Mid-Shore Soil Con­ser­va­tion Dis­tricts are tak­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for as­sis­tance

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Obituaries -

AN­NAPO­LIS — Soil con­ser­va­tion dis­tricts in Caro­line, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Tal­bot coun­ties are now ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions from farm­ers seek­ing fund­ing and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to im­ple­ment con­ser­va­tion prac­tices on their farms that en­hance soil health, im­prove air qual­ity, and safe­guard wa­ter qual­ity. Farm­ers have un­til Feb. 15 to ap­ply for fund­ing and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to es­tab­lish healthy soil prac­tices.

This fund­ing op­por­tu­nity is made pos­si­ble by a fed­eral grant se­cured ear­lier this year by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture to sup­port the in­stal­la­tion of healthy soil prac­tices that al­low farm­ers to gain ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing the latest tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances. The depart­ment was awarded a five year, $1 mil­lion Re­gional Con­ser­va­tion Part­ner­ship Pro­gram grant by the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Nat­u­ral Re­sources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice.

Con­ser­va­tion prac­tices el­i­gi­ble for fund­ing and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance in­clude the fol­low­ing: Adap­tive nu­tri­ent man­age­ment (a process used to eval­u­ate and ad­just nu­tri­ent ap­pli­ca­tion and uti­liza­tion strate­gies over mul­ti­ple sea­sons); Multi-species cover crops; Con­ser­va­tion crop ro­ta­tions; Vari­able rate tech­nol­ogy for ap­ply­ing nu­tri­ents; Resid­ual and tillage man­age­ment; Pre­ci­sion farm­ing; Edge-of-field tools to iden­tify and re­duce agri­cul­tural sources of ex­cess nu­tri­ents; Com­post­ing; For­age and biomass plant­ings; and other prac­tices that sup­port and en­hance soil health.

Th­ese prac­tices in­crease or­ganic mat­ter in soil, re­duce soil ero­sion, pro­mote nu­tri­ent cy­cling, im­prove wa­ter re­ten­tion, and re­duce com­pe­ti­tion from weeds and pests. In ad­di­tion to sup­port­ing the in­stal­la­tion of se­lected conser va­tion prac­tices, the depart­ment will use the grant to fund a se­ries of farmer-to-farmer ed­u­ca­tion work­shops, on-farm field tri­als, and demon­stra­tions. The first soil health work­shop is cur­rently be­ing planned for this win­ter.

The Harry R. Hughes Cen­ter for Agro-Ecol­ogy is part­ner­ing on the project and will sup­port th­ese goals.

Farm­ers in par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­ties should con­tact their soil con­ser­va­tion dis­tricts be­fore the Feb. 15 dead­line. For more in­for­ma­tion about Mary­land’s healthy soils ini­tia­tives, con­tact the depart­ment’s Of­fice of Re­source Con­ser­va­tion at 410-841-5865 or visit the web­site.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Swan Cove Spa and Salon hosted a fundraiser in Oc­to­ber to ben­e­fit hos­pice care and grief sup­port ser­vices through Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice. By pur­chas­ing raf­fle tick­ets, par­tic­i­pants were en­tered to win a ser­vice of their choice, in­clud­ing hair and nail ser­vices, mas­sages and fa­cials. Swan Cove also raf­fled off prod­uct gift bas­kets and held a spe­cial raf­fle for a weighted blan­ket, which is an ef­fec­tive tool for help­ing chil­dren and adults cope with a va­ri­ety of disorders and pro­vides calm­ing pres­sure through­out the night. The fundraiser raised $1,216 for Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice to pro­vide ser­vices to the res­i­dents of Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caro­line coun­ties. From left are Kenda Lea­ger, de­vel­op­ment officer, Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice; Jor­dan Tucker, de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tant, Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice; Beth Hob­son, staff mem­ber, Swan Cove Spa and Salon; Paul Fisher, owner, Swan Cove Spa and Salon; and Heather Guerieri, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice. For more in­for­ma­tion about Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice, con­tact Kenda Lea­ger at 443-262-4106 or klea­[email protected]­pass­re­gion­al­hos­pice.org.

UNIVER­SITY OF MD EX­TEN­SION

Master Gar­den­ers, from left, Karen Wim­satt, Bar­bara Gra­ham, Liz Ham­mond, Deane Horowitz, and Jackie Kelly at the “Ask A Master Gar­dener” booth at the Kent Is­land Farm­ers Mar­ket.

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