The Clark household has a wealthy historical past in Howard County, farming since 1797. The present farm got here into being when James Clark Jr. purchased it from his father after coming back from World Struggle II. For a few years, he ran it not solely as a dairy farm but additionally raised beef cattle and grew hay, straw and varied greens.

It was in 2002 when his daughter, Martha Clark, launched a brand new attraction to Clark’s Elioak Farm to extend agritourism — a petting farm. This lets the group expertise the allure and enchantment of farm life, and get acquainted with all its pleasant animals.

“As improvement has unfold round our farm in Ellicott Metropolis, there aren’t quite a lot of different farms round us. We’re landlocked in suburbia, and consequently, it makes it onerous to farm historically,” Martha says. “As a substitute of seeing that as a unfavorable, we see it as a constructive. Now we have an awesome alternative to attach with the entire of us that dwell across the farm and present them what life on a farm is like.”

The farm covers over 540 acres, that includes varied points of interest and actions, along with farmland. Other than the lovable petting farm and Enchanted Forest, which incorporates items from the unique Route 40 attraction, the household grows produce they promote all year long. Throughout summers, their roadside produce stand turns into a bustling spot with fresh-grown produce, a cut-your-own flower garden and farm-raised 100% grass-fed beef and pastured pork.

Martha’s daughter Nora Vese provides, “We love introducing folks to our pleasant livestock and exhibiting them the place meals comes from. We love that our prospects get to expertise just-picked farm recent meals and understand how a lot taste and vitamin it has.” Nora is the seventh technology to run the farm, hopping on board to assist her mom after graduating from faculty.

Nora sees this as a particular alternative. “The typical family is 2 to a few generations faraway from farming nowadays. Which means they’re two to a few generations faraway from studying first-hand about the place their meals comes from,” she says. “We love that we will supply the chance for all ages to come back out to the farm and study what it’s all about. Even when farming shouldn’t be for them, it’s good to familiarize everybody with the place their meals comes from in order that they will perceive the onerous work that goes into offering meals, gas and fiber.”

There’s lots to see on the farm throughout totally different seasons. Fall is the largest season on the farm. Highlights for guests embrace the farm’s pumpkins, hayrides and being exterior within the crisp autumn climate. Different favourite occasions are spring when there are many child animals on the farm and late August when the sunflower field is in bloom.

“We expect folks love our farm due to the gorgeous surroundings, recent air, pleasant of us and enjoyable livestock. I believe folks love to come back out to the farm, breathe the recent air, unplug from their units and simply be current with one another,” Martha says.

To proceed the household’s legacy, the eighth technology — Nora’s younger son James — has begun his journey. “He’s now actually taking his first steps on the farm,” Nora says with pleasure. 

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