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How to Plant a Southern Maryland Pollinator Garden

How to Plant a Southern Maryland Pollinator Garden

Guest Post by Rich Dolesh This article originally appeared first in the Black Swamp Creek Land Trust Newsletter Long taken for granted, pollinators perform a valuable service for agriculture, horticulture, and ecosystem health.  But there is growing concern across the United States about the long-term health of pollinators.  Despite their immense economic and environmental value, pollinating insect species are facing serious threats to their health and even their continued existence from insecticides, loss of habitat, extreme weather, parasites and disease,…

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Southern Maryland Meat Processing Recap Pt. 1

Southern Maryland Meat Processing Recap Pt. 1

The desire for local meat processing in Southern Maryland has been a priority for SMADC and livestock producers for over a decade. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for such a facility with generous financial incentives was released last September. Unfortunately, the RFP did not receive a viable response. Determined to bring these much-needed services to this area, a new approach was presented to Southern Maryland meat producers in a Town Hall meeting held March 22 at the SMECO Headquarters Auditorium…

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Owl’s Nest Farm – 2017 Mini-Grant Recipient

Owl’s Nest Farm – 2017 Mini-Grant Recipient

Owl’s Nest Farm is a diversified vegetable farm on four acres in Prince George’s County, just twenty miles from Washington, D.C. Established in 2016, the farm is Certified Naturally Grown and they currently sell their products through a CSA, Farmer’s Market, and Restaurants. They applied for the SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant in July 2017 to build a rainwater catchment system for their high tunnel to ensure reliable water access during the winter months. This allows the farm to expand and continue…

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Trossbach Produce – 2017 Mini-Grant Recipient

Trossbach Produce – 2017 Mini-Grant Recipient

Trossbach Produce, is a family-owned and operated farm located in St. Mary’s County, just north of Point Lookout State Park. They sell peaches and berries as well as a variety of fresh vegetables, jams, and baked goods. As Trossbach Produce transitions from one generation to the next, they applied for the SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant in July 2017 to support the construction of a 4,080 square foot high tunnel to extend their growing season and to better facilitate current and future…

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It’s That Time of the Year! Winter Workshop Season is Here

It’s That Time of the Year! Winter Workshop Season is Here

Winter is that one time of year when farmers get to enjoy a little downtime from the farm, dive into the seed catalogs, and head to the classroom! Dozens of workshops and regional conferences are going on around the state on every farm topic there is. You can check out a complete listing of events on Maryland FarmLINK. Staff recently attended and participated in Future Harvest CASA’s Conference in College Park, Maryland’s Best Expo in Annapolis, and On-Farm Food Safety…

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Highlights from SMADC’s Annual Report

Highlights from SMADC’s Annual Report

As 2017 comes to a close and we begin to reflect, we come to see how much we have accomplished here at SMADC this year. 2017 was a year of transition and growth for SMADC, and we want to thank all of the farmers, agribusiness, and industry partners that have helped us grow and expand! SMADC’s FY’17 report was released in early November sporting a stylish new look with a professionally printed magazine-type format designed by Jamie Tiralla of All…

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Final word- “It all turns on affection!”

Final word- “It all turns on affection!”

After working at Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) for almost four years, I am heading back to Calvert County to serve as executive director of the American Chestnut Land Trust. I use my last blog post to provide my perspective on farming in Maryland. First, I will confess that I was wrong about farming when I was involved in land preservation in Calvert for 32 years. I used to say that if you preserve land, then there will be farmers who…

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Is America ready for “share-farm”?

Is America ready for “share-farm”?

We have all seen the trend toward larger farms, especially for commodity crops, dairy and large-scale poultry operations. Closely related to that trend is the loss of younger farmers, particularly in the types of farm sectors that require major investments to start. Simply said, if you don’t inherit a large-scale operation, you can’t afford to buy the farm, or even the equipment to farm. The logical, long-term outcome of those trends is either corporate ownership of all such farms or…

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Buy Local Challenge Week continues to grow customers!

Buy Local Challenge Week continues to grow customers!

Seven years ago, it started as a way to create markets for Southern Maryland farmers who had transitioned out of tobacco and into food/drink production. Quickly it morphed into a statewide Buy Local Challenge Week. As it matures, the event is serving as a celebration of accomplishments in the resourcing of locally produced food in Maryland. This year, perhaps the biggest celebration was at the Governor’s residence in Annapolis where Governor Hogan welcomed hundreds of happy grazers of offerings from…

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Food hub workshop yields a bountiful crop of ideas

Food hub workshop yields a bountiful crop of ideas

Next to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Wallace Center, Winrock International knows more about food hubs than any other organization in the country. One program of the Center is the National Good Food Network which regularly holds webinars about food hubs. The USDA often supports the Wallace Center in its research and workshops on food hubs.   Understandably, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission was thrilled to co-sponsor a workshop held at The Vineyards at Dodon last week with the Wallace Center…

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