Farming at the Ag center for the 2018 crop year:
We will participate with The Mill in the SUSTAIN program which is a schedule to follow best practices, combined with a type of marketing/branding program in cooperation with food processors like General Mills, Kellogg, Land o’ Lakes. They will have a logo/symbol on the food packaging, which will be from farms that use the SUSTAIN best practices.
There may be a premium for farm crops from farms enrolled in the SUSTAIN program. We will use the Cuba/Shawan road corner plot for this program and will have signage explaining it along with a couple of education programs during the year.
The Mill will donate seed for a “semi-permanent” pollinator plot at Shawan Road on the southeast corner. We hope to have education programs and signage with that too. The plants will mainly be red clover and white clover with some annual wildflower mixes for year one because the clover won’t fill in until year two.
MARC planted three fields of Pick Your Own sunflowers this year. As many farmers in this region experienced excess rain, MARC had the challenge of adapting to a new schedule for planting the sunflowers. This resulted in a delayed bloom, which had sunflowers still blooming in early October! The first field was replanted after the rain rotted out the seeds, the second field was completed washed out of seeds from the flooding, but the third field was our shining star! Thousands of people enjoyed the sunflower fields this year: we had many families come out and even a few marriage proposals made by the field!
And lastly, in our back fields, we planted Sorghum. Sorghum is not usually planted in our region but is a climate tolerant plant and gave us the opportunity to experiment with a different crop. Sorghum is used in many different products not only in livestock feed, but also can be used in many tasty recipes! Sorghum in gluten-free and is high in protein.
We grew two corn fields, including a maze and a pumpkin field for Farmer Stan who runs our field trips in the Spring and Fall. Over 6,000 students from Baltimore County and Baltimore City enjoyed the Famer Stan Agricultural Tours in 2018!
2019 Crops- To be Determined!
“In the fall a smoky haze rises from the fields as the combines churn through the fields harvesting crops planted at 1114 Shawan Road in Cockeysville, renewed planting since the 1950’s. Never in the history of the farm had such machinery rolled through its fields. For the majority of its existence, all crops grown were harvested by hand. The hand-harvesting of crops, especially corn continued through the first half of the 20th century.