Persons Farm grow where your home is!
Written by: Clare B.
Edited by: Lisa Blubaugh
Persons Farm, located in Oldtown, Maryland, is a short 14-mile drive from the heart of Cumberland. Owner Austin Person has been up operating his 6-acre farm for 5 years. This is his first year at the Allegany Farmers Markets, and he is the newest farmer in our growing community. Austin has many ideas for expansion of his property and growing food for our community.
When I drove up the driveway to Persons Farm, I had the feeling that I was traveling into a Brother Grimm’s Fairytale. A deep wood surrounded an open garden. It is a home that is a haven for people who believe in the mantra of “grow food not lawns.” Inside the garden is a living ecosystem of plants in all stages of growth. Echinacea bloomed and kale, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots were growing happily, while lettuces are allowed to bolt into seeds. Austin has started all his plants from seed including plum, peach, pear, and paw paw trees. His farm’s specialty crops include parsley root and French mountain spinach.My garden is a mosaic,” says Austin adding that he has “plants in many stages, species growing side by side, a habitat for beneficial creatures, and saving seed for a food forest.” Although the farm is not certified organic, Austin uses no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. An offsite compost is brought in from a neighboring Alpaca Farm, where Austin works the compost himself.
His roots began in his family home. Austin moved away from the area, and upon returning, he purchased his family home to begin Persons Farm. His vision for his land is far beyond a “traditional farm.” With hard labor, he is hand-digging two ponds on his property. This new addition to Persons Farm will allow for better inoculation of mushrooms and a habitat to foster fresh water shrimp, bluegills, and aquaponic growing of plants.
His untraditional approach to growing food gives him an outlook on our food system that is unique from most modern farmers. He believes in growing as many native plants as possible and using food for medicine. His sign even quotes Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In addition to growing medicinal food, Persons Farm wants to focus on connecting people with the surrounding land. Austin dreams to one day grow as a wildlife corridor for humans, so they can connect with our surrounding land. A wildlife corridor would be a trail system built in the heart of our Appalachian Mountains, that would serve as a way for people to connect with wild foraging in our area..
Austin encourages people to volunteer on the farm. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or joining Persons Farms CSA, visit them on Facebook @Persons Farm. You can find Austin, and family at Allegany Farmers Market:
Downtown Cumberland Thursdays 9:30- 1:00pm