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Agriculture briefs

August 12, 2008

School lunch program to start

The Jane Lawton Farm to School Initiative was established during the 2008 session of the General Assembly to bring more Maryland grown products to school lunches and to help educate students about the source of their food, how it is produced and the benefits of a healthy diet.

As part of the program, "Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week" will be observed from Sept. 22 to 26 to draw attention to the effort to bring more locally grown foods into Maryland school lunches.

In Washington County, this lunch week will not end in September but will continue year-round for several local schools.

The Agricultural Marketing Office is looking for growers and producers who would like to partner with that office to participate in the program.

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Buyers and Growers meetings to be held

The Agricultural Marketing Office will host several Buyers and Growers meetings in late August, September and October.

Are you a local grower or a buyer in the food service or food industry? If so, these meetings are an opportunity to make new connections.

Washington County's consumers are becoming more focused on eating healthy, eating fresh and buying local.

Local restaurants, caterers and eating establishments are looking for more opportunities to feature local produce on their menus.

Here is the chance for growers and producers to speak one-on-one with local buyers to establish business relationships.

For more information, contact Leslie Hendrickson at the Agricultural Marketing Office at 301-791-1504, ext. 21.

Spud Fest set for Aug. 30

The Friends of the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum invites the public to the sixth annual Spud Fest on Saturday, Aug. 30, beginning at 10 a.m.

Potatoes planted in the spring will be harvested by a horse-drawn plow beginning at 10 a.m. Children, by age group, will help pick up the potatoes. Prizes will be awarded to children for the largest and smallest potato found. Other children's activities include face painting, potato pressing and balloon sculpting.

The harvested potatoes will be used to demonstrate how homemade potato chips are made.

The Rural Heritage Museum, open from 1 to p.m., has on display an authentic Country Store, an original Conestoga wagon and numerous pieces of 19th Century farm equipment and farmhouse items. The Rural Heritage Village Homestead will also be open to the public on Aug. 30. The Museum Gift Shop will also be open.

The Rural Heritage Museum is at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7313 Sharpsburg Pike, seven miles South of Hagerstown on Md. 65. Admission to visit the museum and to attend the Spud Fest is free, but donations are always appreciated. For more information, call 240-313-2839 or go to www.ruralheritagemuseum.org on the Web.

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