Five Frederick County Farms will be featured this year.
Owings Mills, Md (KM). The fifth season of “Maryland Farm and Harvest” is underway on Maryland Public Television. The program highlights agricultural operations around the state.
This year, five Frederick County farms will be in the spotlight this year. One is the Potomac Sprout Company at 8202 Blacks Mills Road In Thurmont.. Sara Sampson, the Producer and Director of the show, says the owners use a machine inside of a building to grow sprouts. “It’s actually almost looks like a spaceship when you see it in person. It’s very big,” she says. “They basically put the seeds inside and the thing starts turning. Within five days they take 100-pounds of seeds and they’re able to grow 1,000 pounds of sprout.”
The Potomac Sprout Company will be part of a segment on the show called “Buy Local” hosted by Al Spoler. That episode of “Maryland Farm and Harvest” will air on Tuesday, December 5th at 7:00 PM on MPT. It will also be repeated on Thursday at 11:30 PM, and Sunday at 6:00 AM.
Another local farm featured on “Maryland Farm and Harvest” is Willow Oak Craft Cider and Wine at 6219 Harley Road in Middletown. Sampson says the program where farm will be feature starts off at the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, where there was once an orchard prior to the Civil War conflict. “So what they’re doing now, some park rangers and some different people working with different cider operations, are planting these historic apple varieties that would have been grown during the Civil War,” she says.
Willow Oak Craft Cider and Wine has been growing these older varieties of apples on its farm for about 30 years, and it’s used to make a hard cider, says Sampson. The episode featuring that farm is scheduled to air on Tuesday, December 12th at 7:00 PM on MPT.
“Maryland Farm and Harvest” has been on the air for five seasons, and it has become quite familiar within the agricultural community. Sampson says the program has yet to scratch the surface when it comes to farming in Maryland. “It never ceases to amaze me just how many stories there are about Maryland farms that we haven’t even tapped into yet,” she says.
In many instances, Sampson says farmers contact MPT and ask them to do a feature on their farms; or a neighbor makes a suggestion to the producers of the show.
In addition, Sampson says even though farmers are often very busy, they are cooperative with the MPT camera crews coming on their properties, and are eager to talk about their operations with TV viewers. “We’re there for a long time. We’re there for the entire day. We follow them around. We’re asking to do things again,” she says.
. Anyone who misses a “Maryland Farm and Harvest’ episode can see it on MPT’s website, www.mpt.org/programs/farm. Each program immediately goes on line following its broadcast over the airwaves.
Agriculture is Maryland’s number-one industry.
By Kevin McManus