with 100 members. In the summer of 2011 we received our organic certification for our vegetables from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. (For more info on our current certification status and our growing practices see the Our Farming Principles page.) Late that summer we also began to attend the Saturday Havre de Grace Farmer's Market. The winter of 2011 and 2012 was the first for our Winter Harvest, we were able to harvest vegetables into February.
In 2011 our grassfed beef herd grew with the birth of four calves and that winter we bred our cows again, planning to calf the following fall of 2012.
In the spring of 2011 we purchased 50 laying hens and set them up in a portable chicken coop in the fields. We also raised several batches of broiler chickens and offered our pasture-raised chicken for sale for the first time.
In 2012 the Flying Plow CSA expanded to 100 members and began attending the Saturday Bel Air Farmer's Market. Our CSA had a waiting list for new members during the 2011 season and we sold out of our 100 shares in March 2012. We continued selling at the Havre de Grace farmers market and added the Bel Air market. The Open Door Cafe in Bel Air bought vegetables and eggs from us weekly during the summer season while Laurrapin continued to buy chickens and added vegetables in the fall months. That winter we once again were able to sell vegetables through February by using our highly temporary and portable greenhouses.
Our laying flock increased to two coops and 150 birds in 2012, while we continued to grow our pasture-raised chicken.
New for the 2012 season was the addition of work animals. We added 3 haflinger draft horses and 1 composting pig to our roster. The draft horses were used in the vegetable fields for plowing, secondary tillage, and cultivating. We used the horses as much as possible, but still relied heavily on tractor power. In the summer of 2012 we purchased a Berkshire piglet and raised her to help compost our horse bedding.
In 2013 our CSA expanded to 120 members and while we continued to attend the Havre de Grace and Bel Air Farmer's Markets we added the Kennett Square Farmer's Market for the fall and winter months. After several years of making our own compost, 2013 was the most productive year yet for Flying Plow. We also relied heavily on horse power, using the horses for nearly all of our plowing and cultivating.
The fall of 2013 has been the most exciting yet for Flying Plow Farm. In November we settled on the purchase of our own land in Rising Sun, MD giving a permanent home to the Flying Plow.
During the summer of 2016 our farm received its organic certification. Currently all of our land is certified organic, along with our vegetables, meat chickens, and laying hens.