Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 132: Bethesda Central Farm Market on Bethesda Lane

Bethesda Central Market

I was walking past Bethesda Lane yesterday when I spotted the Bethesda Central Farm Market.  This is a small market (three or four vendors) setup on the Bethesda Avenue side of the Bethesda Lane.  The vendors had a selection of bread, produce, baked goods, salami and sausage available. I of course gravitated to the home-baked chocolate cookies.  They were quite tasty and very large and are rumored to have five cookies per zip lock bag but somehow only three of the cookies made it home. 🙂

Rudy of Cat's Paw Organic Farm

I struck up a conversation with one of the vendors named Rudy Medicus.  I noticed the sign for his business said “Cat’s Paw Organic Farm.”  Intrigued I asked him about the name of the farm and nature of his “organic” operation.  He told me that the name came about because a mountain lion was a frequent visitor to the farm which is located in Union Bridge, MD, just west of Westminster, MD.  That’s right folks –a mountain lion!

Turns out our farmer is a Harvard trained Ph.D and when I asked him about the organic nature of his farm he replied, “I was farming organically before I even knew what “organic farming” meant.  He and his wife Judy’s farm is a Certified Organic Producer of vegetables and herbs by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  Rudy is about to publish a book called “The Organic Way of Life.”  He is in the process of choosing a book publisher and when he does I hope to give pass along some tips in our blog.

Amazing Strawberries

Organic can mean a lot of things to different people but the U.S. Department of Agriculture has defined the term from a legal perspective and governs its use as it relates to food production and distribution.  Here’s what Maryland’s Department of Agriculture has to say about the term “Organic.”

Fresh Vegetables

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too. Organic certification means anyone who produces, processes or handles organic agricultural products must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier in order to sell, label or represent their products as “organic.” Organic certification is not a guaranty of quality or purity of the product. Rather, it is evidence of the operation’s adherence to a prescribed system of agriculture and food production.

Awesome baked goods!

The Bethesda Central Market is open on Bethesda Lane on Thursday with new hours from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  You can also find The Bethesda Central Market on Elm street,  in the parking lot near the Regal movie theater between Woodmont and Wisconsin Avenue, on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Stop by and tell Rudy that Brian said “hi” and the chocolate cookies were delicious! ~Brian

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