News from the fields, farms and beyond…

If you can't find fall decorations at Cline Mum Farm and Greenhouse on Blake Road near Elkton you are not looking hard enough. Harvest colors abound under cover and in the fields.

Burnard Cline said there are lots of mums and pansies available and the pumpkins and gourds will be brought in from the fields at the end of the month at the family run farm.

Cline Greenhouse is located at 482 Blake Road. This family run farm is open Sunday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. with appointments for other times available by calling 410-398-7023.

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Teachers have until Sept. 15 to apply for a grant to support agriculture centered projects in classrooms from Pre-K through high school. 

The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, through its CHS Foundation, offers grants that can help with such projects as classroom or schoolyard gardens, aquaculture or embryology or agricultural literacy reading. Virtual programs can also be considered.

Those who receive the $500 grant have until June 1 to complete the project and submit a report.

To obtain a grant application and see guidelines and supporting information go to http://maefonline.com/

Meanwhile MAEF is offering educators workshops and online learning that will provide 3 credits from the Maryland State Department of Education.

In partnership with Goucher College, "Infusing Agriculture in the Elementary Classroom" will be workshops Oct. 17 and Nov. 7, and six weeks on online learning starting Oct. 10.

To register, or for more information, contact Shannon Brown, director of elementary education, at sbrown@maefonline.com

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The Fall CSA begins Sept. 23 at Priapi Gardens on Augustine Herman Highway in Cecilton. If you want to get in on the fresh, locally grown organic fruits and veggies then sign up now. Call 410-275-9438 for details including price and pick up.

Of course the farm store is open Monday through Thursday 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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If you have been considering raising pigs on pasture, Future Harvest CASA has a seminar coming up Sept. 19 from 3 until 5 p.m. that could get you started.

"Pigs on pasture from farrow to finish" is a presentation from Sarah Campbell at New Roots Farm in West River, Md. She will explain all angles of the operation including introduction to a farm with other animals, fencing, breeding, slaughter and biosecurity. 

While the seminar is free donations are welcome to help with the cost. Pre-registration is required and can be found on the Future Harvest website, futureharvestcasa.org

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There's a brand new program at the Maryland Department of Agriculture designed to help farmers improve and protect and improve their source of income called Healthy Soils.

"The Maryland General Assembly established the program in 2017," said Kevin Antoszewski, Healthy Soils program coordinator for the Maryland Department of Agriculture."It's for farmers and producers and you don't have to own the property." 

However if not the owner, the owner needs to agree to the terms of the grant program, he said.

Grant money is awarded per acre, up to 6,500 acres with a cap at $5,000. The Healthy Soils program is available to any person whose income is derived from their property.

"There's no rules about the type of farm or what crop you produce," he said, adding at least for this first go-round there is no hard deadline. "We just hope to get people enrolled before the fall soil test."

The Healthy Soils money can be used in one of four ways including the implementation of practices that are new to the farm or a change of cover crops.

For more information about Healthy Soils program or to find out if you are eligible contact Antoszewski at 410-841-5866.

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With Maryland now at Phase 3 in its road to recovery from COVID-19 Milburn Orchards is resuming its farm tours, but with all the CDC protocols in place.

Lasting at least an hour, the tour explains the growth of apple trees and weaves in the importance of farm animals. Included in the tour is a farm wagon ride and a close up look at the apple packing house and cold storage facility.

Starting Sept. 15 tours are offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays at either 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance online at milburnorchards.com. Tickets are $7 per person for those 3 and older.

In October the tour schedule expands to Monday through Thursday with slots at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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The Maryland Wineries Association is looking for public support its receipt of federal excise tax revenue.

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Relief Act is set to expire Dec. 31. It also affects businesses making distilled spirits, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

According to MWA that revenue stream allows the wineries to invest in and grow their businesses, which includes hiring more employees.

MWA has a scripted page that can be used to add your support to the hue and cry at the Maryland Wine Facebook page.

If you have a farm related event, idea or story you’d like to share in AgriCulture contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007

 

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