Ranking the 50 States on their Commitment to Healthy Local Food

Agriculture census data shakes up the Locavore Index; Vermont still on top; California jumps to second place. Read More

Learning Food Safety On-Farm

On Monday, June 17th, regional farmers dipped their toes into food safety waters. “Water, Water Everywhere,” a hands-on workshop held in Aldie, Virginia, invited farmers and farm service providers to explore agricultural water from a food safety lens. In partnership with Future Harvest CASA , and Piedmont Environmental Council’s Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows, and with support from USDA|NIFA, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Loudoun County Economic Development, participants learned about FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule water quality requirements, how to take a water sample, and how to interpret results. Together, they considered potential sources of water contamination and strategies to reduce risks, reviewed water testing and treatment options, and discussed different irrigation systems. Subject matter experts included Chesapeake Harvest food safety educators, Lindsay Gilmour and Elizabeth Beggins; Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, Beth Sastre; farm manager, Dana Melby; and irrigation consultant, David Giusti owner of Second Spring Farm in Purcellville, VA. 

Caroline Selle, Future Harvest’s Central Chesapeake Program Manager, remarked, “It’s easy to think food safety won’t be the most exciting topic, but I think “Water, Water Everywhere” showed otherwise. Chesapeake Harvest and Virginia Cooperative Extension were on hand to answer all of the technical questions, and the farmer-presenters brought us into the everyday realities of complying with food safety legislation while running a productive and profitable farm.”

Our third and final on-farm, food safety module for 2019 will be held on Tuesday, August 27th at The Greener Garden in Baltimore. In this session we will look at best practices for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, learn techniques and requirements for worker training, and discuss risk reduction practices for postharvest handling.

Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for more information and mark your calendars. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Note from the CH Team: 

Field Notes has a new look and more content.  Check out some of the articles we thought you’d be interested in seeing this month in Agriculture, Farm to Table, and Producer News. You’ll even discover where Maryland ranks in their commitment to healthy local food!

We’ll also be sharing how our Partners are contributing to our region’s agriculture. Welcome Future Harvest Casa and University of Maryland Extension.

Our team attended the Plein Air Farm to Table dinner on July 15th at the Triple Creek Winery in Cordova. The event was an opportunity for event goers and artists to come together and experience local foods and enjoy their surroundings. Several paintings of the area’s scenery resulted from this collaboration. Here are some of the pictures from the dinner.

You’ll be seeing a lot more of us, so please be sure to Like, Link, and Follow! We are getting social and we want to hear from you!

Chesapeake Harvest: Fresh to Your Table

Who doesn’t love the bounties of fresh, local produce during the summer months? It’s a time when you know you can get healthy and flavorful farm foods from any number of nearby farmers markets. But what happens when you can’t get to market? That’s when you want the market to come you!

Now in its second summer season, Chesapeake Harvest’s online farmers market is stocked with some of the freshest foods the area has to offer. A few button-clicks gets you all the local goodness you need for the week, and the order is available for pick up or delivery. Marie B., a Chesapeake Harvest customer said: “Imagine getting fistfuls of fresh herbs, perfectly ripened tomatoes, juicy peaches, meat, eggs, and more from local farmers who care about their practices. Throw in a bottle of kombucha and some desserts, and you’ve got it made.”

Chesapeake Harvest sees the online platform as a community tool, for folks whose lives don’t mesh well with getting to a farmers market. (Busy executives, we’re looking at you.) By supporting the hardworking men and women who produce our food, we’re also providing you and your neighbors with another way to eat well. Talk about bounty.

‘It feeds my soul:’ Community of women-owned, first-generation farms growing in Baltimore County.

Emma Jagoz, founder of Moon Valley Farm and a University of Maryland graduate in American Studies, discovered farming eight years ago at age 25, not because it ran in her family but because she wanted to “grow arugula for my baby’s brain.”   Read More

All About University of Maryland Extension

University of Maryland Extension (UME) is part of the University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and extends non-formal, research-based knowledge and resources from campus to each of the 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City and five research stations.  There is an office in each county and Baltimore City.  These offices offer a number of farm and community programs and would be a great resource to a new and beginning farmer getting started. Contact your local Extension office to get on their email list to find out about farm and educational programs in your area. To find your local Extension office visit  https://extension.umd.edu/locations.

Event

 Join Chesapeake Harvest, in partnership with Future Harvest CASA and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, on Tuesday August 27th, from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm, at Warren & Lavette Blue’s The Greener Garden, in Baltimore, for part three of our food safety series: Food Safety: Best Practices for a Clean and Successful Harvest.

For More Info and to Register

The Greener Garden 

Photo credit: Peter Arnold