The Kentlands Farmersâ€™ Market is a colorful patchwork quilt of merchants, each with a different purpose and background, all contributing to the marketâ€™s diverse and flavorful atmosphere. The newest addition to this quilt is Misty Mountain Farms, led by farmers Mike Trippett and Randy Blair.
Their plain, white stand is unadorned, easily overlooked in its small nook on the edge of the lawn. The partnersâ€™ mission statement is straightforward: Said Blair, their goal is not only to â€śprovide [themselves] with a better quality of living â€¦ but also to provide the community with a better alternative for healthy meat.â€ť
Misty Mountain Farms is located about five minutes outside of Hagerstown. Though it is their first year seriously raising and selling their livestock, the owners certainly have experience.
â€śI work at a meat processor, which got me kind of excited and interested,â€ť said Trippett. â€śOff and on, this has been a hobby for mine for the last 20-something [years], but itâ€™s really only taken off in the past two.â€ť
Already the farmers have been met with enthusiasm from Kentlands Farmersâ€™ Market customers. â€śSo far itâ€™s been pretty good. People tell us how much they enjoy our products. Everyone seems to be pretty pleased,â€ť said Blair.
Trippett said they â€śseem to be receiving a good response for everything, especially baconâ€ť and that the business traffic has been great, despite some beginning difficulties with credit card usage.
The root of the duoâ€™s success could rest with a multitude of factors, including its simple philosophy and fair treatment of animals. Blair heavily emphasizes Misty Mountainâ€™s provision of a â€ślow-stress environment for our livestockâ€ť and â€śgenuine care of [our] animals.â€ť
Raising livestock in pastures not only allows the animals, as Trippett puts it, to â€śgo out and live like animals,â€ť but also provides potential health benefits. The farm highlights the importance of animalsâ€™ diets and treatment in resulting quality of meat.
With a surprising variety of meats for sale â€” 24 types total â€” the stand offers much more than plain old ground beef. Trippett and Blair sell beef, pork, deli, goat and lamb cuts as well as pig-ear dog treats. Prices range from $4.25 to $17.95 per pound. The meat is all cured naturally and served from a cooler to maintain maximum freshness in the sweltering summer heat.
In all, the Misty Mountain Farmsâ€™ stand is a friendly, natural source of meat for summer barbeques as well as just good conversation about farming or raising livestock. All are welcome to stop by â€” even vegetarians! When asked whether or not he felt any hostilities toward more vegetable-loving humans, Trippett vehemently invalidated the question, laughing, â€śOur animals are vegetarians, and I donâ€™t hate them!â€ť
Christina Xu is a junior at Richard Montgomery High School.