Grand Opening of the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture
Open house marks the start of business.
On Nov. 6, the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture in Hunt Valley celebrated its recent opening on Shawan Road with an open house featuring exhibits from local farmers, 4-H groups and activists.
Guests were invited to tour the offices of the Baltimore County Soil Conservation District, the Maryland Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Services Agency (FSA).
All four offices are housed in a state-of-the art building overlooking the rolling, scenic fields off Shawan Road.
4-H animals roamed the barn area while local farming equipment vendors displayed their products. Guests could also enjoy a demonstration of early 20th century tilling methods. Just yards away, modern tractors and farming machinery drew rural enthusiasts interested in the most current planting and harvesting methods.
In keeping with the spirit of its creation to promote future sustainability and serve as an educational resource center, the Agricultural Center invited local activists to display information about gardening, waste removal and Chesapeake Bay preservation. One such booth, sponsored by the University of Maryland Master Gardeners program, offered helpful information on gardening.
Their "Grow it, Eat it" blog, nominated for the Baltimore Sun's Mobbies 2010 (Maryland's Outstanding Blogs) offers useful and timely tips for novice and experienced gardeners. The site also guides interested food gardeners through the selection, planning, planting, and cultivating stages of producing their crop. They also took care to note that food gardens are not limited to backyard spaces. In addition, the site provides information on attending gardening classes and workshops led by Master Gardeners.
The open house provided an enjoyable educational experience that united the community and promoted the benefits of conservation while reminding visitors of the importance of farming. Supported by County Executive Jim Smith, the newly opened Agricultural Center is well on its way to fulfilling its mission of advocating for one of Maryland's greatest resources: its agricultural land and resources.