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Harford promoting agriculture with ‘Farm Finder,’ barn quilt passport

The first selfie in the Barn Quilt Trail of Harford County, from Instagram account catherineshowalter, was posted through “Passport” in the “Destination Harford” App.
The first selfie in the Barn Quilt Trail of Harford County, from Instagram account catherineshowalter, was posted through “Passport” in the “Destination Harford” App.

Harford County is promoting its agricultural roots with a new “Farm Finder” app and a barn quilt tour.

The Harford Farm Finder, which makes it easy to enjoy homegrown products and help support family farms, is an online map of area agri-businesses selling healthy produce, meats, dairy products, delicious ice cream, craft beer, wine and more.

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The app is posted on the county website at www.harfordcountymd.gov/harfordfarmfinder .

Using geographic information systems (GIS) technology, the farm finder was developed in-house by the administration under Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, in partnership with Harford Community College and North Harford High School’s Natural Resources and Agricultural Science Magnet Program.

Users will see a Harford County map displaying farm locations with charming icons to identify each farm’s primary products. Clicking on the icon reveals the farm’s address and website, when available.

“Harford County is known for our beautiful farms and award-winning agricultural products, but even lifelong residents may be surprised at the vast array of goods raised in our own backyard,” Glassman said. “I invite everyone to try out our newest app - the Harford County Farm Finder makes it easy to buy local!”

Farms that would like to be included in the app may send an email to jcgallion@harfordcountymd.gov.

The Harford Farm Finder was introduced in the inaugural issue of Homegrown Harford, a publication from Harford County’s Office of Community & Economic Development and Division of Agricultural Services.

This bi-annual magazine celebrates the county’s agricultural heritage, with stories highlighting farm families, young future farmers, women in farming, Harford’s barn quilt trail and beverage tour and a farm directory. Copies of Homegrown Harford are available in all Harford County Public Library branches, at the Harford County Agricultural Center in Street or by calling Harford County Community & Economic Development at 410-638-3045 ext. 1807.

Passport to agriculture

Visit Harford’s new passport designed to engage visitors and residents in the rich culture and history of Harford County through a Passport to the Barn Quilt Trail by clicking “Passport” in the free Destination Harford app.

“We’re spotlighting the historic barns, family homesteads and public spaces that are the backdrops for these rich, colorful, painted quilt designs,” Greg Pizzuto, executive director of Visit Harford, said. “Whether you’re a ‘stay-cation’ resident or a vacationer in Maryland, this passport makes it effortless and fun to celebrate the beauty, history, agriculture and small businesses of this county.”

The trail includes a collection of quilts painted on barns and buildings owned by local farmers. Visitors can also find dairies, museums, farm markets, restaurants and nature environments on the trail.

The app provides a “passport” that encourages users to visit each barn quilt location and post a “selfie” taken in front of the quilt. Visit two quilts, and become a novice. To be eligible to win prizes, participants must visit four or more quilts. Submitting four quilts earns Intermediate status and eight or more quilts deems you a Master.

“It’s easy to play, and it’s an opportunity to explore Harford County from a new point of view,” Pizzuto said. “The barn quilts reflect the history, diversity and current business of the owner, and the app is intended to highlight these Harford County destinations.”

Created through the cooperation of the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development, Harford County Government Division of Agricultural Services and Visit Harford, the Barn Quilt Trail “opened” officially in May.

It showcases nearly 20 quilt designs at various locations throughout the county. Barn or building owners can apply to have their barn quilt painting included on the trail by completing and submitting an application to the Barn Quilt Trail steering committee. The application will be evaluated based on the design, location and adherence to the trail guidelines. Go to www.BarnQuiltsofHarfordCounty.com for more details.

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