ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest, now in its seventh season, will feature farms and locations in Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington counties during a special “Maryland Made Drinks” episode airing on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 p.m.
Maryland Farm & Harvest takes viewers on journeys across the state, telling stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow Maryland’s number one commercial industry – agriculture. MPT’s production team filmed episode segments at more than four dozen farms in preparation for its seventh season.
The episode opens with introductions at Star Bright Farm in Baltimore County’s White Hall community. Other segments featured on this week’s beverage-themed episode include:
- Paw Paw Lemonade (Allegany County): The paw paw is a unique fruit found in the wild forests of Maryland. Its flavor is best described as a cross between a banana and a mango with a creamy texture. While paw paws are difficult to grow, this has not stopped 90-year-old farmer John Popenoe from planting a small orchard in Cumberland. His passion for paw paws connected him with Todd Helmick of Western Maryland Lemonade, who has concocted a refreshing drink using this special fruit.
- Milk: Farm-to-Bottle (Washington County and Prince George’s counties): Milk is the state of Maryland’s official beverage. At Shenandoah Jerseys in Boonsboro, farmers Jessica Stiles Hess and JR Hess know good milk comes from happy cows, so they use technology to help effectively manage their herd of approximately 100 cattle. Viewers see how robots help feed and milk the cows, and then follow along as the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Co-Op in Landover processes and bottles milk from the Hess farm and others throughout the region.
- Creating a Vineyard (Montgomery and Carroll counties): It takes passion and science to grow grapes, and the farmers behind The Burnt Hill Project in Clarksburg have both. After founding Old Westminster Winery in New Windsor, siblings Drew Baker, Lisa Hinton, and Ashli Johnson wanted to plant a vineyard that would eventually redefine American wine. The series visits this new vineyard to see why the perfect hillside is necessary for growing grapes and how this family found one right in Montgomery County.
- The Local Buy: Kombucha Tea (Baltimore County): Segment host Al Spoler learns about kombucha, a health drink that has exploded in popularity across the country. First, Al visits Hex Ferments to see how kombucha is made, then he’s off to Star Bright Farm in White Hall, where they are growing a special herb, holy basil, for one of Hex’s kombucha recipes. A kombucha tea recipe will be available at mpt.org/farm.
Maryland Farm & Harvest airs on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on MPT-HD and is rebroadcast on Thursdays at 11:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Each show also airs on MPT2 on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Previous episodes of the series can be viewed for free on the MPT app and online at MPT’s website.
Viewers can join in on the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using the hashtag #MDFarmHarvest.
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; the Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation; MidAtlantic Farm Credit; the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program; the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation; the Rural Maryland Council; and the Maryland Soybean Board. Other support comes from: the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts; Wegmans Food Markets; the Maryland Nursery, Landscape & Greenhouse Association; the Maryland Seafood Marketing Fund; the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service; the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.; the Maryland Farm Bureau; The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment; Mar-Del Watermelon Association; Eddie Mercer Agri-Services, Inc.; and Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.
–Megan Guilfoyle, Maryland Department of Agriculture