2023: A Year in Review


Recapping 2023’s standout moments at Fox Haven
Reflecting on the highlights of 2023, it was truly a dynamic year! We experienced a lot of growth with new nature-based classes, record-breaking herb production, and recognition as a top venue for retreats and family gatherings. Our accomplishments speak volumes about our values. Here are 10 highlights we are celebrating.

10 Accomplishments
We’ve Achieved in 2023

1) In 2023, Fox Haven maintained our commitment to contribute $2 from every class ticket sale to the Kikeokàn Foundation (formerly the Piscataway Land Trust), an Indigenous-led organization focused on mutual aid in Indigenous communities of the Chesapeake region. In acknowledgment of the land Fox Haven occupies, a total of $4194 will be paid in LandBack taxes this year! This initiative generated valuable funds and served as a unique learning opportunity, offering our community an accessible means to give back.

2) Fox Haven reserves funds for BIPOC reparations on an annual basis, and this year, we were fortunate to receive support from generous donors who helped us raise $863 to support our efforts. These funds have played a crucial role in providing 193 people with gratis classes and rentals, creating opportunities for individuals to heal, learn, and thrive.

Word from a BIPOC Scholarship Recipient

In Fox Haven’s final Foragers class of the year, Ruth (@planetjumping) fills the room with a song dedicated to the Red Maple, underscoring the notion that even the most ordinary trees contribute significantly to our lives.

Ruth writes, “Foragers 2 was an insightful look at our relationship with the natural world. Learning about the food and medicine offered each month was valuable, but the discussion around how we see ourselves as co-stewards of the land were very impactful. The recipes, conversations, and community built around shared love and appreciation for the natural world will be with me for life. I recommend this course to anyone looking to deepen their knowledge and put down roots physically and metaphorically”.

ruth tyson

3) Responding to the growing interest in sustainable and locally sourced herbs, Fox Haven expanded its farm infrastructure. This expansion includes the lease of a new herb growing and drying site to accommodate increased productivity. Recently, we have been named a recipient of the Frederick County Agricultural Innovation Grant to build a plenum herb dryer that will support our herb-drying capacity. Stay tuned as details on this expansion unfold!
Frederick County Office of Economic Development awarded Fox Haven as an Agriculture Innovation Grant recipient to expand our herb-drying operation!

4) Through the Chesapeake Herbshed, an initiative co-founded by Fox Haven’s Herb Farm Manager (Lacey Walker), we were able to build relationships with herb growers and apothecarists throughout our region! Through this network, we provided wholesale herbs to STRŌB Apothecary, District Herbs, Cats and Cardamom, Tonic Herb Shop, The Nettle Patch, Little Red Bird Botanicals, Full Moon Acupuncture, Yellee Living, and Habanera Farm, all of whom are members of CHS.

5) Fox Haven achieved a significant milestone with record-breaking attendance of 1,735 adults and children served in 255 nature-based programs. This accomplishment aligns with our mission to serve as a regional hub for earth-based knowledge exchange and skill development.

As the interest in foraging continues to grow, we offered weekly mushroom foray excursions in the Spring and Fall aiming to impart insights on how to source from nature responsibly.
6) Through our Fresh Herb Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Fox Haven successfully served 73 members in Frederick, Baltimore, and College Park, meeting the community’s demand for fresh, locally grown herbs. We also served a total of 31 CSA Members in our Winter Dried Herb CSA in its second annual year.

CSA Members from Baltimore, College Park, and Frederick all gathered together for a tour of the land, some farm work led by Herbal Interns, fire cider making, apple cider pressing, and chestnut roasting to celebrate the end of the growing season.
7) We warmly welcomed Sarah Rollison as our new orchard manager. Sarah has been a frequent volunteer on the farm, learning firsthand from our land stewards. With this experience and rapport built in, we are thrilled to have Sarah step into the role of monitoring and maintaining the apples, chestnuts, and bees in the orchard.
Please welcome our newest team member, Sarah who joined us in April 2023!
8) Fox Haven developed partnerships with local herb buyers, including Yellee Living and McClintock Distilling, allowing our herbs to be incorporated into local products including gin, tinctures, teas, and salves. As the farm expansion plans continue to develop, confirmed buyers ahead of the growing season help to offset some of our production costs and contribute to the sustainability of our herb production initiatives. We have started the process of planning what botanicals they desire us to grow for their products which will be incorporated into our farm expansion plans.
Yellee, a past intern and CSA participant launched her own herbal business known as Yellee Living. She regularly places orders for bulk herbs from Fox Haven Farm.
9) Celebrating its sixth year, Fox Haven’s Farm Internship program continues to provide valuable hands-on learning opportunities and skill development in herb growing. A total of 11 Interns collectively received 345 educational field hours, 45 learning hours in the Herb CSA, 36 learning hours by participating in Foragers, and 24 learning hours in our Winter Herb Study program. In addition to this, 48 volunteers gave close to 300 hours of service, and 8 citizen science volunteers monitored 71 bluebird nest boxes. Beyond knowledge growth, the program has fostered strong bonds among participants from diverse backgrounds.
Interns visited Tenth Ward Distilling in Downtown Frederick to taste the absinthe our wormwood is used in followed by a campout at the farm
10) With outreach in mind, Fox Haven reached new audiences through partnerships. We partnered with Frederick County Public Libraries, the City of Frederick Parks & Recreation Center, Frederick County Hospice, Heartly House, school field trips, and more. Organizations with a philanthropic mission are often provided with free or discounted programming and rental stays to support their work. Outside of Fox Haven, staff has also participated in leadership within the Frederick County Food Council, Frederick Farm to School, the Frederick County Agritourism Work Group, and the Common Market Food Co-op. Participating in these initiatives demonstrates Fox Haven’s commitment to observing, listening, and actively contributing to efforts that provide resources and unite our community as a whole.

1) In early Fall, Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School visited the farm for a field trip. They participated in workshops that explored ecosystem relationships, teamwork in bee colonies, and the idea of biomimicry—learning from nature’s designs to solve human problems.

2) All summer long, Fox Haven offered a weekly nature program for kids called Baker Park Nature Explorers held in partnership with the City of Frederick Parks and Rec. On several occasions, Frederick County Public Libraries also participated by offering storytime and library services from their mobile bookbike.

 2,691 enthusiastic renters experienced healing and learning through our programs, guided walks, and tours. Notably, 38 Heartly House staff members, who provide support to battered women and children, experienced healing during their day on the farm (pictured). Additionally, 83 individuals enrolled in the Frederick County Hospice Program received complimentary access to Fox Haven’s programs, offering solace to terminally ill individuals as they navigated grief within a comforting and nurturing environment.
Our achievements are grounded in gratitude for our supporters. Our growing member network, comprised of farmhouse renters, CSA participants, and class attendees, sustains Fox Haven through their steady presence, financial contributions, word-of-mouth promotion and social media shares. To everyone receiving this email, your awareness and engagement make you a vital contributor to our continued growth, and we extend our heartfelt thanks.

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