Letter: 'We Need This Farm'
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Patricia Tice sent Patch this letter addressed to Doug Schuessler, executive director of Montgomery Soccer Inc. The letter addressed the Brickyard Road controversy:
Dear Mr. Schuessler,
I’m writing to ask that your organization not [build] local soccer fields on this former school site on Brickyard Road and Horseshoe Lane. It is currently the site of Nick’s Organic Farm. At a time when Americans are focusing on how their food is produced and where to purchase food grown locally, Nick’s Organic Farm is on irreplaceable resource. Located on an undeveloped school site it is also eminently suited to educating our students about organic farming practices. See http://www.brickyardeducationalfarm.org/
Perhaps you are not aware of how long it takes to develop truly organic soil. This farm, in this location, is unique and irreplaceable. The land has been carefully stewarded for 32 years. All of the work put into building the soil, boosting biodiversity, and cleansing the soil of chemicals will be lost in one single spray. Once the land has been graded and bull dozed, the soil structure will be destroyed and the land will not easily recover.
Nick's Organic Farm is a heritage farm, one of few such farms in our county and the only one to produce genuine organic seed, free of genetic modification. Because it is located at a distance from other farms growing genetically modified (GMO) corn or soybeans, Nick’s crops are protected from contamination by wind pollination from these farms. Moving it to another location in the agricultural reserve, surrounded by farms growing GMO varieties of crops, will preclude being able to grow and distribute the precious uncontaminated seed produced here to farmers around the nation.
We need this farm to help to preserve the diversity of our seed supply. In an era when climate change and major weather events threaten agricultural production in this country, maintaining a diversity of seed stock is incredibly important. We need to have varieties of staple crops able to handle different natural conditions where some crops will not survive. In the last several years, America has lost a large percentage of our diversity of seed because of extensive monoculture plantings. Food security and diversity specialists have looked to Nick's Organic Farm Potomac site to preserve these seeds-a practice that cannot be done easily elsewhere because of the physical isolation of this plot of land from conventional farming.
Soccer is an important sport for our boys and girls. The County's own research found that the Potomac subregion needs soccer fields less than the other 7 subregions in the County. In fact, the need for soccer fields is mainly in the subregions of Bethesda/Chevy Chase and the I-270 corridor, while the Potomac subregion actually has an excess of youth soccer fields. Other potential viable locations for new fields exist. This farm could be saved and more soccer fields could be developed elsewhere.
I ask that your organization consider these facts and determine another location for your fields.
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