Rachel Clement picks purple mustard before the first hard freeze of the season at Owl’s Nest Farm in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Nov. 9. Many women, highly educated and city-bred, are taking to the farm life. Clement has worked at the farm since August. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.
The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.
She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system. 
For only …
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