The Easton Economic Development Corporation has recently entered into a partnership with Homestead Gardens, the Anne Arundel gardening stores, and Tidal Creek, an Eastern Shore grower, to use the Chesapeake Harvest name on a new line of starter plants.
Tidal Creek’s 50 most popular varieties will be packaged in eco-friendly, bio-degradable pots with tags bearing the Chesapeake Harvest name and logo and will be sold at Homestead Gardens’ two garden centers.
Brian Riddle, owner of Homestead Gardens, approached the EEDC to license the Chesapeake Harvest name, says Tracy Ward, executive director. “He wanted a new brand that would resonate with his clientele,” Ward explains.
The EEDC will earn a percentage of sales to put back into its programs that help the Eastern Shore’s food economy. In addition, the Chesapeake Harvest name and logo will reach some 20,000 customers this season alone.
If the product line is a successs, Mike Leubecker, manager at Tidal Creek, says he hopes to expand it beyond the initial varieties while introducing it to other stores up and down the eastern seaboard.
February has been filled to overflowing with food safety efforts! Farmers near and far are singing the praises of food safety educator, Lindsay Gilmour, and the whole Chesapeake Harvest team. This month, in addition to attending numerous seminars and conferences, we’ve provided one-on-one support, including risk assessments, food safety plan writing, and wholesale marketing consultation, to nine farms. Six of those farms were in Virginia and were part of a collaborative effort with Local Food Hub.
We also teamed up with Future Harvest/CASA, for a GAP vs FSMA workshop at Chesapeake College, as part of the Field School educational series.
Holly Gorham of Agape Gardens in Queenstown, MD, who took part in the Field School class, says, “I learned so much! I always wash my hands before harvesting, but it didn’t occur to me that I needed to set up a hand washing station for my kids.”
Lee O’Neill, of Radical Roots Community Farm in Keezleton, Virgina, took part in a farm risk assessment. He reports, “Lindsay’s understanding of GAP policies and her guidance on how to apply GAP to our farm is invaluable. Her ability to look at our current systems and make suggestions to streamline the recordkeeping process and to highlight the necessary changes required make the process of applying for GAP certification much less intimidating. I am so appreciative of her time and of the funding offered to share her services to farms like ours.”
Is there a farmer in your life who should tap into the Chesapeake Harvest resources? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.