In this week’s episode of Sound Bites, we travel to Prince George’s County and visit three farms,The Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park; P.A. Bowen Farmstead; and cattle farmer Yates Clagett of Bald Eagle Farm; for perspectives on sustainability, land stewardship, and how to remain economically viable in a shifting marketplace.
First, we visit the Accokeek Foundation, an educational farm on the Potomac River in Piscataway Park that runs programs about environmental stewardship, land conservation, and sustainable agriculture. They run training programs in organic farming, and host programs for young people, as well. We talk to: Dr. Lisa Hayes, the President and CEO of the Accokeek Foundation; Community Outreach and Education Coordinator Molly Meehan; Sky Harman, Ecosystem Farm Apprentice; and Livestock Manager Polly Festa.
Sally Fallon Morrel and Geoffrey Morrel of Brandywine, MD have a small herd of Jersey cows on their land, the PA Bowen Farmstead, that they milk for artisan cheese. They also raise chickens, pigs, turkeys in a mixed-species pasture-based farm that incorporates bio-dynamic methods. We started with a tour of their dairy operation.
Then, we continue our journey in Prince George’s County with Yates Clagett, a small-scale cattle farmer who has been selling his grass-fed meat locally in the region’s niche market. He is also the PG County Farm Bureau President and has spearheaded the purchase of freezers for local meat sales. He talked to us about what sustainability means to him in terms of the environment and economic viability, and he documented the challenges the current distribution infrastructure in Southern Maryland, changing state regulations, and market forces play in his quest to raise quality beef.