OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Maryland Public Television’s popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest, now in its fifth season, will feature farms and other locations in Frederick, Harford, Montgomery, St. Mary’s and Washington counties on an new episode airing tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Featured on the upcoming episode are:
- Mercuro Farms, in Rocky Ridge (Frederick County) and Lanco-Pennland Cheese Plant in Hancock (Washington County). During this segment viewers learn how milk becomes cheese. The segment visits Mercuro Farms in Rocky Ridge with its 130 head of cattle, where Katie Kerns performs the morning ritual of milking. Her farm’s milk then travels to the Lanco-Pennland Cheese Plant. The Hancock plant is part of a regional milk cooperative initiative to create new markets for its 700-member farms by restoring this dormant cheese plant to its former glory. The facility produces about 2.3 million pounds of cheese a month. It sells to restaurants and other customers throughout the region — including Carmine’s Creative Italian Cuisine in Hagerstown where Lanco-Pennland mozzarella cheese is used in its recipes.
- Shepherd’s Hey Farm, in Comus (Montgomery County) and The Mill at Meadowlands in Randallstown (Baltimore County). This segment focuses on how wool becomes yarn. Lee Langstaff, of Shepherd’s Hey Farm, shows viewers how her natural and dye-free wool is cared for while it’s both on and off her farm’s sheep. Emily Chamelin, from Chamelin Shearing of Westminster, then demonstrates the art of sheep shearing and the choreography required to remove wool in one continuous piece. The segment also visits The Mill at Meadowlands in Randallstown, where Ruth Lamb cleans and spins the wool into yarn.
- Hopkins Produce & Chesapeake Malting, in Havre de Grace (Harford County). The craft beer industry is booming and this segment introduces viewers to a local farmer getting in on the action. The segment first visits Independent Brewing in Bel Air where brewer Aaron Hopkins helps transform a simple ingredient list of water, yeast, hops, and malted grain into dozens of unique brews. His father, Dave Hopkins, grows barley on 30 acres on the family farm in Havre de Grace, and Aaron and his business partner Kevin Gilbert use the farm’s barley to do the malting there for use in beer making. According to Brewers Association of Maryland there are more than 70 craft breweries in Maryland.
- Beagle Hill Farms, in Mechanicsville (St. Mary’s County). Segment host Al Spoler joins farmer Adrian Hill and his son Bubba for the potato harvest at Beagle Hill Farms, where the Hills grow eight varieties of potatoes including a popular purple potato. Along the way, Al learns from Sheila Hill how to cook up a colorful potato salad using some of the farm’s more unconventional spuds. The recipe for the Hill’s potato salad is available at mpt.org/farm.
Maryland Farm & Harvest takes viewers on a journey across the state, telling stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow Maryland’s number one industry: agriculture. Over the past year, MPT’s production team has filmed stories at more than four dozen farms in preparation for the new season. Maryland’s rich agricultural heritage, the importance of bees, and growing crops in the face of changing weather patterns are among themes covered in depth during upcoming episodes.
Nearly five million viewers have tuned in to Maryland Farm & Harvest since its fall 2013 debut. The series has visited more than 200 farms in its first four seasons, covering every Maryland county, as well as Baltimore City and Washington.
Joanne Clendining, who earned an Emmy® from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her work as Maryland Farm & Harvest host, returns for season five. She is joined by Al Spoler, co-host of WYPR-FM’s “Cellar Notes” and “Radio Kitchen” programs, who hosts The Local Buy segment during each episode.
Maryland Farm & Harvest airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on MPT-HD and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 11:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Each show also airs on MPT2 Fridays at 7:30 p.m. More information about the series is available at mpt.org/farm. Viewers can join the conversation on social media at the hashtag #MDFarmHarvestFans.
Agriculture is Maryland’s largest commercial industry, contributing more than $17 billion in revenue each year. As of 2016 approximately 350,000 Marylanders are employed in some aspect of agriculture. The state has 12,300 farms accounting for approximately two million acres, with nearly 6,000 full-time farmers. Today, 110 farms and more than 7,679 acres are certified organic in Maryland.
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; MidAtlantic Farm Credit; the Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation; the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation; and the Maryland Soybean Board.
Other support comes from Wegmans Food Markets; the Maryland Nursery, Landscape & Greenhouse Association; the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.; the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative; the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts; the Maryland Farm Bureau Service Company, and by Mar-Del Watermelon Association; Hoffman Irrigation, LLC, an authorized Valley Irrigation dealer; Chesapeake College; and the Rural Maryland Council.
— Maryland Department of Agriculture