In need of exercise this weekend? Try a five, thirteen, twenty-nine, or sixty-two mile Crop Hop bicycle ride in rural St. Mary’s County!

The idea came from Christie Balch, University Maryland Extension agent in Prince George’s County who grew up on a small farm in Southwest Wisconsin. She mentioned a Bike the Barns event, sponsored by the FairShare CSA Coalition,  that is very popular with cyclists in Wisconsin. Proceeds from the event benefit FairShare’s Partner Shares Program, which helps low-income families purchase local,  vegetables and supports local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms.

Likewise, SMADC’s Crop Hop is a fundraiser bike tour designed to highlight the connection between farms, fresh food and good health, and to help provide fresh farm foods to low-income families in Southern Maryland. SMADC’s Market Analysis and Strategic Plan 2011 – 2020 envisions a future where profitable farms play an integral role in the health and quality of life of our community. The Crop Hop promotes fitness, informs residents about some of the healthy food sources in the area and promotes the economic vitality of the region.

The 2012 Crop Hop will tour six farms in southern St. Mary’s County and will feature fabulous food grown locally. Choose from four spectacular routes through the scenic So. Maryland countryside: a 62-mile route (metric century), a 29-mile route, a 13-mile route, and a family-friendly, 5-mile route. There is a locally-sourced picnic lunch at the end of the ride (from noon to 2:30 p.m.)

Those who don’t want to ride can also participate in the lunch ($5.00 for children and $10.00 for adults.)

Interested? Click here for information!