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Organic grower to host field day in Maryland

May 23, 2006

Baltimore County farmer Jack Gurley, an organic direct-market vegetable grower, is to share the secrets of his success at a June 15 twilight field day, the University of Maryland Extension and Future Harvest said.

The field day, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., is open to farmers and others "interested in learning more about how the Gurleys earn enough to comfortably support a family of four without off-farm income," according to a news release.

Gurley, who farms full-time with his wife Beckie, said "most farmers know how to grow vegetables better than I do, but need help with marketing. I want to tell them there are other ways to crack the nut."

The Gurleys sell their produce to an area grocery co-op, three farmers markets and a 50-member community farm group with the harvest from just five acres. Selling dozens of vegetables and herbs direct to the public has helped Gurley set his prices and earn a profit, the news release said.

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Gurley is to be joined by Dave Martin, Baltimore County Extension director, Caragh Fitzgerald, Howard County Extension Educator and Mark Davis, president of the board of Future Harvest, a nonprofit organization. Gurley is a member of Future Harvest's board.

Calvert's Gift Farm is at 16813 Yeoho Road in Sparks, just west of Interstate 83 in Baltimore County. For directions, go to the Web. Keyword "maps" and "Calvert's Gift Farm," and look for the Future Harvest site.

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