BEL AIR — Painted quilt patterns on barns and other rural buildings add beauty to the landscape, promoting agricultural preservation, agri-business and tourism. More than a baker’s dozen of these magnificent 8-foot quilts appear throughout Harford County, the newest of which was revealed May 15 at the Harford County Agricultural Center in Street.
The unveiling also launched the Barn Quilts of Harford County, a countywide trail and website developed by Harford County’s Agricultural Division and Office of Community & Economic Development, and the nonprofit Visit Harford, the county’s destination marketing organization.
Quilt designs include bold geometric patterns forming a map of Harford County, a Maryland terrapin, farm animals and a wise old owl. Visitors along the trail will also find farm breweries and opportunities to enjoy fresh ice cream, meats, produce, flowers and more.
“Harford County is dedicated to preserving our rural landscapes, and the barn quilt trail is a great way to raise awareness and attract business to some of our family farms,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “Anyone who visits the trail will see why we love our county and its rich agricultural heritage.”
The trail encompasses all corners of Harford County. In addition to showcasing the farming community, trail locations include agribusinesses, nature centers, a wildlife preserve, a high school and historic waterfront parkland.
Barn quilts on the trail were created by their owners, keeping in mind the history of each property or farm and its current activities. Images of the quilts are available on the Barn Quilts of Harford County website, featuring an online map and histories of the trail locations at barnquiltsofharfordcounty.com, and on Facebook.
“There’s no better way to experience the culture and history of rural Harford County than by hitting the road to travel through the gently rolling countryside,” said Greg Pizzuto, Visit Harford’s executive director. “Take time to enjoy spectacular waterfront views, eat a homegrown tomato, pet a cow and watch the sunset with a local craft beer.”