Picker's Check Fair explores facet of area's truck farming

May 20, 2001

Pickers' checks - the coin-like objects given to farm workers years ago to keep track of the number of bushels of produce they harvested - will be on display at a Picker's Check Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Benson-Hammond House, Aviation Boulevard and Andover Road in Linthicum.

Will Mumford, author of "Strawberries, Peas and Beans," a book about the truck farming that once dominated the area, will be available to answer questions and sign copies for purchasers. The book is said to include the most complete inventory of pickers' checks ever compiled, listing more than 400 farmers and 1,500 varieties of tokens.

Mumford researched Anne Arundel truck farming for more than 30 years before compiling the book.

Free tours of the 19th-century farmhouse, which houses artifacts and a well-known doll collection, will be offered. Built by Thomas Benson in 1820, the house - now property of Baltimore-Washington International Airport - was restored by the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society and serves as its headquarters.

Those who have pickers' checks are welcome to donate them to the society's collection. Information: 410-768-9518.

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