MPT series Maryland Farm & Harvest visits six locations across the state and Washington, D.C. in new season’s first episode
Popular TV series takes viewers to Hope Honey Farm in Prince George’s County
Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest, entering its sixth season, will feature farms and locations in Allegany, Charles, Frederick, Howard and Prince George’s counties, along with Washington, D.C. on its season premiere episode airing Tuesday, November 13 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 industry: agriculture. During the past year, MPT’s production team has filmed episode segments at more than four dozen farms in preparation for the new season. Segments featured on the upcoming episode are:
Extreme Tractors (location: Frederick County). The season kicks off with a look at the world of tractor pulling – a sport that dates back to a time when farmers competed with horses rather than horsepower. The current incarnation was popularized in the United States during the 1950s and 60s. The goal is to pull a weight-bearing sled as far as possible, complete with roaring engines, smoke, and wheels that leave the ground. Viewers are introduced to competitors at the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department’s bi-annual tractor pull, including Frederick County dairy farmer DJ Burrier of Pleasantview Farm, who arrives at the tractor pull straight from the milking parlor.
Invasive to Indulgence (locations: Charles and Howard counties; Washington, D.C.). The blue catfish is an invasive species that has become a top predator in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, outcompeting native species and putting ecosystems at risk. Enter a concerted effort to get these gilled gluttons out of the water by putting them on the menu. The segment begins on the Potomac River in Charles County, where father and son fishermen Jamie and Sam Bowling reel in the day’s catch. It continues with a visit to Congressional Seafood in Jessup in Howard County to see how the fish are processed, and finishes with a look at how it’s prepared at The Hamilton, a restaurant in Washington DC.
Breeding Bees (location: Prince George’s County). Maggie Mills of Hope Honey Farm isn’t your ordinary beekeeper. She raises bees and bottles honey, but her specialty is breeding bees – specifically, a process called grafting queens. Through the use of macrophotography, this segment delivers a unique up-close look at how a queen bee ascends to the throne, while explaining to viewers why much of the food we eat relies on healthy colonies.
The Local Buy: Grass Fed Beef (location: Allegany County). Al Spoler, host of The Local Buy segment visits Leaning Pine Farm, a 177-acre grass fed beef operation in Mount Savage in Allegany County where farmers Amanda Paul and Sam White explain the challenges of raising a herd in Western Maryland. Some of the meat they raise is sold to local chef and restauranteur Josh Horvey, who shares a recipe for a mouthwatering meatloaf. The recipe will be available at mpt.org/farm.
Agriculture continues to be Maryland’s largest commercial industry, contributing more than $17 billion in revenue each year. The state currently has some 12,200 farms – 84 percent of them family-owned – and nearly 6,000 full-time farmers. These farms account for more than two million acres, which translates into 40 percent of Maryland’s land being used for agriculture. Approximately 350,000 Marylanders are employed in some aspect of agriculture.
More than six million viewers have tuned in to Maryland Farm & Harvest since its fall 2013 debut. The series has taken MPT viewers to nearly 250 farms, fisheries, and other agriculture-related locations during its first five seasons, covering every Maryland county, as well as Baltimore City and Washington, D.C.
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. More information about the series is available at mpt.org/farm, and viewers can join the conversation on social media at the hashtag #MDFarmHarvestFans.
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 Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit; Maryland’s Best; the Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation; the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation; 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 Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.; the Rural Maryland Council; the Maryland Seafood Marketing Advisory Commission; the Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc.; Mar-Del Watermelon Association; and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.