Visit Our Farms
Prince George’s County sits at the doorstep of our Nation’s Capital and is the gateway to Southern Maryland food and agriculture. As the most diverse and closest agricultural county to Washington, D.C., it boasts a vibrant, transitioning rural economy, one-of-a-kind farm heritage, and burgeoning urban agriculture enterprises. Agriculture is a proud part of Prince George’s County history with 347 farms totaling 32,607 acres according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Our farms are diverse in terms of product, size, scale, location, and operator.
Tobacco, once at the heart of Prince George’s County’s agricultural economy, created the wealth that built fine plantation houses and enabled planters to devote time and care to their horses. As a result of this passion, Prince George’s County became the cradle of American thoroughbred racing.
With slavery still intact, the prosperity enjoyed by colonists would continue until the beginning of the Civil War. Tobacco remained the predominant crop through the 1800s; however, farmers began experimenting with new crops including squash, corn, beans and tomatoes from Native Americans, greens, peppers and sweet potatoes from Africa, and orchard fruits and grains from Europe. Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, the number of farms in Prince George’s County doubled.
By the mid-1990s, as health concerns mounted, buying habits changed, and economies shifted, it became clear that tobacco was disappearing from the landscape. Tobacco production effectively came to an end in Southern Maryland in 2000 when Maryland legislators instituted a financial program through the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission to farmers who committed to stop growing tobacco, but would remain in agriculture, and transition to alternative farming models on a variety of scales. As a result, Prince George’s County farms have diversified into a variety of products such as soybeans, corn and other small grains, hay, dairy, grapes, beef, pork, poultry, nursery, produce, and a variety of value-added products including agritourism.
In addition, Prince George’s County is home to a number of historic properties that preserve and promote our agricultural heritage through the early colonial period and the post-Civil War era.
Fortunately, the resurgence of interest in local food and agriculture is helping to preserve family farms! Our farmers are proud of what they grow and raise and want to share the experience -- and bounty -- with you.
Visit our farms and farm heritage sites. Appreciate our agricultural roots. Support your local farmers market. Together we can keep agriculture alive and flourishing in Prince George’s County!
Click on the links below to connect with your local farms.