A summer day in Western Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve (Photo: Martin Radigan)
Please Note: The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed, including but not limited to masks on the bus and indoors.
Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve is a rural jewel of the Capitol area, with expansive farms, forests, parks, and a rich history. Its visionary creation in 1980 protected 93,000 acres and has since garnered accolades for being one of the best land conservation plans in the United States. Today, residents and visitors can enjoy the bounty of farms, delicious foods, miles of hiking trails, scenic roads, the Potomac River, the C&O Canal towpath, and myriad historic sites.
Reserve resident Christine Rai leads a visit that highlights how this area has provided an abundant foodshed for millennia, from the original Piscataway tribes, European colonists, peoples of African descent, and beyond. Discover how the reserve’s complex heritage parallels Maryland food traditions and wider American foodways and come to appreciate its compelling history and natural beauty.
Visit sites around the western agricultural reserve such as McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, White’s Ferry, Warren Historic Site, and Riley’s Lock on the C&O Canal. Break for lunch at Locals Farm Market in the circa-1844 Veirs-Stevens house, a locally sourced restaurant and bakery in Poolesville. There’s also an opportunity to visit the oldest building in the town, the 1793 John Poole House and the 1908 Old Town Hall Bank Museum, both run by the local historical society.
Rai is an interdisciplinarian who specializes in food studies, culture, and folklore. She leads local and international trips and tours, talks, and tastings.
- Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
- Updated: The tour meets at and leaves by bus from the Mayflower Hotel (Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW), with a pickup stop at St. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, 10620 River Rd., Potomac, Maryland, at approximately 8:30 a.m.
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