Cecil Soil Conservation District
Cecil County, Maryland
Jacob and Barbara Carson
The Carson’s 144 acre farm, Greenhurst Farm, is located near Rising Sun along Biggs Highway. It’s easily recognized by its close proximity to the road and Mr. Carson’s garden and beehives.
From the 1950’s through the late 1990’s, the Carson’s milked Guernsey’s, Holsteins, raised hogs, and sold eggs from their flock of hens. Mr. Carson was one of the first farmers to use no-till as a conservation practice. No-till is a farming practice that allows the farmer to plant crops into the existing crop residue, decreasing the amount of ground disturbed, fuel costs and labor. In 1999 the Carson’s planted 16.5 acres of one of the first Riparian Forest Buffers with the help of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Forest Service, and the Cecil Soil Conservation District (CSCD). A Riparian Forest Buffer enables nutrient runoff to be taken up by the planted trees prior to entering the adjacent water bodies. In 2002, the Carson’s installed a roof runoff management system, in simple terms “roof gutters,” with the help of the Maryland Agricultural Cost-Share (MACS) program and the CSCD. Roof gutters were installed to convey clean water from the roofs of the existing buildings to a safe outlet below the farmstead. In 2003, the Carson’s installed a waste storage facility with assistance from MACS program and the CSCD. The purpose of the waste storage facility is to contain the waste from the livestock on the farm and store it during the winter months. The waste storage facility is emptied during the spring and fall months when crops are planted and are in need of nutrients.
The Carson’s commitment to conservation is evident in the ways they have made conservation a part of the Greenhurst Farm.