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MPT Series Maryland Farm & Harvest Episode on Feb. 5 Features Local Farm Products Used in Maryland Spirits

 Growing rye at Hickory Hollow Farm in Finksburg. Photo credit: Maryland Public Television’s Maryland Farm & Harvest

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) popular original series Maryland Farm & Harvest features farms and other locations in Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, and St. Mary’s counties along with Baltimore City during the final episode of the series’ sixth season, airing Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. The episode’s theme is locally produced spirits – specifically beer, bourbon, brandy, and rye – made with Maryland farm products.

Maryland Farm & Harvest takes viewers on journeys across the state, telling stories about the farms, people, and technology required to sustain and grow Maryland’s number one industry: agriculture. During the past year, MPT’s production team has filmed episode segments at more than four dozen farms in preparation for the new season. Segments featured on the upcoming episode are:

  • Sagamore Spirit Rye (Carroll County and Baltimore City): Sagamore Spirit in Baltimore began as the passion project of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, and as a nod to Maryland’s long history with rye whiskey. Despite that history, rye suitable for distilling is not grown in Maryland on a large enough scale for Sagamore Spirit’s main production line. With that in mind, in 2017 Sagamore Spirit started working with local farmers like Chris Weaver of Hickory Hollow Farm in Finksburg to begin growing rye to produce small batches of all-Maryland rye whiskey. Viewers visit the farm to get an idea of how the rye is grown, and then see how it is used in whiskey at Sagamore Spirit’s Port Covington distillery.
  • Apple Brandy (Frederick County): Brandy is traditionally made by distilling wine, but Tenth Ward Distilling Company proves grapes are not the only fruit worth fermenting. The Frederick-based company enlists local farmers for its signature apple brandy, Applejack. Viewers meet Tenth Ward Distilling owner Monica Pearce before visiting Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont and farmer Robert Black to see the harvest of Jonagold apples used in the brandy. The segment concludes with a return visit to Tenth Ward Distilling for a splash of brandy.
  • Maryland Bourbon (St. Mary’s and Charles Counties): Located on a former tobacco farm, Tobacco Barn Distillery in Hollywood is a collaboration between long-time friends Dan Dawson, Scott Sanders, and Sean Coogan. The trio decided to distill bourbon because of the spirit’s long and surprising history in St. Mary’s County. Head distiller and farm owner Dan Dawson shows off his farm’s corn – less than a week from harvest – before taking viewers through the process of how that corn is transformed into bourbon. Vitamin- and protein-rich spent grains, from the bourbon production process, is provided free-of-charge to area farms, including Newport Valley Farm located in Charlotte Hall, Charles County.
  • The Local Buy: Pumpkin Beer (Harford County): In this episode’s The Local Buy, segment Host Al Spoler visits with farmers Alex and Allen Galbreath and learns from brewer Mike Lahatte how to make pumpkin beer during a visit to Falling Branch Brewery in Street, before enjoying a sampling of the on-farm brewery’s offerings. Several recipes using beer as an ingredient are available at mpt.org/farm.

Maryland Farm & Harvest airs on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on MPT-HD and is rebroadcast on Thursdays at 11:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Each show also airs on MPT2 on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. More information about the series is available at mpt.org/farm, and viewers can join the conversation on social media at the hashtag #MDFarmHarvestFans.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is MPT’s co-production partner for Maryland Farm & Harvest. Major funding is provided by the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.

Additional funding is provided by Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit; Maryland’s Best; the Maryland Agricultural Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation; the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation; and the Maryland Soybean Board. Other support comes from the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts; Wegmans Food Markets; the Maryland Nursery, Landscape & Greenhouse Association; the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.; the Rural Maryland Council; the Maryland Seafood Marketing Advisory Commission; the Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc.; Mar-Del Watermelon Association; and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.

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Follow Maryland Department of Agriculture on Twitter @MdAgDept


Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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