Maryland’s Farming History Comes Alive at this Local Park

Kimberly Bean
Published on July 28, 2017

Maryland’s Farming History Comes Alive at this Local Park

One of the greatest things about Southern Maryland is that you don’t have to travel far to experience Maryland history.

Travel to Accokeek, and you’ll find Piscataway Park. This serene spot of land has a unique purpose: To preserve the view across the river from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home. If you stand on the shores of the Potomac River inside Piscataway Park, you can see Mount Vernon sitting high on the banks on the other side.

But the park is so much more than a green space for historic site visitors. It has something to teach visitors about American history, too.

The National Colonial Farm was established on some of the park’s land in 1958. Operated by the Accokeek Foundation, the farm depicts a middle-class family farm just before the American Revolution began. This living history museum features a dwelling that dates to around 1770, complete with an out-kitchen and a kitchen garden where herbs, flowers, and vegetables from the 18th century grow. There is also an 18th-century tobacco barn on site, and during peak tourist season, costumed interpreters can tell you more about life on a farm like this.

But the colonial farm does more than tell the history of the people who lived on farms like this in the 1700s. The foundation also raises heritage breed livestock and grows rare and historic plants. A seed-saving program helps to preserve these unique plants for future generations. An organic ecosystem farm teaches about sustainable farming practices

Add walking trails, boating, a native tree arboretum, and educational events, and the National Colonial Farm and Piscataway Park is a great place to spend a summer day. The park is open year round, and admission is free except during special events.

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