Archive for the ‘Koinonia Farm’ Category

Celebrating Earth Day at Gramercy

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Have you ever thought about how much the Earth gives us? With the blooming flowers and beautiful spring weather, it is only natural to want to spend time outside in the fresh air. In order for us to enjoy our green surroundings, we have to protect the environment. Earth Day is an International environmental movement celebrated every year on April 22 that helps us appreciate and protect our environment.

Here at Gramercy Mansion, our gardens are a prominent element of the mansion, providing a breathtaking backdrop for any event, big or small. From a stroll in the gardens to a gorgeous garden wedding, the flowers never fail to create memories and smiles. Planting flowers around the 45-acre property has many environmental benefits, as well. Planting flowers conserves the land that they grow on, and conservation is just one of the many goals of Earth Day. The flowers are also an important food source for a variety of insects including butterflies and bumblebees. Another significant result of planting flowers is the reduction of carbon in our environment. Not only do flowers create a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere, but they also help our environment in immeasurable ways. Click here to explore our garden photo gallery.

Organic farming is yet another way that Gramercy Mansion contributes to the protection of the environment, a prime reason to celebrate this Earth Day. Koinoia Farm is the oldest organic farm in Maryland, not only providing the bed and breakfast with fresh herbs, but also providing them to local supermarkets. Organic farming relies on biological diversity and crop rotation to manage pests and maintain soil fertility, all without the use of harsh chemicals. This healthy way of farming keeps the soil healthy for future generations to come. It also provides nutritious and safe crops for the community.

Our staff makes up just a few of the one billion people participating in Earth Day activities. Even though it may seem small, our gardens and Koinoia Farm help protect the environment through conserving land, reducing carbon, providing food sources, and maintaining soil fertility. What are you doing this Earth Day to join in this environmental movement?

Visit for a bed and breakfast stay this spring and take home one of Anne’s plants from the many varieties now in bloom to begin or add to your own garden.

And We Have A Winner…

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Bill Duffy standing proud with one of his many tomatoes

Congratulations to Bill Duffy, our Executive Innkeeper, for winning the tomato wars this season!

Anne promises next year to deliver a victorious win and gain her title back as “Tomato Queen.”

Can anyone out there in the Bed and Breakfast business or with a culinary garden beat out Bill’s 2.3 lb tomato? We would love to hear from you.

Last night's pick of Bill's tomatoes

Let The Tomato Wars Begin!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

At Gramercy, our executive innkeeper, Bill Duffy, is a tomato connoisseur and he and Anne have a running tomato war.  This year, Anne with Gramercy’s kitchen garden won round one with the first picked ripe tomato.  But Bill had a resounding comeback today bringing in five  4 to 5 inch fully ripened fruits with a ten on the flavor side.  Try Gramercy’s breakfasts which include Bill’s tomatoes (and home baked breakfast cakes) as well as the heirlooms Cherokee Purple, Bandywine,  Soldaki and old favorites like yellow pears and other organic herbs and vegetables from our kitchen garden.

Taking a step back in history

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

From 1950 to 1985, Gramercy Mansion was occupied by the Koinonia Foundation. One of the founders was Frank C. Laubach, internationally known for his work in spreading literacy in under developed parts of the world. Born in the small Pennsylvannia community of Benton, Frank was influenced by church & family to always give the best he had. His year at Perkiomen was a deciding factor in his lifelong commitment to missionary work. From being the fullback on the local football team, to winning the Maclean Prize at Princeton University (awarded by Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton) for his oratory “The Passing of War,” Frank developed the skills for success.

From high school days, Frank had been interested in bringing Christianity and education to the warlike Moros in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. His first efforts were unsuccessful. But, when he realized that the Moros also had something to teach and give, that he was not their superior by education or birth, he made friends. Realizing they had no written language, he developed the tools for writing down their language and teaching literacy. A newspaper was published and epic poems were written down. The desire to learn spread like wildfire through the Moros and the Literacy Movement began along with an interest in the faith that Frank had. A chieftain started the idea of “Each one, teach one.”

From this beginning in 1930, Frank Laubach’s methods have been used throughout the world. He has been honored by governments, recognized as an authority on prayer, a Christian mystic, and a challenger of the world’s complacency for the uneducated majority.

In his seventies, he realized that an institution to train people in his methods of literacy, would insure the continuation of his programs. Thus the Koinonia Foundation with the help of other Christian leaders was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950. Also taught at Koinonia were communication skills and organic farming. Today, we still have the original building where his classes were held, a white frame house (originally and still called Literacy.) Below are pictures from that era:

Dr. Laubach with Mae Ellen Ruddell. The Ruddells were the first trainee family to reach its foreign post after Koinonia training.

Dr. Laubach placing the cornerstone on an eight unit apartment building (Still called Memorial) that housed members of the community.

Some of the early Board Members– Dr. Laubach, Rev. C. Richmond, Anthony Brayton, Dr. Glenn Clark, Mrs. C. P. Briggs, Morton Greenberg, Louise Eggleston, Glenn Harding (Executive Director)

Note that these pictures come from the book Champion of the Silent Billion, The Story of Frank C. Laubach, “Apostile of Literacy”.

Summer Has Begun!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Pool at Gramercy Mansion

June 21st is the official kick off to summer. Swimming pool splashes, sweet and sticky snowballs from the neighborhood stand, fresh farmer’s market produce, open-air movie night s, concerts and festivals, and a slower pace of life as school days wind to an end for the summer. We hope you’re enjoying sunny days outdoors, cookouts and down time with family and friends this summer.

Stevia Plant

Gramercy has been busy with the start of wedding season, guests visiting our B&B for a relaxing getaway and growing season for our organic herbs at KoinoniaFarm. We are happy to announce Mom’s Organic Market located in Timonium will be carrying our herbs available for purchase. Mom’s is exclusively the only market in the area to carry Koinonia’s organic Stevia. Be sure to look for our labels in our local market!

Asparagus Basil Salad

With our organic herbs readily available this time of year, it’s the perfect season to try your hand in the kitchen! Try one of our favorites, asparagus basil salad.This salad is light and refreshing, perfect on a summer day.


1 lb asparagus,  halved
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 ripe avocado
1 cup sliced basil leaves
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Steam asparagus for 5-7 minutes until fork tender. Combine asparagus, tomatoes, avocado and basil in a large bowl. Stir in olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Fragrance of Summer Tea & Garden Tour

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Fragrance of Summer High Tea and Garden Tour

at Gramercy Mansion

June 2nd


June 30th

1-4 pm

Join us for an afternoon in the gardens at Gramercy! Enjoy a delightful three- course high tea followed by guided tours of the Mansion and beautiful gardens. Come experience all the wonderful fragrances of summer! Our summer tea is open to the public but space is limited so make your reservations now!

$35 per person plus tax and service.

Reservations and payment required in advance.

Contact Maria at 410-486-2405

Menu soon to follow…

Opening Day at Ladew Gardens

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Ladew Gardens opens today, Monday, April 1, 2013, for the start of it’s 42nd season delighting visitors from near and far! Named one of the top 5 gardens in North America in 2012, Ladew is a must-see.  The topiary is always amazing and the spring flowers are blossoming.

Upcoming events at Ladew include My Lady’s Manor Steeplechase Races (April 13th) and the Garden Festival (May 4th).  Throughout the spring and summer, attend a Garden Series lecture, bring the kids for Storytime in the Garden, or share a fun-filled time with the entire family at a Sunday evening summer concert.

Just a 30-minute drive separates Ladew’s lovely topiaries and Gramercy Mansion‘s landscaped gardens and Koinonia organic farm (the oldest organic farm in Maryland).  A true retreat for garden lovers… book your B&B stay at Gramercy and wander the gardens and farm at your leisure, then hop in the car for a scenic drive to Ladew Gardens.  Enjoy two of the most beautiful gardens in Baltimore county!

Hope to see you tiptoeing among the tulips this spring!

Fall High Tea & Garden Tour

Friday, August 31st, 2012

At Gramercy Mansion

Sunday, September 23rd

12:30—3:30 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon in the gardens at Gramercy! Enjoy a

delicious three-course afternoon tea followed by guided tours

of the Mansion and landscaped gardens. Our fall tea is open

to the public but space is limited so make your reservations now!

$35 per person plus tax and service.

Reservations and payment required in advance.

Contact Maria at 410-486-2405.

High Tea Menu

We are very pleased to announce a new and improved high tea menu from our new caterer, Rouge Fine Catering. The tea will be served by the Innkeepers at Gramercy Mansion.

Hors D’oeuvres

Deviled Eggs with Smoked Bacon and Grainy Mustard

Caprese Skewer

Tri-colored Tortellini and Sundried Tomato Skewer

Fresh Fruit Skewer with Crème Francaise

Tea Sandwiches

Grilled Summer Vegetable Mini Sandwich with Herbed Goat’s Cheese

Smoked Salmon & Dill Quark with Red Onion & Capers on Pumpernickel Bread

Curried Cucumber Sandwich with Mint

Roasted Chicken Salad with White Beans and Basil


Assorted Mini Pastries

Chocolatine, Crossants, Cinnamon & Raisin Brioche, Cinnabuns

Mini Danish and Strawberry & Apple Turnovers

Variety of brewed Hot Tea, Iced Tea and Lemonade

A little Koinonia history…

Monday, March 19th, 2012

As spring begins to bloom and our Koinonia Organic Farm workers arrive back from their winter respite in Mexico, we reflect on our namesake and the history of our property here at Gramercy Mansion.  Heather stumbled upon this tidbit of Koinonia history ( for those of you interested in what once was.

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Ten years of periodic prayer and retreat, in response to world needs
during the era of World War II, preceded the emergence of Koinonia
Foundation into working reality in 1951. (“Koinonia,” a term used
often by the early church, is a Greek word for “community.”) The
Foundation acquired a 44-acre estate in the Green Spring Valley
north of Baltimore, and soon launched a program, and community life,
featuring retreat, study, spiritual community – and training to take
literacy, agriculture, health, and similar practical skills into the
undeveloped world. Much of the Peace Corps’ program was modeled
after Koinonia’s. The community’s center of gravity was nonsectarian
Christianity, with strong Quaker influences.

Koinonia’s life had two phases. The first, lasting from 1950 to
1970, featured the philosopy, purpose, and programs of the founders.
The second phase included a shift from the original orientation to
“New Age” and wholistic activities and “the alternate semester.”
During this time many of the community’s original members and
friends continued to engage the place as a center of prayer, study,
and retreat.

The community had a multigenerational resident population, with
several resident staffers / instructors living there over its entire
life, and a total population of up to about eighty people at any
given time. (Short-term retreatants and students, and some renters,
were included in the foundation.) This diverse group – typically
ranging in age from conception to the mid-80s – was one of
Koinonia’s great strengths.

Koinonia closed its doors in 1985, but many of its people continue
in roles of spirit, learning, and leadership around the country, and
around the world. The Foundation continues as a small grant-writing
organization to the present day.

Refreshing Summer Recipes – Week 4

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Ahhh… time for dessert!  There’s nothing like a cool dip of ice cream on a hot summer day.  Add this sweet, minty topping for a delectable treat.  Don’t forget, the mint featured in this recipe can be found at Gramercy Mansion’s own Koinonia Farm.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Minted Honey Mango Sauce

3 cups chopped peeled mangoes, divided
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mild honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
fresh raspberries for garnish
Vanilla bean ice cream

Purée 2 cups mango with water, honey, and sugar in a blender until smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in remaining cup mango and mint. Serve
over vanilla ice cream and garnish with mint leaves & fresh raspberries.