May 2024 at ThorpeWood

Happy Summertime and welcome to our May newsletter! Boy, those April showers sure did bring ‘em. Check out what ThorpeWood and its flowers have been up to this May.


Did you know that nonprofit and educational groups can facilitate their own programs at ThorpeWood? Students from the Poolesville High School Ecology Program joined their staff on the farm side to learn about and experience the mental health benefits of hiking and forest bathing on May 13th.

We enjoyed the lovely weather with the students from the Walkersville High School Multilingual Education program on May 24th. During this final visit of the school year, students did an icebreaker with ThorpeWood staff, went fishing at the pond, engaged in self-led programming, and spent some quality time grooming the horses before the end of their day. 

We are so proud to announce that FCPS students from New Market, Thurmont, Oakdale, and Middletown Middle Schools had a joyful time during their last of four monthly visits to ThorpeWood this semester. These middle schoolers became expert ambassadors of the farm and learned so much about connecting with nature, mindfulness, teamwork, and friendship. In celebration, they placed the stepping stones they lovingly painted on the garden path to lead the way for future groups. They reflected on their favorite parts of the experience, received graduation certificates, and ate celebratory cupcakes. They had a free-time afternoon full of rock painting, animal time, sports, and fishing. Our staff have had such a wonderful time getting to know these young people and can’t wait to see what their future holds. 

Community Events & Nonprofit Groups

It’s hard to imagine that just a month ago, we caught some damp, chilly weather for our first Wildflower Walk on May 4th. Despite the cold and rain, a few folks showed up to learn some botany basics and appreciate the native buttercups, wild geranium, rue anemone, and many more spring ephemerals on the edge of ThorpeWood’s forest. Special thanks to Bob Schwartz of the MD Forest Service for lending his expertise!

May’s rendition of the Nature on Tap Speaker Series in partnership with RAK Brewing Co. on May 14th was a grand success with a turnout of over 40 people! John Beutler gave a compelling talk about the magical world of fungi all around us. Thanks to John, RAK, and everyone who attended. We can’t wait to continue Nature on Tap at RAK with speaker and expert Kristen Wixted who presents this month’s talk: For Goodness’ Snakes. Come on out June 11th at 6pm. Register in advance with this link to get 15% off your tab.

It was an absolute honor to host Steadfast’s first annual Pig Roast Fundraiser at the Homestead Barn on May 18th. The fundraiser was a massive success, raising over $20,000 to support Steadfast in their mission of providing “safe housing in a caring, supervised and home-like environment for unaccompanied homeless youth and for youth transitioning out of foster care.” Special kudos to our Nonprofit Event Coordinator, Tim, for all his hard work on this event. We hope everyone who came had a wonderful time.

Many nonprofit groups visited our property for meetings, events, trainings, and retreats galore. On May 16th we hosted the Frederick County Mental Health Association for a training & retreat day with a mindfulness walk led by Kaili. Frederick County DSS’s Adult Services Division enjoyed a well-deserved day of retreating on the 21st complete with team building activities, building terrariums, and spending quality time with ThorpeWood’s animals. On the 22nd Farm to School Frederick, whose mission is to make locally grown, highly nutritious food available for all Frederick residents, commemorated their second anniversary with a celebratory dinner at the lodge. An Eagle Scout Ceremony on May 25th honored two recent graduates from Tuscarora High School.

Finally, we’re glad to report that May’s grief support group & hike on the 25th was full of meaning and healing. Participants were numerous enough to split into two support groups and two hikes. Thanks to Kaili and Angelica for making this possible. Our hearts are full and warm from being a part of this experience. Support groups and hikes will continue monthly, so keep an eye out for registration links on our social media posts.

The Garden

Up in the garden, growing season has begun in earnest! Extra special thanks to our part-time garden assistant and former volunteer from Hood College, Phebe Frost, for her work this semester. Phebe and the ThorpeWood staff have cultivated eight raised beds full of peas, spinach, arugula, onions, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, marigolds, zucchini, and cucumbers. We’re growing corn, beans, and squash in three-sisters-style mounds as well as pumpkins, loads of potatoes, and a smattering of melon. As the baby tomato plants establish themselves and we sample the first greens of the season, we’re looking forward to getting our program participants involved and donating our larger harvests to food kitchens and other meal assistance programs! Check out some of this year’s growth so far:

Thanks for reading about our adventures. We hope everyone has a June full of growth and restoration.

P.S. Want to Get Involved?

Are you looking for ways to spend more time at ThorpeWood? We’re working to revamp our volunteer program! Stay tuned for more information coming out soon.