By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,Ibbotson Associates, a Chicago-based investment consulting firm, and staff reports. Pub Date: 5/19/96CONTRIBUTING WRITER | May 19, 1996
When Howard County farmland began changing hands like Monopoly properties in the 1960s, the ensuing development of the planned new town of Columbia fattened the wallets of speculators, the Rouse Co. and its partners.But the farmers who made that boom possible sold their land for an average $1,490 an acre -- triple the going rate at the time, though much lower than the $240,000 to $400,000 an acre that such choice land is worth today.As the planned community takes stock of itself in the wake of visionary founder James W. Rouse's death last month, those early-1960s land deals loom large in the story of Columbia's creation.
By Paul McCardell, The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
The almanacs are out with their winter predictions. The Old Farmer's Almanac published since 1792 and the Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack (since 1797) and Farmers' Almanac (since 1818) all are predicting a very cold winter with above-average amounts of snow for the Mid-Atlantic. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release its outlook for this winter in October. Also, did you know that The Baltimore Sun once produced an almanac from 1876 to 1928?
January 11, 2011
The publication of the American Farm Bureau's response to the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to set a strict "pollution diet" for the Chesapeake Bay ( "Farmers group sues to block Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan," Jan. 9) provides us with an important opportunity to open up the dialogue between farmers, conservationists and policy makers. Last month, the Accokeek Foundation hosted a conference titled "Common Ground: Growing Agriculture, Restoring the Bay," in which these groups explored ways that profitability and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2014
The operators of the former Naval Academy dairy farm in Gambrills, who sparked debate earlier this year when they announced plans to cut back organic farming practices there, will get to stay on the property another five years, Anne Arundel County officials said Tuesday. Edwin and Marian Fry, who have operated Maryland Sunrise Farm for years, were selected after County Executive Laura Neuman sought proposals to run the farm, which is owned by the Navy and leased to the county government.
January 20, 2011
It defies all logic that a farm with 100 acres could harm the Chesapeake Bay more than a shopping center, apartment complex and attendant parking lots on 100 acres could do. Back when the bay was clean, we had more farms than we do now, and we had many less people with their cars, sewage treatment plants and garbage. Are farmers singled out as evil bay polluters ( "Faulty stewardship," Jan. 13) because there are fewer of us? We are good stewards of the land, and fortunately we have the voice of the American Farm Bureau to speak for us. Milly B. Welsh, Davidsonville
By William C. Baker | January 20, 2011
A recent lawsuit filed by the American Farm Bureau Federation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a slap in the face to the Chesapeake Bay. It is a cynical ploy to reverse years of hard work by farmers who want to do their part to help achieve clean water. And it comes just as a renewed sense of optimism is starting to emerge among all parties that the bay and its rivers can be restored. Polarization and conflict have trumped good sense and collegiality once again. Over the last year, the Farm Bureau has stood alone in its role as a massively funded national lobbying organization seemingly intent on frustrating progress toward clean water.
November 30, 2011
I applaud the action that Gov. Martin O'Malley has taken on the University of Maryland environmental law clinic and its legal pursuit of the Hudson farm family. There are now hundreds of farm families in Maryland that live in fear that they will be the next farm to be put in the brink of bankruptcy. The Hudsons made a mistake. The Maryland Department of Environment, the state's environmental protection agency, was involved, the problem was assessed, corrected and a fine was levied and paid.
January 20, 2012
As a general rule, I am opposed to tax breaks that favor specific groups of taxpayers (e.g. those with mortgages, those who can afford to make generous charitable contributions or - my all time favorite - commuting federal government workers). However, in the case of estate tax breaks for farmers, I make an exception. Ideally, Maryland would eliminate or significantly reduce its onerous estate tax to stem the exodus of wealthy retirees to Florida and other states with no or low estate taxes.
December 1, 2009
Tim Wheeler's story "Heavy rains deter planting of cover crops" (Nov. 21) accurately states the effects of weather, grain markets, business costs and other logistics on a farmer's ability to plant cover crops. The O'Malley administration understands these challenges and has, year after year, listened to farmers, adapted the state's cover crop program to make it logistically and financially appealing, targeted resources for maximum results, approved all applications and committed record funding that has covered all payments promised to farmers.
July 13, 2012
There was an excellent article in The Sun describing American fields ripe for harvest that are not getting picked because of a shortage of immigrants ("Labor shortages plague farms," July 7). The American Farm Bureau Federation projects $5 billion to $9 billion in annual produce industry losses because of "the labor shortages which have become commonplace for farmers" who claimed "there were 10 applicants for every job five years ago" and now must hire anybody who shows up. The cause of this labor shortage is said to be, among other things, "a crackdown on illegal immigration.
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | August 23, 2014
Alerted by a phone call one recent Sunday, Stephen Pieper drove his black pickup the few miles from his farm in White Hall to Monkton, where he arrived too late to stop a man from plowing under the corn on 95 acres of land he'd leased for decades. Pieper, who leases more than 1,000 acres in Baltimore and Harford counties, said $100,000 worth of corn was destroyed by the farm's new owner — the CEO of Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. David Smith, who heads the nation's largest independent TV broadcast company, had no choice, his attorney said.
August 8, 2014
The Perryville Farmers Market is open every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the corner of Broad Street and Roundhouse Drive in Lower Ferry Park; vendors are selling produce, crafts, baked goods and other wares. The Perryville Railroad Museum is open every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Condolences are extended to the family of Margaret Cifaldo on her passing. The Perryville Fire Company will hold its fourth Sunday of the month all you can eat breakfast on Aug. 24. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the event runs through 11:30 a.m. Call 410-920-5079.
By Meredith Cohn | July 28, 2014
Farmers Market Week begins Aug. 3, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and an independent public health organization wants consumers to remember a few things about food safety. Uncooked produce is twice as likely to make you sick than meat because fruits and vegetables can attract bacteria from the soil or water where it's grown, notes NSF International , citing data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some tips from the group and from , a site maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: +Look for produce that isn't bruised or damaged.
By Janene Holzberg, For The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2014
Chef-prepared dishes to sample and freshly picked local produce to buy - what could be more appetizing in July when local harvests are peaking? Mix in socializing with like-minded folks who care where their food comes from and a menu of short documentary films, and you've got the recipe for the fifth annual Howard County Film Feastival on Tuesday, an event that is free and open to the public. The Feastival, at Clark's Elioak Farm off Route 108 near Centennial Lane, also helps launch the 2014 Farm-2-Table weeks - with a theme of "Love Local" - at 23 restaurants around the county starting Monday.
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
City Councilman William "Pete" Welch is calling for a large tax break for urban farmers in Baltimore. In legislation he plans to introduce Thursday, Welch is seeking a 90 percent break on property taxes for an urban farmer who grows and sells at least $5,000 of fruit and vegetables in a year. Welch said he hopes the legislation will help eliminate the city's so-called food deserts in which some neighborhoods have no access to healthy food nearby.  "We have a disparity in access to fresh fruit and vegetables," Welch said.  Such legislation was last tried three years ago by City Council members Mary Pat Clarke and Warren Branch, but it was opposed by the mayor's office who argued it would set a bad precedent for an already cash-strapped city.
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2014
Alice S. Lumpkin, an environmentalist and animal lover who with her husband owned and managed their Worthington Valley farm, died Saturday of cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 52. The daughter of Dr. Samuel McComb Lumpkin, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and Barbara Seney Waters Lumpkin, a homemaker, Alice Seney Lumpkin was born in Baltimore and raised in Sparks and on Geist Road in Glyndon. After graduating in 1979 from Garrison Forest School, she earned a bachelor's degree in geology with an environmental option from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, in 1984.
November 28, 2012
As a dairy farmer, I am getting the bare minimum - a price set by the federal government - for my milk while continuing to pay top dollar for feed and fuel. I am so tired of reading about farmers polluting the Chesapeake Bay. I don't know a single dairy farmer who can afford to dump chemicals in the bay. Most of the dairy farmers have been forced out of business in Maryland. Why is it OK for these sewage treatment plants to repeatedly dump in the bay and no one says a word? They have mechanical or electrical failures over and over and nothing.
May 18, 2011
A current trendy word is locavore. It means someone who eats, as much as possible, food grown or raised locally. Such a person not only consumes food that is probably fresher, but also supports farmers in the community. Which brings us to Baltimore County's farmers' markets — havens for locavores. These markets, including two new ones, are open now, or soon will be, with booths offering locally produced vegetables, baked goods and cheeses. And, this year, farmers' market browsers may come across a new product produced locally — wine.
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2014
Coupon books good for $30 in food purchases at any Maryland farmers' market are available to Baltimore seniors in low-income households. The books are available on a first-come, first-served basis at city senior centers through July 10, said Arnold Eppel, director of the city's Office of Aging and Care Services. To qualify for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, an individual must be at least 60 years old, a Baltimore resident and meet income requirements. The cap for households with one individual is $21,000.
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Hampden is getting its own farmers' market. The weekly market, which begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 22, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the sidewalk at 36th Street and Elm Avenue, right in front of Corner BYOB . The Hampden Farmers' Market is being produced independently, by Bernard Dehaene, the chef and owner of Corner BYOB, with Will Bauer of Genco Pura, Ltd. The market's offerings will include meats and cheeses, eggs...
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