1495 Appleton Road
Elkton, Maryland 21921
"GREEN" Projects We Have Implemented on the Farm Through the Years:
1. We welcome you to help us STAY green with your purchase of a reusable shopping bag (made from recycled materials) from our farm market. This will greatly reduce the need for plastic shopping bags. We are selling the bags at our cost of $1.50 (tax included). We also encourage you to bring back your plastic shopping bags for re-use.
2. Wind-Powered Irrigation System in your U-Pick Berry patch.
3. Our 4 Forklifts powered by clean burning propane, instead of the older gas powered engines. Also, our ovens in our Bake Shoppe are propane powered.
4. Farm Market & Bakery hot water is supplied by an "on demand" system. Water is heated only as needed.
5. Leaf compost from the city of Newark used for soil improvements in fields. This builds organic matter, improves water holding capacities, raises the soil Ph, and supplies a slow, steady release of natural nitrogen, phoshorous, and potasium.
6. Our cold storages are run with amonia systems, not freon.
7. IPM practices (Integrated Pest Management) have been used on the farm since the 1980's, greatly lessening the need for chemicals or sprays in our farming practices. To learn more about IPM, please visit the FAQ page of our website.
8. A new fertilizer spreader now only spreads directly under the tree instead of broadcasting all over the orchard floor, which has reduced our fertilizer use by over 70%.
9. Local tree service companies drop off their wood chips we use for mulch in the blueberry patch, instead of plastic mulch.
10. All of our used oils from all farm equipment is sent to a used oil recovery company.
11. All scrap metals from construction, workshop projects, and old equipment are stored & hauled away for recycling, including aluminum soda cans from employees.
12. All of our families personal fruit & veggie food scraps and unsellable produce from our market and bakery goes to your "BarnYard Buddies" and other local farmers for their livestock. Absolutely nothing is wasted.
13. Wood prunings in orchards are chipped on site and stay on orchard floors instead of burning, and continuing to improve the soil naturally. Large limbs that cannot be mulched are used for heating in our workshops and also used at your Bonfire Hayride sites.
14. Extensive grass water-way systems in orchards and constant pond maintenance keep soil erosion and water run off in check.
15. Our harvest systems in place use reusable containers; baskets for peaches and bins for apples. All wooden containers are repaired, not replaced. No plastic lugs or bins are used.
16. Around our farm and orchards you will see dozens of bird houses. The invitation for birds to live on our farm (and eat lots of bugs!) reduces the need for us to use pesticides.
17. In 2010, we implemented a price incentive plan in our U-Pick berry fields encouraging our customers to re-use their berry picking containers.
18. In 2010, we made the switch to bio-degradable shopping bags!
But the number one way you can help the Milburns to "Stay Green" is to "Buy Local"
10 Reasons to Buy Local Food
Local food tastes better. Food imported from far away is older, has traveled on trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it finally gets to you.
Local produce is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and table, the fewer nutrients will be lost.
Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last on the shelf so there is limited genetic diversity in large scale production. Smaller local farms often grow many varieties in an array of colors and flavors.
Local food is safe. Local farmers aren’t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously.
Local food supports local families. Wholesale prices are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell directly to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food, which helps farm families stay on the land.
Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a farmer, you’re engaging in a time-honored connection. Knowing farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. It gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can learn about nature and agriculture.
Local food preserves open space. When farmers get paid more, they’re less likely to sell their farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you’re doing something proactive to preserve our agriculture landscape.
Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most other kinds of development contribute less in taxes than the cost of the services they require.
Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed farms conserve fertile soil and clean water in a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds, and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife.
Local food is an investment in the future. By supporting local farmers, today you help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow.
"10 Reasons to Buy Local" Reprinted from "With an Ear to the Ground" – Vern Grubinger