Explore Local Farms on Adkins Arboretum Tours

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Learn about myriad types of farming and conservation-minded farm practices when Adkins Arboretum offers a series of local farm tours beginning this spring. Six farms across the Mid-Shore will welcome participants to learn about their products and land management efforts and to engage in a hands-on project to take home.

The series kicks off on Sun., May 19 with a tour of Cottingham Farm on the banks of Goldsborough Creek in Easton. Join owner Cleo Braver to learn about food farming and the infrastructure required for crops, chickens and pigs before exploring cover crops, greenhouses and processing and storage spaces. Participants will also cut garlic scapes and make garlic scape pesto.

On Sun., June 2, join Carrie Jennings for a guided tour of her field-grown specialty flowers at Honeybee Flower Farm in Cordova. Jennings grows flowers without insecticides; by growing varieties not readily available from overseas, her operation helps to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Participants should bring a vase or mason jar to create a cut flower arrangement to take home.

At Schoolhouse Farmhouse in Cordova, Lauren Giordano and George Burroughs follow a regenerative approach that includes minimal tilling, no synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and the use of cover crops. On Sun., June 23, learn how they use sustainable practices for vegetables, flowers and chickens. Participants will also take a walk through the meadow and create a hand-printed tea towel inspired by their surroundings.

On Sun., June 30, tour the organic cutting garden of floral designer and longtime Adkins docent Nancy Beatty. Owner of Sweetbay Designs, Beatty has grown her own flowers organically for more than 25 years. Participants will take home a tiny tussie-mussie made from greenery and mostly native plants.

Calico Fields Lavender Farm near Millington is on the tour schedule for Sun., July 7.

On their Calico Fields Lavender Farm near Millington, Christa and Jay Falstad grow their plants organically and tend and harvest them by hand to make high-quality bath and body products. Participants will cut their own lavender bunches and learn about the Falstads’ conservation efforts aimed at promoting native bee species and monarch butterflies.

A native nursery and garden center offering services and products that foster harmony with nature, Unity Church Hill Nursery & Farm has been growing produce, flowers, and vegetable and herb starts sustainably for the past three years. On Sun., Sept. 15, join Theresa Mycek for a tour of the food gardens to learn about the farm’s regenerative gardening methods. After the tour, participants will make a hardneck garlic “braid” to take home.

Each tour is $35 for Arboretum members and $40 for non-members. All tours run from 1 to 3 p.m. Advance registration is required at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information about programs, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

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