Down on the farm

TRAVEL SMARTS

In Garrett County area, farmers become teachers

September 16, 2001

With the leaves gearing up to change colors, it's a good time to plan an outing to mountainous Western Maryland. The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has put together a list of area farms open for tours, so while you're enjoying the foliage you can learn a thing or two about cultivating shiitake mushrooms and caring for alpacas. Call 301-334-6960 for a brochure, or call the farms below for hours and days of operation:

The Learning Farm at Garrett Community College, McHenry; 301-387-3331 -- Guided tours of barns and barnyards as well as demonstrations of farming practices. Seasonal operation yet to be determined.

Briar Patch Bunnies, Oakland; 301-387-9044 -- Bunnies, ducks, geese and goats available for petting. Open year-round.

Yoder's Tomato Place, Oakland; 301-334-9258 -- Learn how to grow tomatoes hydroponically. Open May through August.

Crimson Shamrock Alpacas, Eglon, W.Va.; 304-735-6413 -- Suri alpacas, angora rabbits and sheep available for petting and grooming. Open year-round.

Cove Run Farms Corn Maze, Accident; 301-746-8161 -- Test your sense of direction in the 260,000-square-foot cornfield maze. Open through October.

McClintock Dairy, Accident; 301-746-8220 -- Working dairy farm. Open year-round.

Bietschehof Farm, Grantsville; 301-746-7049 -- Sheep and cattle farm with accessible hiking trails. Open through October.

Deep Creek Cellars, Friendsville; 301-746-4349 -- Sip free samples and tour the winery. Open through Dec. 15.

Walnut Meadows, Bruceton Mills, W.Va.; 304-379-3596 -- A tree farm that cultivates shiitake mushrooms, black walnut trees and ginseng. Open year-round. -- Tricia Bishop

Small-town recognition

If history is your thing, ePodunk.com's got a list for you. The site surveyed American small towns and ranked them based on their historic qualities (number of old buildings, districts and housing).

These are the Top 10 and their scores, but the full list of 138 is available online (Frostburg made the list as Maryland's historic delegate):

1. Shirley, Mass. (90 out of 100 points)

2. Woonsocket, R.I. (84)

3. Wheeling, W.Va. (83)

4. Bristol, Conn. (83)

5. Montpelier, Vt. (77)

6. Natchez, Miss. (76)

7. Deadwood, S.D. (76)

8. Hudson, N.Y. (74)

9. Newport, Ky. (72)

10. Quincy, Ill. (71)

-- T.B.

Dog days at Dewey Beach

Greyhound owners past and present are gathering for the seventh annual Greyhounds Reach the Beach weekend Oct. 5-7 at Dewey Beach, Del. More than 3,000 dogs and their owners are expected to attend, swap stories, make friends and further the greyhound adoption cause.

If you're interested in finding out more about greyhound adoption, check out www.adopt-a-greyhound.com, which lists adoption centers throughout the state, or call the Greyhound Pets of America in Baltimore at 800-600-8607. -- T.B.

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