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Breakfast celebrates local agriculture

Barstow, MD - On Tuesday, March 19, Calvert County Farm Bureau President Jason Leavitt presented an overview of local agriculture to the commissioners. On Saturday, March 23, it was time to give county residents a sampling of what all the labor yields. Leavitt’s presentation, “The State of Agriculture in Calvert County,” gave indication that while the farming culture may have changed, it is, as advertised an “economic engine.” The local Farm Bureau has over 600 member families. Calvert has over 260 farms, 32,901 acres of farmland, with the average farm size being 122 acres. In Calvert, there are just over 300 agriculture industry jobs, placing it among the county’s top 10 employers, said Leavitt.

According to the latest available U.S. Department of Agriculture Census figures, between 2007 and 2012 there was a 90 percent increase in direct sales of local food in Calvert County. In 2018, Calvert produced a total economic impact of $15.7 million, contributing $1.4 million in tax revenues.

The March 23 event—the Fourth annual Farm to Table Breakfast—was held at the Calvert County Fairgrounds and hosted by the local Farm Bureau and the Calvert County Young Farmers. Paying for the cost of a ticket gave attendees a chance to feast on local eggs, meats, potatoes and other home-grown edibles. The proceeds will benefit the chapter’s “Leadership and Scholarship” programs.

Several vendors were on hand to explain their services and roles in promoting local agriculture. One of those vendors, Amanda Pitcher, has recently started her own business, Broomes Island Produce Farm. Pitcher will be bringing organic, fresh and locally grown vegetables and fruits to farmers’ markets in Dunkirk and Lusby starting in early May. The Dunkirk market is open Thursdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at Dunkirk District Park. The Lusby market is in operation Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon at Sneade’s Ace Hardware.

Pitcher told TheBayNet.com that her grandfather, James “Tony” Pitcher, is letting her use his farmland to grow the organic produce. She explained that with the use of “organic and holistic practices” she will grow the produce. Pitcher said she is starting the operation using “certified organic seeds.”

Other Calvert County markets sanctioned by the Farmers Market Association will be located in Prince Frederick Tuesdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m. in the CalvertHealth Medical Center parking lot and North Beach, Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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