Senior Inspector

Sandy Spring Gardens

Owner: Tom Farquhar

304 Lethbridge Ct.
Ashton, MD 20861
Montgomery County

Mailing Address:
Sandy Spring Gardens
304 Lethbridge Ct
Ashton, MD 20861

daytime phone: (240) 357-2609
evening phone: (240) 357-2609
Web site:

Application Date: 2020-10-02

Farming History

Your Name *
Tom Farquhar
For how many years have you managed or worked on a CNG-certified farm? *
4 years
How many years of experience total do you have managing a farming operation that’s managed according to CNG/organic principles (whether certified or not)? *
4 years
Please indicate the place/s where you have farmed, including farm name, town, state, and country. *
Sandy Spring Gardens Ashton, MD 20861 USA

Types of Farming & Expertise

Please check the box corresponding to the types of operations with which you have at least three years of experience.

What type of training have you received in farming practices (on-farm and off-farm)? *
Three on-line courses with Cornell University Small Farms program. Annual participation in CASA Future Harvest conferences in Maryland. (3 years) Annual participation in PASA conferences in Pennsylvania. (3 years)
Please briefly describe your experience with mentoring, training, or advising other farmers, if any.
In a community of about a dozen local small vegetable farms, I have hosted annual dinners to bring members of this community together for comparing notes and planning. I have mentored a Nigerian/American farmer who grows vegetables-for-market 5 miles away. (He's now CNG: Dodo farms). I lease 13 acres of farmland, combined from 4 local landowners in the Maryland suburbs of DC. And I sub-let 6 of those acres to two other skilled "natural practices" veg. farmers.
What aspect of your farming operation are you most proud of? *
Absolute conformity to "organic standards" (OMRI-approved products, organic seeds to the extent possible). Also, cover-crops and addition of large amount of organic material (mushroom soil, composted manure) to improve heavy soil in our region. Support for two full-time farm-workers at $20-plus hourly wage.
What aspect of your farming operation are you most known for? (This could be a particular crop beloved by customers or an uncommon production method that other farmers would appreciate.) *
Our vegetable products at market are distinctive for flavor and freshness. "Hyper-fresh" is a central theme in our brand, achieved by early-morning harvest on Market day. And while we have extended irrigation to nearly all beds, we aim for a light-touch on irrigation and fertilization... to maintain the nutrient and flavor density of our harvest.
What do you appreciate about Certified Naturally Grown?
The notion of a loose confederation of like-minded farmers. Frankly, I don't think our customers care all that much about it. And we hope to soon complete our application for USDA Certified Organic. But CNG certification is what we could handle in these start-up years.
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know.