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Introducing Clark's Farm in Howard County MD
Specializing in Grassfed Beef and chemical free produce!

Beef sticks back and the best beef jerky!

I had the pleasure of visiting this farm last week to see if they were compatible with the Grassfed on the Hill mission and standards.

I love history and great stories, so I was naturally captivated by Nora's description of the farm history. It was only recently that the mother-daughter team of Martha Clark and Nora Crist took over the entire farming and business operations to keep their family farm alive and honor their family's request to "never sell the land."

When Nora went off to college, as many young people do, she intended to pursue other endeavors, but was soon diagnosed with a debilitating chronic illness. She returned from the farm and, as she learned more and more about the benefits of grassfed beef, she changed her diet and farming practices and her health improved as a result. This cemented her in the direction for holistic farming practices and her deep commitment to producing nutrient dense food for others.

The spirited, 29-year old farmer is determined to make the farm work and continue to improve her health. I hope that we can give her a boost on her journey!

Here is more history of the farm over the many generations their family has managed that land:

http://clarklandfarm.com/about_our_farm.html

While the petting farm is the farm's main source of income currently, they hope to balance that by increasing production of their angus, grassfed beef and providing that to local markets. They are excited to offer their beef to Grassfed on the Hill and they are a perfect fit for our group of conscientious, nutrition and socially/environmentally-minded, consumer base.

During my visit, I met part of their herd. The angus cows were in a separate field from the cattle because they are still calving and nursing their babies. I had my children along with me and, at one point, my son ran ahead and the entire herd of cows, babies and all, followed him along the fence line. It was adorable.

As we learned about the farm that day, the children visited the baby animals at the petting farm, they explored the colorful creations of the Enchanted Forest (that is an amazing story about this farm), and another great reason to visit this farm!

Nora and I are already brainstorming possibilities of having a farm picnic for the group. Until then, here is a photo tour of the farm. Be sure to check out all the great products they are offering and leave a note for the farmers if you order from them.

As the season progresses, they will have plenty of their amazing, chemical free produce available to us as well.

Please give Nora a wonderful welcome to being a Grassfed on the Hill producer.

Photos from my visit: https://goo.gl/photos/f7oQ5mc67ZjwNxQw6
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Farmer
We will have a variety of over 30 vegetables and herbs this season.
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Indoor Farmers Market On Military
Sunday April 9 from 11am till 3pm Next door to Chili Johns in the Beacon Center 521 S Military Ave, Green Bay, WI 54303
The indoor winter market features local, Grass Fed Beef Pasture Pork Pasture Eggs & Poultry ,Cheese, Produce, bread, apples, hand-crafted, and homemade goodies! gifts and crafts.
AND FOOD TRUCKS!!!
CHECK OUT THE Meat & Vegetable CSA Programs Still Time to sigh up!!!!
.
Join us in supporting our local growers and creative creators.
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Have you signed up for the WWOOF Newsletter yet?http://wwoof.com.au/wwoofers/newsletter-signup
Check out our last newsletter, you can have this delivered straight to your email inbox for free! Sign up now &never miss an issue!
http://www.wwoof.com.au/images/newsletters/nl_92.pdf
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Want to join our community? Enrollment for the 2017 season has begun! Signup before March 1st for early bird pricing.

And we are also offering a chance to win a a free farm share to those helping with our gofundme campaign! For every $50 you donate to our fund, you will be entered to win a free full share for the 2017 season. A winner will be picked by March 1st and I email you if you have won!

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/oneacrefarm
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2016 will be known to Maryland beekeepers as another year of extremely heavy losses.

2016 has been extremely challenging for our managed honeybee colonies here in Maryland. According to BIP (Bee Informed Partnership) 2016 is the year that losses exceeded 56%, and over a 3 year average, Maryland beekeepers have lost 54% of their total colonies. Maryland has approximately 14,000+ registered honeybee colonies according to Maryland State Ag statistics. The average replacement costs per colony is $150, replacement colonies range from $100/package to $200/nuc. This means that beekeepers in Maryland spend over $1.13MILLION every year to replace approximately 7,600 lost registered honeybee colonies. This does not include lost revenue, lost labor, or losses in potential business growth that would otherwise be possible by splitting healthy colonies. There are multiple, complex reasons for these losses, among them include, but are not limited to the following situations. Forage is the basis of a healthy colony’s immune system. Yet, most areas of the state saw very low levels of abundant natural forage and rainfall this year adversely affecting the colonies’ immunity. Thus, colonies with compromised immune systems succumb to the ravages of mites, viruses, and bacterial infections. To add to this, many beekeepers have seen an increase in pesticide use in the form of lawn and yard spraying, compounded by municipal and private responses to Zika Virus in the form of broad spectrum mosquito spraying. Moreover, summer queen failures have become a chronic problem in Maryland, even including queen failures that occur within the first summer after a colony is established, which, historically, would be considered a rarity. Furthermore, the translocation of honeybee colonies is highly problematic as colonies are unable to easily or fully integrate into the environment into which they have been transported.

If managed honeybee losses are this high, how do we think that wild native bee populations are fairing? Managed populations are the only populations to which beekeepers have regular access. If managed honeybees are facing the difficulties mentioned above, then it is reasonable to assume that wild native bee populations are suffering in the same ways.

Dr. David Goulson, Elizabeth Nicholls, Cristina Botías, and Ellen L. Rotheray published their research findings in their article, Bee declines Driven by Combined Stress from Parasites, Pesticides, and Lack of Flowers, suggesting several possible ways to mitigate managed honeybee colony losses:

"Bees are subject to numerous pressures in the modern world. The abundance and diversity of flowers has declined; bees are chronically exposed to cocktails of agrochemicals, and they are simultaneously exposed to novel parasites accidentally spread by humans.
Climate change is likely to exacerbate these problems in the future. Stressors do not act in isolation; for example, pesticide exposure can impair both detoxification mechanisms and immune responses, rendering bees more susceptible to parasites. It seems certain that
chronic exposure to multiple interacting stressors is driving honey bee colony losses and declines of wild pollinators, but such interactions are not addressed by current regulatory procedures, and studying these interactions experimentally poses a major challenge. In the meantime, taking steps to reduce stress on bees would seem prudent; incorporating flower-rich habitat into farmland, reducing pesticide use through adopting more sustainable farming methods, and enforcing effective quarantine measures on bee movements are all practical measures that should be adopted. Effective monitoring of wild pollinator populations is urgently needed to inform management strategies into the future.”

Beekeepers here in Maryland have very tough decisions to make. Our current track record for managed honeybee losses is abysmal, in fact the entire Mid-Atlantic region is suffering from catastrophic honeybee losses in managed colonies. Do we make much needed corrections to our management of our colonies or pursue the “same ol' same ol'” and continue to pay for replacement colonies, which in many cases only exacerbates the situation?

We can make things better for pollinators and give them the best possible chance for survival, but in order to do that, we must all act together to see those changes come to fruition.

Bill Castro
Beefriendlyapiary.com
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