Business Appreciation Week
Business Appreciation Week 2017 Site Visits
Farms and a healthy farming economy play critical roles in local communities and in the social fabric of our region. According to the 2012 U.S. Census, Calvert County boasts nearly 33,000 acres of farmland spread across nearly 270 different farms.
Calvert County celebrated Business Appreciation Week 2017 with a salute to agriculture, including our local seafood industry. During the first full week of May, the Calvert County Department of Economic Development presented a series of events focusing on the vital role that agriculture and aquaculture business owners have in our local economy.
On Tuesday, May 2, five Ambassador Teams travelled to 14 businesses to meet the business owners and learn about the successes and challenges facing each owner.
Battle Creek Beef at Taney Place Farm
4885 Adelina Road, Prince Frederick
Taney Place is a 200-year-old family farm producing natural Angus beef and pork under the Battle Creek Beef label. You can purchase their locally grown meats at farmers markets and at their farm. A new meat Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is also available. A CSA is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in their community. It is basically a farm share. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public.
In addition to natural beef and pork, Taney Place is a traditional farm that produces wheat, soybeans, hay and straw. They also breed Labrador retrievers for family pets and Friesian horses.
From left, Calvert County Commissioner Steven R. Weems and Battle Creek Beef at Taney Place owners Walter Wells and Susie Hance-Wells.
4300 Hunting Creek Road, Huntingtown
Bowen’s Grocery is a Southern Maryland landmark currently operated by the third generation of Bowens. It is one of the last independent, family-owned stores in Calvert County.
The store originally started out as a small snack shop and ice cream parlor owned by Gordon Bowen’s grandparents, the Mogcks. At that time, the store sold everything from clothing to cutlets and also housed the Huntingtown Post Office. Later Mr. Mogck, a meat cutter, turned the store into a full-service grocery.
In the early 1960s, Gordon Bowen took over the family business which he and his wife still run today. They offer fresh meats, seafood and poultry, a full-service deli, local produce from Swann’s Farm, ice cream and various grocery items as well as fuel and propane.
From left, Deputy County Administrator Wilson Parran, Bowen’s Grocery Manager Dale Bowen, Bowen’s Grocery owner Gordon Bowen, Calvert County Commissioner Pat Nutter, Calvert County Department of Economic Development Business Retention Specialist Kelly Robertson-Slagle and Department of Economic Development Agricultural Marketing Specialist Jennifer Pettko.
3915 Hallowing Point Road (food truck located at Spider Hall Farm)
151 Central Square (storefront), Prince Frederick
Calvert Crabs was formed with the goal of bringing fresh, local, seasonal seafood to residents and to keep the traditions of Southern Maryland fresh seafood alive for future generations.
Calvert Crabs currently sells steamed crabs and to-go meals from their food truck located at Spider Hall Farm. They are in the process of opening a storefront in Central Square Shopping Center for take-out service and catering. The store will also offer crab-related merchandise for sale.
Cardinal Creek Plant Farm
5180 Sixes Road, Prince Frederick
Cardinal Creek Plant Farm was founded in 1988 as a wholesale plant farm which sold to local garden centers. In 2007, Cardinal Creek opened to the public. They sell annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, planters and tropicals as well as vegetable and fruit plants and other varieties.
Cardinal Creek offers gift cards and helps organizations with fundraisers. Their goal is to bring top-quality, affordable plants to the public along with top-notch knowledge and customer service.
From left, Stephanie Dunn, Cardinal Creek Plant Farm, Commissioner President Tom Hejl, Economic Development Commission Chair Tony Destefano, and Doug Dunn, Cardinal Creek Plant Farm.
6415 St. Leonard Road, St. Leonard
Chesapeake’s Bounty, founded by Greg Ciesielski in 1994, began as a small farm stand on the side of Rt. 4 South. After a brief closing, the stand was re-opened in September 2007 by the founder’s grandson, William Kreamer. Soon after re-opening, Chesapeake’s Bounty moved to a small farm in St. Leonard. Chesapeake’s Bounty offers a growing selection of local, sustainable foods with all of their products being grown, caught or processed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Their ever-expanding offerings include local seafood, dairy products, meats, baked goods, produce, plants and seasonal items.
Chesapeake’s Bounty’s on-site garden produces a variety of veggies and fruits including strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cabbage and mushrooms. The gardens are the basis of Participatory Agriculture, a combination of Community Supported Agriculture and a community garden. The on-site garden allows Chesapeake’s Bounty to offer educational opportunities for the public.
Garden volunteers receive hands-on experience in growing food and can harvest and take home whatever food is available in an amount that seems fair to them. Chesapeake’s Bounty’s goal is to become a self-sustaining garden which uses no chemicals and relies on compost and fertilizer produced on site.
From left, Commissioner President Tom Hejl and William Kreamer, owner, Chesapeake’s Bounty.
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue
7940 Flint Hill Road, Owings
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue was established in the spring of 2004 to support the local horse community and to rescue horses from unfortunate situations. The operation is committed to saving neglected, abused and unwanted horses that are typically difficult to adopt. Since most of the horses rescued by Freedom Hill cannot be ridden, these gentle souls often find themselves at auction or on a trailer to the slaughterhouse.
Freedom Hill strives to educate the community and provide a safe haven for needy horses. With the help of community volunteers, Freedom Hill has supported and found homes for more than 300 horses.
Fresh Meadows/Bay Equine Service
2195 Hunting Creek Road, Huntingtown
Fresh Meadows is a 47-acre equine facility purchased by Dr. Linda Molesworth in 1999. Fresh Meadows is the home of her veterinary practice, Bay Equine Service.
Fresh Meadows boasts a 10,000-square-feet 16-stall barn. An indoor riding arena is surrounded by 30 acres of fenced pasture and a veterinary office. It offers mare and foal care and fosters rescue horses.
Bay Equine Service is a full-service veterinary practice offering ship-in, on-site and emergency services in Southern Maryland.
From left, Calvert County Department of Economic Development Agricultural Marketing Specialist Jennifer Pettko, Fresh Meadows Bay/Equine Service employees Julia Girod and Elizabeth Larsen, Calvert County Commissioner Pat Nutter, Fresh Meadows Bay/Equine Service owner Dr. Linda Molesworth, Farm Ground Manager Wayne Roberts, Calvert County Deputy County Administrator Wilson Parran, Fresh Meadows Bay/Equine Service Office Manager Sharon Most and Calvert County Department of Economic Development Business Retention Specialist Kelly Robertson-Slagle.
1865 Horsmon Farm Lane, St. Leonard
Horsmon Farm is a fourth-generation farm and has been under the stewardship of JR and Cathy Cosgrove (daughter of Dickie and Phyllis Horsmon) since 2012. JR and Cathy raise mums and pumpkins and expanded the farm to include farm-raised meats and educational farm activities and tours.
The Cosgroves raise Black Angus cattle which are finished on seasonally planted grass pastures. The pasture-raised pigs are a mixed breed, generally a heritage breed crossed with a modern breed. Chickens also enjoy foraging for bugs and plants, which is exactly what they get to do at Horsmon Farm.
Agriculture education is an important aspect of Horsmon Farm. During the fall season, they host many fun family weekend activities. Cathy hosts field trips during the week for public and private schools, as well as daycares. Pre-school aged children learn that the food they eat every day comes from a farm and not just from the grocery store. Older students learn the purpose of animals on the farm and how good agricultural practices help protect the environment.
From left are County Administrator Terry Shannon, Agriculture Commission Chair Susan Cox, Cathy Cosgrove, Dickie Horsmon, Small Business Development Center representative Kathy MacAdams.
Linda’s Greenhouses and Jake’s Produce
5980 Broomes Island Road, Port Republic
Linda’s Greenhouses is a family owned and operated business. They sell a variety of flowers, vegetable plants and herbs grown in eight greenhouses.
Jake’s Produce is now a separate entity run by Bryan and Linda’s two sons. They run a produce stand on Broomes Island Road. Everything they sell is grown on their farms.
Watch for Jake’s Produce second farm stand in Breezy Point opening soon.
From left, Calvert County Commissioner Steven R. Weems, Nicholas and Jacob Sunderland, Linda's Greenhouses and Jake's Produce owners Bryan and Linda Sunderland, Calvert County Department of Community Planning & Building Rural Planner II Lindsay Halterman and Department of Community Planning & Building Principal Planner Judy Mackall.
Lucky Cricket Farm
1935 Emmanuel Church Road, Huntingtown
Lucky Cricket Farm is a family-oriented equestrian educational center located on 30 acres. Lucky Cricket Farm offers boarding and leasing services as well as lessons.
Lucky Cricket Farm is a High Adventure approved vendor for the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC). The farm provides badging opportunities for both the Girl and Boy Scouts. They also offer day trip opportunities to the public which focus on horse familiarization and a horse discovery center.
From left, Calvert County Commissioner Vice President Evan Slaughenhoupt, Jr. and Lucky Cricket owners Mary Russell and Mike Russell.
Patuxent Seafood Company
4149 School Road, Broomes Island
Patuxent Seafood is a family owned and operated seafood business specializing in farm-raised oysters and Maryland blue crabs. Patuxent Seafood takes pride in the quality and freshness of their seafood and offer a complete satisfaction, money-back guarantee.
Their crabs and wild-harvested oysters come from the Patuxent River and local Chesapeake Bay regions. Their farm-raised oysters are meaty and symmetrical and are harvested from the Patuxent River (year-round) using a proven aquaculture method that enables ecological sustainability while improving the waters of the Patuxent River.
From left, Calvert County Commissioner Steven R. Weems, Patuxent Seafood owners and staff Rich Duff, Andy and Jill Buck, Chris Cochrane, Calvert County Department of Community Planning & Building Principal Planner Judy Mackall and Department of Community Planning & Building Rural Planning II Lindsay Halterman.
1930 Rosemary Lane, Port Republic
Kevin Warren began Rosemary Ranch after retiring from the Navy. He runs a small, sustainable farm which produces microgreens, eggs, honey and market garden vegetables.
Rosemary Ranch is the only farm in Calvert County that is a member of the Homegrown by Heroes program, administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
Rosemary Ranch is a beginning farming operation and is in the planning and trial-and-error stage of growing a farm. Rosemary Ranch has been accepted into the Calvert County Farmers Market Association and is approved to sell their products at the fairground and Solomons markets.
From left, Calvert County Deputy County Administrator Wilson Parran, Calvert County Department of Economic Development Agricultural Marketing Specialist Jennifer Pettko, Rosemary Ranch owner Kevin Warren, his son Barry Grubbs and wife Jan Warren and Calvert County Commissioner Pat Nutter.
Spider Hall Farm
3915 Hallowing Point Road, Prince Frederick
Spider Hall Farm is a 362-acre farm purchased by David and Susan Cox as a legacy for their children, the seventh generation of this farming family. It is one of the few remaining working farms of its size in Calvert County, producing tobacco, corn and grain.
After establishing Spider Hall Farm, the primary focus for the farm became agriculture education and instilling the joy of agriculture in Calvert County residents. Susan Cox, also known as Mrs. Moo, is the farm’s spokesperson and educator. The farm is open each fall as a field trip location for schools, youth groups and families.
In 2011, Spider Hall Farm constructed The Farm Stand, a modest storefront to showcase local commodities including milk, meat and produce. The Farm Stand supports the local economy and farmers by featuring only local products. In addition, Mrs. Moo’s Corner which consists of two mobile ice cream trailers, was added to offer hand-scooped, farm- fresh ice cream from a Maryland creamery.
From left are Mark Volland of the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Kathy MacAdams of the Small Business Development Center, Commissioner Mike Hart, Spider Hall Farm Stand owners Amy Rippey and Catherine Hamilton, Agriculture Commission Chair Susan Cox and County Administrator Terry Shannon.
7740 Swann Lane, Owings
Swann Farms is a sixth-generation, wholesale produce farm of approximately 160 acres. They supply fresh-picked produce to the Southern Maryland, Baltimore and Washington, DC regions.
With its beginnings in tobacco farming, the Swann family gradually switched to produce farming and currently grow peaches, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomatoes along with other vegetables and fruits.
They have a pick-your-own pumpkin and strawberry patch with crops growing for pick-your-own blueberries and brambles (raspberries, blackberries). Swann’s largest market is local roadside stands, followed by gourmet stores such as Nick’s, Bowen’s, Roland’s, Whole Foods and larger food distributors.
Swann Farms proudly supports the Chesapeake Cares food pantry and the Maryland Food Bank by donating leftover corn. The last gleaning resulted in a donation of 20,000 pounds of corn.
From left, Calvert County Soil District Conservation Planner Caroline Trossbach, Maryland Department of Commerce Business Development Representative Steve Wall, Swann Farm employee Emily Fishbach, Swann Farm Owner Joe Swann and Calvert County Commissioner Vice President Evan Slaughenhoupt, Jr.