What We Are


Good Contrivance Farm is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and restoration of small, historic farms in Maryland. Toward that end, our farm serves as a model of historic preservation and sustainable nurture. In bringing people to the farm, we avail ourselves of the opportunity to show visitors how beautiful and useful a restored historic farm can be.

The Writer’s Retreat Residencies, Programming, and More

1) As part of our public outreach, we offer The Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat: two spectacular spaces for overnight residencies where a writer can settle into a peaceful country getaway and get some good work done: the Barn Loft Apartment and the Hen House Cottage (details here.)

2) “The School House” is our new programming space, also available for day and evening use for individuals and small groups. (Details here.)

3) We offer programming in the form of workshops and craft talks. Our offerings are in response to a recent survey of writers and followers on our ever-expanding mailing list.

What Will You Find on the Farm?

We focus our energy on gardening: you will find a 30-tree orchard, a large kitchen garden (17 raised beds), a wildflower meadow, a greenhouse, and many flower beds. We have some trees of historic proportions and several lovely places to sit in solitude. Although we have facilities for farm animals (15 outbuildings, two large barns, a stable, etc.), we currently do not have time to devote to sheep, goats, cows, and so on.

A few pics of rare farm fauna:




Who Runs the Writer’s Retreat?

Ron Tanner directs the Writer’s Retreat. Ron is a well-published writer of fiction and non-fiction and has won many awards for his writing, including a Pushcart Prize, a gold medal from the Faulkner Society, a James Michener Fellowship from the Copernicus Society, and many more.

All GCF operations are overseen by a board of directors, which meets quarterly or more frequently, as needed. Current board members are:  Nate Brown, Michael Downs, Christine Higgins, Leslie Gilden, and Sheri Venema.