News from the fields, farms and beyond…

Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday this weekend at Milburn Orchards, 1495 Appleton Road near Elkton. It’s part of the Family Fun Weekends.

Admission is $8 on Friday and $10 Saturday and Sunday. Anyone 60 and older gets in for $4 on Friday and $5 Saturday and Sunday. Children 2 and younger always get in free.

Wear your mask and maintain social distancing rules while you enjoy the Pumpkin House, Boo Barn, Ground Hog Hill, Johnny Appleseed’s Chicken Coop and more. There are other activities, which require additional cost such as the Paintball Shooting Gallery, U-Make Scarecrow, and Pony Rides.

Tickets to all activities must be purchased online at https://milburnorchards.ticketspice.com/family-fun-weekends-big-backyard.

Next weekend is the Apple Harvest Celebration, followed by the Pumpkin Harvest Celebration.

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If you have livestock consider attending a virtual seminar hosted by Future Harvest CASA on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Pasture Management, Soil Fertility, and Sustainability for a Livestock Farm will be presented by Natalie McGill and Stewart Lundy, owners of Perennial Roots Farm on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

According to Future Harvest this is an opportunity to “Learn how these devoted farmers tweaked their management systems and improved their farm’s profitability in the name of good food and serving the community — both human and microbial alike.”

While the seminar is free, a donation to the non-profit Future Harvest is appreciated. For more information or to register go to futureharvestcasa.org and look for the Field School Events listing.

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Inviting you to “eat well,” Sarah Ryder at Flying Plow Farm in Rising Sun said the colder weather means more variety in the cooler for those that shop at the online store. Right now Seven Stars Farm yogurt is back along with Wild for Salmon fish but order early for guaranteed availability.

Ryder said with the change in seasons, construction also begins with work planned on the pack shed, a new chick brooder, high tunnel and seedling greenhouse.

Also, Flying Plow is working out details of the new Winter Community Supported Agriculture program. Their existing CSA began at the end of May and expires just before Thanksgiving.

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Calvert Grange is hosting a Craft Fair Oct. 10 at the grange building, 2357 Telegraph Road near Rising Sun. Inside and outside space is available. Indoor is a 9-by-9-foot space for $45 and includes an 8-foot table and 2 chairs. Vendors outside get only a 10-by-10-foot space and a 10-by-10 tent or canopy is allowed.

Indoor vendors must wear masks. Those with outside space are requested to do the same.

Only handmade items can be sold. No resale or multi-level marketing sales is allowed. For more information or an application go to the Calvert Grange website at calvertgrange.com.

All proceeds benefit the Calvert Grange Agriculture Scholarship fund.

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US Department of Agriculture this week extended the use of more than 12 flexible policies for the Women, Infants and Children program set in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday USDA announced that those enrolled in the “Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)” would continue to receive those benefits. The program had been set to expire at the end of the month.

The waivers allow for such things as virtual enrollment, flexibility for what is allowed in WIC nutritional guidelines, and lee way for issuance of benefits and remote pick-up.

“USDA has been extremely steadfast in offering flexibilities to ensure Americans in need continue to receive food assistance during COVID-19. President Trump has demonstrated his commitment to supporting Americans in need during the pandemic and setting them up for success as our nation reopens and recovers,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “WIC provides vital services to new and expectant mothers, infants, and children and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for them to receive the support they need during the pandemic.”

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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