Butler’s Orchard opens its doors for Montgomery County farm tour -- Gazette.Net


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Children pedaled tractors and smashed vegetables, and parentstasted blueberries at Butlerís Orchard last weekend for the 23rd annual Montgomery County Farm Tour.

The Germantown farm, which has been participating in the tour since its inception, hosted about 1,000 visitors on Saturday and Sunday, according to Tyler Butler, the assistant farm manager.

ď[The tour] is great for us. We get a lot of newcomers and it gives us a chance to showcase the farm,Ē said Butler, who is the grandson of Butlerís Orchardís founder.

The weekend gave visitors a chance to try out the farmís marque activity: picking your own produce.

ďWe are a full-retail farm,Ē Butler said. Pickers chose from strawberries, blueberries and flowers on the more than 300-acre farm.

Butlerís Orchard also had some special events planned for the tour, such as the Veggie 500 race.

Vegetables such as cucumbers and eggplant were placed on tiny skateboards and then sent down a slanted track.

ďThe kids have a lot of fun because the vegetables smash at the end, and they get to learn about the vegetables,Ē Butler said.

The children also were able to pedal around on miniature tractors provided by the farm.

For those looking for a more relaxing time, Butlerís Orchard offered trolley rides around the farm.

Each trolley held between 50 and 60 people.

ďWe are not only part of the agriculture business, we are part of the agri-tainment business too,Ē Butler said about the events.

Butlerís Orchard was created in 1950 by George Butler as a wholesale farm. After he noticed neighbors picking strawberries on the farm, he decided to open the farm to those who wanted to pick produce. More than 60 years later the farm is owned by George Butlerís children, and his grandchildren help run the farm.

BlackRock opens its doors for free event

The BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown is hosting an open house Aug. 25.

Anyone interested in seeing first-hand what the center has to offer as a location for visual and performing arts is welcome to join.

BlackRockís new Executive Director Krista Bradley, who will begin her post this month, will be on hand to greet visitors.

The open house is free and open to the public. BlackRock is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown.

For more information, call 301-528-2260 or visit www.blackrockcenter.org.

Campus CongratsKevin Michael McCarthy, a resident of Poolesville, graduated from the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., with a bachelorís degree in biomedical engineering.

Pushkar Aggarwal, of Poolesville, won the Project Math Minds award for the second year in a row. The assignment for the award was to use math to estimate the total cost of attending college and the financial return after leaving. Aggarwal won a $5,000 scholarship.

Selena Kabonge, of Germantown, earned her bachelorís degree from Villanova University in Villanova, Pa.

Anik Saha, of Germantown, was named to the deanís list for the spring 2012 semester at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Noel Nacion, of Germantown, earned a bachelorís degree and David Wikman, of Germantown, earned a masterís, both at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.

Celebrate the gift of animals

Sugarloaf Congregation Unitarian Universalist is celebrating its annual Animal Blessing service at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 5, at 16913 Germantown Road in Germantown.

The service will be based around the joy animals bring to peopleís lives. Patrons are invited to bring their pets to the service. Each pet will be individually blessed.

Find treasures at the community flea market

The Germantown Historical Society, The Menare Foundation and Boy Scout Troop 1325 are sponsoring the monthly Germantown Community Flea Market on Aug. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The market will take place at the intersection of Germantown Road and Bowman Mill Drive in Germantown in the MARC Station parking lot. Spaces are $20 and take up two parking spots. Vendors are expected to be set up before 7 a.m. For more information, call 301-972-2707.

Shop and benefit Hospice

Hospice Caring Inc. is working with restaurants and stores at the Rio Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg on Aug. 2 to raise money for the organization.

By making a $10 donation shoppers will be given vouchers to present with purchases. A percentage of the total will be given to Gaithersburg-based Hospice.

Shoppers will also get a passport that can be used for discounts.

Finally, shoppers will be entered into a drawing to win gift certificates to Charming Charlie, Lilly Magillyís Cup Cakery, Barnes Noble and Finewine.

Cat adoption hosted by Animal Welfare League

Find your next family friend at the Cat Adoption Open House, 6 p.m, Aug. 3, at 12 Park Ave. in Gaithersburg.

The event, hosted by the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County, will allow patrons to meet the cats for adoption and talk to volunteers about the cats. Adoption is $50. For more information go to www.alwmc.org.

Take back the night in Gaithersburg

National Night Out Against Crime will hit six different Gaithersburg areas Aug. 7.

A number of local businesses and community organizations will host events to increase awareness of drug prevention activities, boost general support for anti-crime campaigns, and pass out information on local neighborhood watches. Local law enforcement will also participate in some events.

Night Out events will be held at:

- Saybrooke neighborhood will host a cookout at the community pool, 702 Saybrooke Oaks Blvd., from 6 to 9 p.m.

- Hyde Park neighborhood will host a cookout at its community pool, 400 block of Chistopher Ave., from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

- Quince Orchard Park will host an outdoor picnic with demonstrations at the community center, 500 Highland Ridge Road, from 7 to 9 p.m.

- Kentlands community center, 485 Tschiffely Square Road, will host an event from 7 to 9 p.m.

- Brighton Village Apartments will host an event at its community pool, 345 West Side Drive, from 7 to 9 p.m.

- Antojitos Restaurant in Olde Towne, 12 E. Diamond Ave., will host an event in their parking lot from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov.

Warm your vocal chords with Harmony Express

The Harmony Express Menís Chorus will be performing at 11701 Clopper Road in Gaithersburg on Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The Harmony Express is part of the Barbershop Harmony Society. For more information, contact Stacy Lynch at stacy_lynch82@yahoo.com.

Citizens academy registration opens in Gaithersburg

Anyone interested in law enforcement techniques and community policing is encouraged to sign up today for the Gaithersburg Police Departmentís annual Citizens Police Academy.

The academy consists of weekly sessions at the Robertson Park Youth Center, 801 Rabbitt Road, on Tuesdays between Sept. 11 and Dec. 4.

Classes consist of lessons on law enforcement techniques, traffic collision investigations, patrol operators, drug enforcement, crime prevention, and other topics.

Class size is limited to 16. Participants must be at least 16 years of age.

Deadline for applications is Aug. 28.

Applications can be downloaded from www.gaithersburgmd.gov/police. To receive one by mail call Officer Dan Lane at 301-258-6168.

Have a community announcement? Fun news from your neighborhood? Email staff writer Scott Maucione at smaucione@gazette.net. Our fax number is 301-670-7183. For events, please contact us at least one week in advance.