Welcome to The Retreat at Moose Manor Farms:
GPS Address: 15810 Old Marshall Hall Rd,
Accokeek, MD 20607
Wifi Password: chubby342nap722hum
Dana & Mike: (301) 678-3533
Things to enjoy at our home:
Read a book from our library; enjoy while lounging in one of the many quiet nooks around the house or out on the deck.
Cook a fun family meal. Enjoy our kitchen or grill on the deck and feel free to use anything you see in the fridge or one of the many pantries. We’ve provided you with a dozen eggs to get you started. If you’re interested in purchasing any of our farm products to prepare your meals just let us know. A price list link is above.
Hang out with the free range ducks and chickens. Feed them your kitchen scraps, watch them gallivanting about taking care of very important poultry business - just please don’t chase them. We have several “retirees’ and they don’t get around like they used to. The idea is to interact with the animals much like you would with folks at a BBQ, noting those who need more personal space and those who are interested in getting up close and personal. This makes a more pleasant experience for all involved.
Help in the hatchery. In the spring you might be able to feed or pet baby lambs, ducklings, chicks, and goslings. We always have new life on the farm and it changes with the seasons.
Help in the vegetable garden. In the late summer and fall you might catch us at our very best vegetable harvest when we'll be "putting up" for the winter by canning and dehydrating our summer bounty.
Take a walk in our woods. Stepping into the forest is like walking through a gate; you leave all the fuss, busy life, and smooth asphalt roads behind to be greeted with the peace of fragrant nature. Dappled light floats through the canopy, the earthy scents rise with each footstep: fertile soil, damp moss, and wild mint. In the commune that is the woods, from the trees to the insects, the birds and the bunnies, there is a sense of divine peace that settles your soul and spirit.
Watch the hummingbirds: We have lots of Ruby Throated hummers gadding about. These tiny acrobats chase, dart, and dip, flit and flutter in miraculous tricks! They dash out of the woods to inspect the feeders and flowers we’ve planted all around the house to provide the high energy foods to fuel their fun. These beauties typically arrive in Maryland in mid-April and depart by late October.
Enjoy the sunset. We love to sit on the front porch in the final hours of daylight. The sun in the woods is beautiful around 7:30 and it’s the perfect spot to kick back and have a glass of wine. When the temperature is just right we open the double front doors for that perfect indoor-outdoor experience and ask Alexa to play "Forest Cello" everywhere to set the mood.
Dirt roads and ancient trees. Welcome to the Moyaone Reserve! It was established in the 1930s by Alice Ferguson to protect the Piscataway forest and offer a lifestyle in partnership with Nature while still being a short drive to modern needs. It contains about 180 custom built homes on over 2,000 acres of woodlands and watersheds. It offers many trails to explore while you’re here and several riverfront spots to watch the sun go down. Here's a great article from the Washingtonian.
Mike and Dana are both in the military… or more accurately: Mike recently retired from the military after 30 years of service and Dana is still serving (26 years so far). Dana grew up on a horse & cattle ranch in Southern California and Mike grew up in a quiet suburb of Buffalo, NY. We’ve been farming in Maryland for 15 years but recently purchased this house and 25 acres of land surrounding it. The house was a fixer-upper and we’ve been working hard on meaningful renovations since we moved in but we still have many more to go! We believe you'll enjoy staying here as much as we enjoy living here. We hope you'll love it enough to return to see all the new home updates and happenings on the farm.
Things to explore in Southern Maryland:
Piscataway National Park: 5,000 acres that stretches for six miles from Piscataway Creek to Marshall Hall on the Potomac River. It’s home to bald eagles, beavers, deer, foxes, ospreys, and many other species. To complement the surroundings, the park has, in addition to a public fishing pier and two boardwalks over fresh water tidal wetlands, a variety of nature trails, meadows, and woodland areas. Piscataway Park preserves the view from historic Mount Vernon directly across the Potomac so that it looks as it did when George Washington was in residence. The Park is also home to National Colonial Farm. It's right in our neighborhood within walking distance of our farm, a scenic bike ride, or just a couple minute drive.
The National Colonial Farm: a mini-Williamsburg, a living history museum presenting 18th century agriculture and a certified organic farm used for demonstration and education. Great for further animal viewing with nice docks and riverside trails to explore or go fishing.
Chapman State Park: a 15-minute drive with amazing trails featuring mature forests, rare plants, and bald eagles in the dramatic woodlands that stretches from the Potomac River to Mattawoman Creek. Enjoy the Mt. Aventine Mansion, the historic home of the prominent Chapman family, who were closely tied to the family of George Washington. The beaches in the park boast one of the most striking views in the region. A definite favorite for locals.
Smallwood State Park: Home of General William Smallwood, a Revolutionary War officer who was the 4th Governor of Maryland. His house, called Smallwood's Retreat, has been restored and is open to visitors. Sweden Point Marina has 50 boat slips and excellent access for fishing on the Potomac River. Besides the restored house, the 628 acre park offers the marina, boat launching ramps, a picnic-camping area and nature trails. A 25-minute drive with beautiful trails and a large marina. They charge a small entry free.
Indian Head Rails to Trails: a very beautiful paved bike trail which was once a railroad built in 1918 for Indian Head Naval Ordinance Base. It's been beautifully converted into a conservation trail for biking and walking. Fantastic for enjoying mature forests, natural wetlands, and occasional farmland. Included are many interpretative signs showcasing our region's rich history. There are several access points within a 25 minute drive. Our favorite is on Bumpy Oak Rd, just GPS to Bumpy Oak Rd, you’ll see the trail beside a gorgeous lake on the left. (18 minutes away).
Head out to Charlotte Hall to the Amish farmers market at the intersection of Three Notched Rd and New Market Rd. Amish first settled in Maryland in the 1830s. Today, only three communities are found in the state. St. Mary’s County is also home to a community of Old Order Mennonites (Old Order Mennonites bear similarities to Amish, including use of the horse-and-buggy). (45 minutes away).
Or quite simply walk down the driveway and go to the left, it’s a beautiful 3- mile woodsy loop that we like to take for long walks.
Moe’s Seafood Carryout: This is a great place to pick up crabs and steamed shrimp to eat outside by a fire.
B&J’s Carryout: an old school sandwich, bbq, and milkshake joint. I recommend the crabcake sandwich, everyone loves the bbq sandwiches. Everyone enjoys the milkshake and ice cream window on hot days.
High Noon: a new local spot in the Bryan's Road shopping center featuring fantastic southern cuisine and seafood. 10 minutes away makes for great carryout.
Beijing Express: Really good quality for inexpensive Chinese take-out. Near B&Js so you can get your ice-cream fix while you wait.
Nick’s of Clinton: Fantastic old school Italian grocery/deli/liquor shop/butcher. A fun little grocery store with excellent meats and Italian imports, and they have a large selection of booze (including growler fills) …worth the extra drive just for their sandwiches and homemade soups. (30 mins away)
Miller Farms: a farm grocery, nursery, bakery, and pick-your-own berries and greens kinda place. Very popular with the best organic seeded watermelons in the world. Really the best watermelons you’ll ever eat.
For general groceries and booze, Food Lion and Weis are both within 10 minutes and have liquor stores nearby.
More familiar chain restaurants and shops are plentiful in Waldorf along Crain Highway
If you miss civilization, I recommend Old Town, Alexandria (35 mins away). It’s very charming and fun to walk around and see all the gorgeous boutiques and quaint waterfront restaurants.
And of course DC is only 20-40 minutes away as well. But you’ve come here to get away…
Important guidelines for the house:
1) Please, only TP in the toilets and special care in the kitchen sinks. We have a septic system, so disposals, any chemicals, or excessive grease can damage its ecosystem over time. When washing very greasy dishes and pans, we recommend wiping them off first in the trash. Your average dirty plate is fine and we just rinse things before putting them in the dishwasher.
2) Trash and recycling goes out to the bins by our garage at check out. You don’t need to make the beds, and towels that you use can be left on the bathroom counter.
3) Due to the amount of dirt and poultry poop around the property (and the brand new hardwood floors) we do prefer shoes off in the house. A good pair of house slippers certainly improves everyone’s experience.