Begin­ning farm­ers tell their sto­ries in new se­ries

Maryland Independent - - News -

“To­mor­row’s Harvest: Begin­ning Farm­ers Tell Their Sto­ries,” a project by the South­ern Mary­land Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion (SMADC) de­signed to show­case the var­ied faces of new farm­ers in Mary­land and the value of men­tor­ship in agri­cul­ture, has re­leased a new se­ries of in­ter­views fea­tur­ing six farm­ers.

Par­tic­i­pants were drawn from Mary­land Far­mLINK’s Men­tor Match pro­gram, which pairs new farm­ers, in­clud­ing farm­ers branch­ing into new types of farm­ing, with an ex­pe­ri­enced farmer with rel­e­vant ex­per­tise.

The project high­lights the rich diver­sity of Mary­land agri­cul­ture that is evolv­ing to re­place the cen­turies-old, sin­gle-crop (to­bacco) model, as well as the var­ied back­grounds of those em­bark­ing on new farm ca­reers to­day. High­lighted farms range from a flower farm in in­ner-city Bal­ti­more to a pro­duce farm on the banks of the Patux­ent we could re­ally do this.”

laquinta cred­its his men­tor, Scott Hertzberg of Jug Bay Mar­ket Gar­den, with be­ing in­stru­men­tal in set­ting up the farm. “Scott came out to the farm and it was won­der­ful to have a sound­ing board to walk through and tell us if what we wanted to do made sense. We were pur­chas­ing equip­ment so it was help­ful to ask him what size, what at­tach­ments were nec­es­sary, what made sense as an equip­ment pack­age.”

A theme that arises across many of the “To­mor­row’s Harvest” sto­ries is the in­no­va­tive ways new farm­ers ac­quire farm­land to­day.

One story chron­i­cles an un­usual sub­ur­ban farm spread across mul­ti­ple lots, in­clud­ing fields in neigh­bor­ing back yards. “We like to call this ‘cre­ative re­use of sub­ur­ban land’,” said Ja­son James, co-owner of Moon Val­ley Farm. It’s a non-tra­di­tional way to ac­quire farm­land, but the busi­ness is thriv­ing. “I am an op­por­tunist,” said James. “As farm­ers, I think we have to be.”

An­other new farmer, Walker Marsh, carved out farm­land by re­claim­ing ad­joined aban­doned lots in the Broad­way East neigh­bor­hood in Bal­ti­more. ”We had to con­sol­i­date the 13 lots on this half-acre I’m farm­ing, and that took for­ever,” said Marsh. “You have to ap­proach farm­ing dif­fer­ent in the city.”

Priscilla Went­worth, pro­gram di­rec­tor for Mary­land Far­mLINK and the Men­tor Match pro­gram, is in­stru­men­tal in pair­ing the new farm­ers with men­tors, and feels that men­tor­ship is an im­por­tant re­source for new farm­ers.

“Pro­grams like the Men­tor Match are in place to keep farm­ing alive in our re­gion,” said Went­worth. It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see peo­ple choose farm­ing as a ca­reer, not just young peo­ple, but those of all ages. The peo­ple in these sto­ries are the fu­ture of farm­ing, and they are all cre­ative and smart, and re­ally in­ter­est­ing to lis­ten to.”

The begin­ning farmer sto­ries can be found at­to­ries.

The Men­tor Match pro­gram ac­cepts ap­plica- tions on a rolling ba­sis. De­tails can be found on the web­site, or by contacting SMADC.

Soup kitchen serves twice a week

Our Place Waldorf Soup Kitchen serves din­ner 5-6:15 p.m. Mon­days and Thurs­days. Hot meals are pro­vided at Good Shep­herd United Methodist Church, 305 Small­wood Drive, Waldorf, in a com­fort­able, car­ing, un­bi­ased en­vi­ron­ment to any­one who is hun­gry. Go to www.our­place­wal­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Re­cre­ation, Parks, and Tourism pro­vides new sports no­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem

The De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation, Parks, and Tourism en­cour­ages pro­gram par­tic­i­pants and fre­quent fa­cil­ity guest to go to and sign up to re­ceive free text mes­sages or emails re­gard­ing pro­gram or fa­cil­ity can­ce­la­tions and clo­sures due to in­clement weather. The on­line por­tal is now open for regis­tra­tion at, (key­word: Charles County Re­cre­ation) or by tex­ting RPT01 to 84483. In the event of in­clement weather, the De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation, Parks, and Tourism staff will use RainedOut to send im­por­tant no­ti­fi­ca­tions in- clud­ing can­celled events, fa­cil­ity clo­sures, changed plans, and reminders.

Dur­ing the regis­tra­tion process, in­di­vid­u­als can man­age their mes­sage set­tings, and pro­vide pre­ferred con­tact in­for­ma­tion. Mes­sage op­tions in­clude no­ti­fi­ca­tions via text mes­sage, email, or both. No­ti­fi­ca­tions will also be up­loaded onto the De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation, Parks, and Tourism Face­book and Twit­ter feeds.

RainedOut is pow­ered by Om­nil­ert, a com­pany that de­vel­ops in­tu­itive com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies that keep com­mu­ni­ties safe and con­nected. RainedOut is the first text mes­sage ser­vice for sports leagues and clubs. It is a cloud-based ser­vice, which may opt in or out at any time, or change their no­ti­fi­ca­tion set­tings.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation, Parks, and Tourism at 301-932-3470. Ci­ti­zens with spe­cial needs may con­tact the Mary­land Re­lay Ser­vice at 711, or Re­lay Ser­vice TDD: 800-735-2258.

Public in­vited to pro­vide in­put on Hugh­esville Village Draft Zon­ing

The De­part­ment of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment is devel­op­ing new zon­ing reg­u­la­tions for the Village of Hugh­esville. The public is in­vited to pro­vide com­ments and in­put on the draft zon­ing text and map, posted at www.CharlesCoun­­ning/hugh­esville-village-re­vi­tal­iza­tion-plan-and-im­ple­men­ta­tion. The county is of­fer­ing this ad­di­tional op­por­tu­nity for public in­put in ad­vance of the re­quired public hear­ings be­fore the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

The new zon­ing is a key com­po­nent in im­ple­ment­ing the 2007 Hugh­esville Village Re­vi­tal­iza­tion Plan, which calls for pro­mot­ing in­fill de­vel­op­ment and re­vi­tal­iza­tion while pre­serv­ing and en­hanc­ing the village char­ac­ter. The project area con­tains land cur­rently in the Village Res­i­den­tial (RV), Village Com­mer­cial (CV), and Light In­dus­trial (IG) zon­ing dis­tricts.

Com­ments may be sent to Amy Blessinger at Bless­ingA@ CharlesCoun­ or by mail to Charles County Govern­ment, Attn: Plan­ning Divi­sion, P.O. Box 2150, 200 Bal­ti­more Street, La Plata, MD 20646. Please send com­ments by Jan­uary 13, 2017. Ci­ti­zens with spe­cial needs may con­tact the Mary­land Re­lay Ser­vice at 711, or Re­lay Ser­vice TDD: 800-7352258.

County Public Library seeks art for new mo­bile library

The Charles County Public Library en­cour­ages lo­cal artists to sub­mit high-qual­ity graph­ics for the Mo­bile Library Art Con­test. The cho­sen sub­mis­sion will be fea­tured on the out­side of the new mo­bile library ve­hi­cle, ex­pected to be­gin in April 2017. The theme is “learn­ing, dis­cov­ery, and tech­nol­ogy.” Sub­mis­sions are due no later than Fri­day, Dec. 30, at 8 p.m. Send sub­mis­sions via email to mar­ket­ing@ cc­plon­ in a TIFF, JPG, or PSD for­mat with your name and con­tact in­for­ma­tion. All art must be orig­i­nal and un-copy­righted.

The mo­bile library will be a 26-foot long ve­hi­cle with 17 feet of load­ing space. The ve­hi­cle will fea­ture wheelchair lifts for ac­ces­si­bil­ity, a side awning for out­door pro­gram­ming, four public com­puter sta­tions, and the ca­pac­ity to hold up to 2,000 books. The mo­bile library will of­fer ac­cess to adult, teen, and chil­dren’s col­lec­tions, on­line re­sources and data­bases, free Wi-Fi, and public use com­put­ers. Spe­cial vis­its to schools and com­mu­nity events will be avail­able upon re­quest. Part­ner­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to http://cc­plon­line. org/ser­vices/mo­bileli­brary, or call Sarah Guy at 301-645-1385, ext. 417. Ci­ti­zens with spe­cial needs may con­tact the Mary­land Re­lay Ser­vice at 711, or Re­lay Ser­vice TDD: 800-735-2258.

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