Maryland Public Television’s series Maryland Farm & Harvest, now in its 10th anniversary season, will feature farms and locations in Carroll, Montgomery, and Queen Anne’s counties during a harvest-themed episode premiering on Tuesday, February 21.
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. Episodes are also available to watch on demand using MPT’s online video player and the PBS Video App.
The popular weekly series takes viewers on a journey across the Free State, telling engaging and enlightening stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow agriculture in Maryland, the state’s number one commercial industry. During its 10th season, the series revisits some favorite farms and farmers from past episodes.
The February 21 episode features the following segments:
- Panora Acres (Carroll County): Much has changed in farming over the past 135 years, but one thing that hasn’t is the family behind Panora Acres in Manchester. Since 1888, six generations of Sellers have worked the farm. Even though what and how they farm is changing, the Sellers family remains a constant in Maryland agriculture. Harry Sellers shares some family history and the difficult decision in 2022 to move from dairy to grain farming to position Panora Acres for future success. Then viewers meet Josh, Harry’s son, who is at the wheel of the combine harvesting corn. Josh and his wife Stacy talk about the decision to end the dairy operation, its impact on the family, and why it was important to make the change. Harry also describes how the lessons he learned from his father Norman impacted him as a farmer. Family patriarch Norman, a month removed from hip replacement surgery, is shown working the fields — a testament to his determination and work ethic. Norman shares his experience as a farmer and what he believes are the characteristics that have made the Sellers’ farming lineage so enduring. The three generations offer their perspectives on the next generation of Sellers and their hopes for Josh’s children, Emma and Eli.
- Barley to Beer (Montgomery County): Lone Oak Farm Brewery Co. in Olney grows the ingredients for and brews its beer on-site. Viewers meet co-owner Chris Miller during the farm’s first barley harvest. Chris is hoping the harvest yields enough barley for about 100,000 pints of beer. After the harvest, the barley is sent to a dryer to lower the moisture content. Then, malting can begin. This process determines the color, aroma, and flavor of the beer. Malster Danny Love explains the three phases: steeping, germination, and kiln-drying. In the steeping phase, the grain is soaked in water to activate and stimulate the production of more enzymes. Germination leads to the breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates, opening the barley’s starch reserves. Heating the germinated barley in the kiln traps starch reserves so they can be turned into fermentable sugars at the brewery. Next, Brewmaster Kevin Hilton adds yeast to a steel container of barley, explaining that during fermentation the yeast multiplies and eats the sugars, leaving behind carbon dioxide and alcohol. The Lone Oak Brewery team also explains the heritage of brewing culture and the significance of their mash paddle, made from a fallen branch of the historic Lone Oak tree.
- The Local Buy: Landscaping with native species (Queen Anne’s County): Segment host Al Spoler visits Unity Church Hill Nursery, where owner Michael Jenkins shows him around a customer’s new residential garden featuring native species. Most gardens rely on hybrid or imported flowers and trees, but native species gardens are gaining in popularity because of their natural look and positive impacts on the environment. Al also meets staff gardeners Martha and Teresa, who show him a wide variety of plant species in the nursery. The staff also discusses the nursery’s environmentally friendly approach to landscaping and shows Al a recent Kent Island shoreline restoration effort using native species. Information about native species gardens is available to viewers at mpt.org/farm.
More than 15 million viewers have watched Maryland Farm & Harvest on Maryland Public Television since its fall 2013 debut. The series has traveled to more than 430 farms, fisheries, and other agriculture-related locations during its first nine seasons, covering every Maryland county, as well as Baltimore City, and Washington, D.C.
Past episodes can be viewed at video.mpt.tv/show/maryland-farm-harvest/, while episode segments are available on the series’ YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/MarylandFarmHarvest/featured. Engage with the show on social media @MarylandFarmHarvest on Facebook and @mdfarmtv on Twitter.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is Maryland Public Television’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 Specialty Crop Block Program, Farm Credit, Maryland Soybean Board, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Wegmans Food Markets, Maryland Nursery, Landscape & Greenhouse Association, Maryland Seafood Marketing Fund, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Maryland Farm Bureau, and The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment. Other support comes from Mar-Del Watermelon Association.