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Farms & the Bay


Desperately Seeking Dollars

Where to Put the Money?

Vanishing Farms?

Using Both Hands

From Farm to Bay

Coastal Populations
Swell Nationwide

The Challenge of Stewardship
Farmland by the Bay - by Skip Brown  

A sharp west wind sings across the flat fields of Balvin Brinsfield's farm, just north of Vienna, Maryland. The wind has the bite of winter in it, but otherwise the sun is shining and the low-lying fields gleam with a thin carpet of green. Balvin has a wide smile and a welcoming handshake. Welcome to farm country, Eastern Shore style.

To get here, drive east and south from Annapolis for an hour and a half to the marshy Nanticoke River, where traffic thins out and life slows down. Turn north onto Route 331 just past a sign that says, Scenic Byway: Chesapeake Country. In the middle of a winter's morning you might stand on the centerline of the road and not see a car coming either way. But despite this rural quiet, there is a double message in Balvin Brinsfield's handshake and that scenic highway sign: this is both farm country and Bay country, a landscape that offers up sweet corn, peppers and soybeans, but also blue crabs, oysters and striped bass. When things are working right, it is a bountiful place to be.     Read more . . .

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