‘Farms in Focus’ Video Series Highlights Southern Maryland’s Nursery and Cut Flowers Industry

According to the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission’s latest video in the Farms in Focus Series, Southern Maryland’s climate and long growing season aided by high tunnels and greenhouses provides almost optimal year-round conditions for the region’s nursery and cut flowers industry.

SMADC’s newest video in the 9-part series on Southern Maryland’s diverse agricultural profile, reveals a thriving garden nursery and cut flower farming industry growing up to 80 plant and flower varieties a season generating 750 million dollars annually with over 180 million dollars in value-added impact. The video expands on these statistics to explore the technology, skill and artistry involved in raising plants and flowers through the experience of three growers engaged in different cultivation, and business models – small and large.

Ray Greenstreet, owner of Greenstreet Gardens in Anne Arundel County, describes his expansive family business which includes retail garden centers, wholesale, horticulture and landscaping operations, as well as a state-of-the-art rooting station that ‘roots’ internationally sourced cuttings to ship as starter plants for growers in Maryland and beyond. 

By contrast many of Southern Maryland’s flower farms are relatively small, nevertheless these growers are carving a competitive niche in the marketplace. Priscilla Wentworth Leitch, of Anchored Roots Farm in St. Mary’s, explains how she and another small farm are partnering to grow a combined floral inventory to supply area florists and meet the growing consumer demand for locally grown flowers for weddings and other special occasions.  

The video also touches on the importance of plants and flowers in our daily lives, and particularly how the skillful arrangement of color and texture can enhance our pleasure and wellbeing. “I’m a big believer in comfort,” comments Bahiyyah Parks, of EcoBlossoms Farm. A cut flower farmer and garden designer located in urban Prince George’s County, Bahiyyah chooses plants for her clients that not only thrive in Southern Maryland’s climate and soils, but also bring beauty and “an expression of life and joy” to the environment and our communities.

Produced by SMADC, a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, the Farms in Focus ‘Nursery and Cut Flowers’ edition is available now to view on the SMADC YouTube channel. The video series, filmed by renowned agriculture videographers Edwin Remsberg Studios, illustrates Southern Maryland’s key agricultural industries with a combination of educational information and promotional marketing to bridge the knowledge gap between consumers and their local farmers. Visit SMADC.com to learn more and find farm resources and guides to Southern Maryland farms. Look for more videos to be released in November and December 2020 featuring Livestock, Forestry and Produce.   

The “Farms in Focus” videos are made possible by a grant awarded to SMADC through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund  (RMPIF). 

SMADC is committed to expanding and promoting a viable and profitable agricultural community that supports farms and the future of agriculture. While the primary focus is on the five southern Maryland counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s, many of SMADC’s initiatives reach statewide. To assist the farming community SMADC provides vision, support, grants, promotion, and more, to area farmers. As new farm economies are being formed, SMADC also helps to streamline regulations and reduce obstacles for farming businesses. SMADC is committed to helping connect local farmers to their consumers, as well as to protecting area farmland through local land preservation. As SMADC was developed out of the Tobacco Buyout Program, it has dispersed the original tobacco buyout monies to all buyout participants, developed a regional plan for diversification, and continues to provide the services as listed above, as well as funding for land preservation as it is available. To learn more about additional programs and resources, please visit: www.smadc.com, or email: info@smadc.com.