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Maryland Farm & Harvest Visits Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties During Holiday Special on December 21

Photo Credit: Maryland Public Television’s (MPT’s) Maryland Farm & Harvest

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest, now in its ninth season, will feature farms and locations in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties during a special holiday episode airing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21.  Viewers can watch on MPT-HD and online at mpt.org/livestream.

The weekly series takes viewers on a journey across the Free State, telling interesting stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow agriculture in Maryland, the number one commercial industry in the state. 

Joanne Clendining, who has earned two Emmy® awards from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for her work on Maryland Farm & Harvest, returns as host. She is joined by Al Spoler, who handles duties for each episode’s The Local Buy segment.

With introductions filmed at White House Nursery in Upperco (Baltimore County), the December 21 holiday episode features the following segments:

  • Growing the Perfect Christmas Tree (Baltimore County). Maryland Farm & Harvest heads to Prettyboy Run Farms in Parkton in search of the perfect Christmas tree. But as it turns out, producing the perfect tree doesn’t happen overnight. As farmer Stefan Nock and his family show, growing Christmas trees is a year-round, years-long process. The show rewinds to April, to witness Stefan planting thousands of tree saplings that won’t be ready for Christmas for another seven to 10 years. The farm plants 1,500 trees each year. Stefan explains some of the challenges of growing good trees, including the work needed to keep them healthy and in the right shape. Along with offering choose-and-cut trees, the farm also enables its customers to rent trees in pots, then return them to be replanted after the holidays.
  • Story of the Iconic Poinsettia (Anne Arundel County). Some people are born with the perfect name. Ray Greenstreet is one of those people. As the owner of Greenstreet Growers in Lothian, Ray and his family raise all kinds of plants, including thousands of poinsettias for Christmas each year. Ray explains the history of these iconic red and white flowers, originally from Mexico, and the months of work that goes into making sure they’re ready for the holidays. It turns out poinsettias need plenty of special treatment to make sure they bloom at just the right time. Viewers learn that the team at Greenstreet Growers are up to the task.
  • The Local Buy: Sunchoke Latkes at the Pearlstone Center (Baltimore County). Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by people of the Jewish faith each year any time between late November and December. Segment host Al Spoler learns about the traditions of Hanukkah including latkes, one of the holiday’s signature foods. These oil-fried pancakes are typically made with potatoes, but the Pearlstone Center and Education Campus in Reisterstown has developed a modern twist on this traditional dish. Al learns from Director of Stewardship, Greg Strella, how the farm grows native Sunchoke plants, which provide a tasty root that can be used in latkes just like potatoes. Then, Executive Chef Rebecca Pauvert whips up a batch of this crispy, piping hot treat for Al to taste. The recipe will be available at mpt.org/farm

Maryland Farm & Harvest airs on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on MPT-HD and online at mpt.org/livestream. Encore broadcasts are available on MPT-HD Thursdays at 11 p.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Each episode also airs on MPT2/Create® on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. 

More than 10 million viewers have tuned in to Maryland Farm & Harvest since its fall 2013 debut. The series has traveled to nearly 400 farms, fisheries, and other agriculture-related locations during its first eight seasons, covering every Maryland county, as well as Baltimore City and Washington, D.C. 

Past episodes can be viewed on MPT’s website, while episode segments are available on the series’ YouTube channel. Engage with the show on Maryland Farm & Harvest’s Facebook and Twitter.

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 Maryland’s Best, Rural Maryland Council, Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO), a grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Maryland Soybean Board, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Wegmans Food Markets, Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA), the Maryland Seafood Marketing Fund, Maryland Farm Bureau, and The Campbell Foundation. 

Other support comes from Mar-Del Watermelon Association and Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF).

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Follow Maryland Department of Agriculture on Twitter @MdAgDept