Maryland Farm & Harvest: Episode 609

Premiere air date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7pm on MPT-HD

Program preview

Episode Description

  • Working farms that focus on animal agriculture rely on safe, healthy births. We take a look at new life on the farm while exploring the things that make each birth experience unique. Thomas G. Hartsock, Director of the Maryland State Fair Birthing Center, explains the additional challenges faced by farm animals, like pigs, that deliver litters rather than one or two babies, and Crystal Dell of MD-Delight Dairy in Westminster shows viewers one of the methods farmers use when a large dairy calf gets stuck during delivery. Market Coordinator Elise Mekelburg of Caprikorn Farms in Rohrersville welcomes us to the farm in the midst of its "baby blizzard,"" the period in early spring when hundreds of white, fluffy dairy goats are born. Finally, General Manager Christy Holden of Country Life Farm in Bel Air and Merryland Farm in Hydes explains what’s at stake when a racehorse gives birth to a future racehorse.
  • For an update on the foal born at Country Life Farm, watch this video.
  • What it means to grow food sustainably is constantly changing as we learn more about how farming methods impact the land, air, and water. What was once thought to be good may someday be not-so-good. At Marydel Farm in Caroline County, Farmer Jim Lewis uses water control structures on his fields to minimize nutrient runoff into nearby waterways. This is considered a Best Management Practice or BMP—an approved method of limiting pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. But it’s not clear if it may inadvertently contribute to increased air pollution; a team of researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is trying to find out and share some promising preliminary results.
  • The Local Buy: Al Spoler discovers a network of rooftop farms in Maryland and D.C. that offers produce so local the distance traveled is measured not in miles, but in flights of stairs. He’ll visit Up Top Acres’ Pike and Rose Farm in North Bethesda, where farm manager Sara Servin will show him what’s growing—before heading to City Perch Kitchen + Bar, a restaurant just a few floors down for a recipe that calls for some extremely fresh peppers.
  • Then & Now: Agricultural Ditches

Production stills



Shoulder Yoke

This wooden shoulder yoke was used to help carry heavy loads. Farmers could attach a bucket to each hook to carry feed or water to livestock or milk after milking a cow.

Thingamajig provided by the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum.