OWINGS MILLS — Maryland Public Television’s original series “Maryland Farm & Harvest,” now in its eighth season, will feature farms and locations in Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Kent counties as part of a “Farms and the Environment” themed episode airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
According to a news release, this season the series adds two new segments — one called “The Way it Works,” offering a look at the mechanical side of agriculture and the other titled “Facebook Photo Challenge,” featuring photos submitted online by Maryland farmers on a variety of topics.
With introductions filmed at Char-Lene Farm in Carroll County “Maryland Farm & Harvest’s” Dec. 1 episode features the following segments:
• Restoring Streams and Stopping Floods (Harford and Baltimore counties). Nestled in the rolling hills of Harford and Baltimore counties, Willow Oaks Farm in Baldwin offers a seamless blend of agriculture and nature. Yellow Branch stream flows through the farm and like the soybeans nearby, it too has been carefully cultivated. Like many Maryland streams, it was straightened decades ago to create more farmland. After years of erosion and flooding, farmers and environmentalists are returning streams to their natural shapes to help protect the landscape. With assistance from ecological restoration company Ecotone, viewers see what it takes to make a straight stream meander again and witness the benefits for both nature and the farm.
• How Healthy Soil Combats Climate Change (Kent County). At Harborview Farms in Kent County, farmer Trey Hill has long been forward-thinking on environmental issues. By planting cover crops between growing seasons, he helps reduce erosion and runoff from his fields. Another benefit of cover crops has only recently been recognized: these crops help pull carbon dioxide out of the air and store it in the soil after they die. This makes for healthier soil and helps fight climate change. Hill is now working with tech startup NORI to help get more farmers involved in cover cropping.
• The Local Buy: What’s in Season? (Harford County). Host Al Spoler is a longtime patron of farmers markets. If someone is not a regular market visitors, it can be difficult to know when favorite items are in season. Not only does local, seasonal produce taste better, it can be better for the planet since it doesn’t have to travel far before being eaten. At Harman’s Farm Market in Churchville, Spoler talks to Paula Harman and shows viewers a handy guide for figuring out what produce is available in Maryland and when. The guide is available at mpt.org/farm.
• The Way it Works: Water Troughs. The sight of cows drinking from a stream on a hot summer day may seem picturesque but livestock can pollute water and erode streambanks. Segment host Joe Ligo shows how water troughs help protect both cattle and streams from getting messy.
New episodes of “Maryland Farm & Harvest” air at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on MPT-HD and livestream at mpt.org/anywhere/live-stream-mpt. Encore broadcasts are available on MPT-HD at 11 p.m. Thursdays and 6 a.m. Sundays. Each episode also airs on MPT2/Create® at 7:30 p.m. Fridays.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is MPT’s co-production partner for “Maryland Farm & Harvest.”