ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest, now in its ninth season, will feature farms and locations in Baltimore and Kent counties during a new episode airing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30. Viewers can watch on MPT-HD and online at mpt.org/livestream.
The weekly series takes viewers on a journey across the Free State, telling interesting stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow agriculture in Maryland, the number one commercial industry in the state.
Joanne Clendining, who has earned two Emmy® awards from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for her work on Maryland Farm & Harvest, returns as host. She is joined by Al Spoler, who handles duties for each episode’s The Local Buy segment.
With introductions filmed at Broadview Farm in Westminster (Carroll County), the November 30 episode features the following segments:
How Farmers Use Herbicide (Kent County). The episode begins with a visit to Jones Family Farm in Massey. As one of the largest dairy farms in the state, it needs a constant supply of healthy feed to keep some 3,000 cows in top shape. Like all farms, weeds pose a constant threat to crops, as they compete for water, sunlight, and nutrients, and they can also decrease the nutritional value of the feed. Farmer Sean Jones works with Willard Agri-Service to diagnose and treat weed problems with targeted herbicide application. Then, the show travels to the University of Maryland Wye Research & Education Center, where Weed Management Specialist Kurt Volmer, Ph.D., explains how the government strongly regulates the use of pesticides to keep farmers and consumers safe. Back at Jones Family Farm, Mike Twining of Willard Agri-Services describes the training and certifications pesticide users must have, helping make sure that the Jones’ and other farmers can continue to raise top-notch feed and food.
Organic Weed Control (Kent County). In relation to the previous segment, viewers are introduced to an all-organic grain farm and the unique challenges it faces with weed control. From 2008 to 2019 the amount of organic farmland in Maryland has grown by 42%. At Homestead Farms in Millington, Joseph Howard showcases a weed-killing machine, which uses fire as its main destructive agent. By destroying the cell walls of the weeds that surround the corn crop, it helps rid the field of the problematic plants yet leaves the corn unscathed. This is only one of several integrated weed management options available to organic farmers. Other methods include applying strategic crop rotation, using tighter row spacing, employing cultivators in fields numerous times during the growing season, and using cover crops during the off-season. The segment concludes with a look at the benefits and challenges conventional and organic farmers face as they work to meet the needs of consumers.
The Local Buy: Rhubarb at Calvert’s Gift Farm (Baltimore County). On a colder than usual spring day, The Local Buy segment host Al Spoler visits Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks Glencoe to learn about the mysterious rhubarb plant. The vegetable is misunderstood by many, but organic farmers Jack and Becky Gurley are experts on the topic. Jack explains the growing patterns of rhubarb along with a warning to heed about their leaves. After spending time with the harvest-ready rhubarb, Al enters the greenhouse to examine freshly planted rhubarb. It takes a year’s growth before rhubarb can be harvested. Fresh rhubarb is the main ingredient for a sweet treat Becky prepares and shares with Al – a white chocolate and rhubarb tart consisting of all local ingredients. The recipe will be available for viewers at mpt.org/farm.
Maryland Farm & Harvest airs on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on MPT-HD and online at mpt.org/livestream. Encore broadcasts are available on MPT-HD Thursdays at 11 p.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Each episode also airs on MPT2/Create® on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
More than 10 million viewers have tuned in to Maryland Farm & Harvest since its fall 2013 debut. The series has traveled to nearly 400 farms, fisheries, and other agriculture-related locations during its first eight seasons, covering every Maryland county, as well as Baltimore City and Washington, D.C.
Past episodes can be viewed on MPT’s website, while episode segments are available on the series’ YouTube channel. Engage with the show on Maryland Farm & Harvest’s Facebook and Twitter.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is MPT’s co-production partner for Maryland Farm & Harvest. Major funding is provided by the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.
Additional funding is provided by Maryland’s Best, Rural Maryland Council, Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO), a grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Maryland Soybean Board, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Wegmans Food Markets, Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA), the Maryland Seafood Marketing Fund, Maryland Farm Bureau, and The Campbell Foundation.
Other support comes from Mar-Del Watermelon Association and Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF).
–Megan Guilfoyle, Maryland Department of Agriculture