MEET A LOCAL FARMER
In the middle of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, not far from the popular ocean beach towns that attract tourists all summer, Jeffrey Martyn is a farmer at Greenbranch Organic Farm in Salisbury, MD. As farm manager, he works with owners Ted and Julia Wycall to raise USDA certified organic vegetables and fruit, as well as poultry, hogs, and grass-finished cattle.
Overall Martyn works with the Wycalls to take care of the broad range of activities going on at the farm. For example, Martyn manages the farm’s pastured poultry operations, drives tractor for the vegetable operations, helps with field work, manages the irrigation system and assists with on-farm poultry processing. He also launched Greenbranch Farm's Thanksgiving turkey operation, which has become quite popular.
Martyn and the Wycalls are trying to get the best genetic mix in their animals, whether cattle, hogs or chickens. “We have the beginnings of breeding programs for all three so they are with us year round,” he notes. “We currently have Red Devons and Black Angus for cattle, Berkshires for hogs and Delawares and Welsummers for chickens. We raise Cornish-Rock chicken for our meat birds but are interested in trying to finish some Delawares as broilers this year.”
Greenbranch Organic Farm has a CSA and sells at farmers markets (Bethany Beach, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach) and many area restaurants, such as Sobo’s and Yum Café, both in Salisbury, and many more along the shore (as listed in the “links” section on the farm website). The farm also boasts its own retail store, open Friday and Saturday, where they not only sell their own produce and meat, but also other goods from neighboring farms and artisans, including grain-fed beef, produce from Chesapeake Organics, milk and yogurt from Nice Farms Creamery, cheese and butter from Chesapeake Bay Farms, eggs from Twin Post Farm, pottery from Amused Studios, and soaps from Mary Jane goats milk soaps and Soapomoke River Bath Co.
As for the future, Martyn admits there may come a day when he may leave the Wycalls to start his own farm. “My agricultural dreams are many,” he says. “The first is to design a small, sustainable, diversified, family farm that is sufficiently comfortable and rewarding to operate that my (future) children feel compelled to inherit both the way of life and the actual business,” Martyn says. “Another dream of mine is to help my future foodshed attain its greatest possible degree of independence by encouraging consumers to produce some food for themselves. I plan to have a one acre forest garden on my family farm to serve as educational site that teaches families how to plant low-maintenance, perennial food systems that reduce their dependence on grocery stores and lower the carbon footprints of their calorie consumption.”
For more information, go to www.greenbranchfarm.com.
- Permaculture Design Course Presentations
May 19, 2013 (1:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
- DIY Series: Tabletop Composting
May 20, 2013 (6:30 pm - 8:30 pm)
- Antibiotics & Agriculture: Protecting Public Health With Your Purchasing Dollars Webinar
May 22, 2013 (1:00 pm - 2:00 pm)
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