A Farmer's Support Means Cleaner Water
This Week in the Watershed

Farmer Spotlight: Ladybrook Farm

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Carin Celebuski and Vince Matanoski on their travels. Photo courtesy of Carin Celebuski.

A sustainable farm in Baltimore County is emerging thanks to two new farmers, Carin Celebuski and Vince Matanoski. As the volunteer coordinator at the University of Maryland Arboretum, Carin "has always been into everything green." Farther from the farming fields is Vince who currently serves as the deputy director of the Constitutional and Specialized Torts Branch as well as a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve in sub-Saharan Africa.

Vince explains "that after all of the years in this kind of work, I want to do an honest day's work." In just few short months both Carin and Vince will be hard at work on their new property, Ladybrook Farm. The couple purchased the land and farmhouse hoping to convert the fields stripped from grain production into permanent pasture.

The idea of starting a sustainable farm developed as they both wanted to turn their strong interest in local foods and the environment into a business. The aspiring farmers wasted no time in preparing for their new careers. They attended events and conferences such as the Future Harvest: Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) Conference last January. While there, they met CBF's Maryland Restoration Scientist Rob Schnabel who discussed how smart farming can help Maryland meet its Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint goals for healthy, sustainable waters across the region.

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Planting trees at Ladybrook Farm this fall. Photo courtesy of Carin Celebuski.

After learning about the vision for Ladybrook Farm, CBF's Maryland restoration team got involved. This fall more than 100 volunteers planted 800 trees across four acres. This spring, we'll work to plant six additional acres of forested buffers to help clean and filter water and improve the overall health of the land. Although Vince was in Africa for business during the first planting, Carin worked with the volunteers digging, planting, and sharing her vision for Ladybrook Farm.

The enthusiasm and work ethic the couple shares for the endeavor is clear and will undoubtedly translate into the success of Ladybrook Farm. Vince and Carin have even begun their own honey production, which they are looking forward to integrating into the farm. Upon the completion of the farm store and barn, goats, vegetables, and bees will roam the land slowly bringing it back to life. Additionally they will use a rotational grazing system to improve productivity and reduce the impact on the environment.

What's more, Vince looks forward to working with retired thoroughbred race horses stemming from a lifelong hobby. "I grew up riding, and I am looking forward to working with the horses, to retrain them for second, more permanent careers . . . bringing them to the farm will allow them a chance to relax and relearn what it

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Working on their honey bee production. Photo courtesy of Carin Celebuski.

means to be a horse again, giving them a new purpose and meaning for the rest of their lives."

Vince and Carin hope to have the farm open this spring, eventually selling sustainably grown and processed goat cheese, honey, vegetables and perhaps some fruits and cut flowers at their farm store. And Ladybrook Farm will give retired racehorses a second chance and new meaning in life just as it will fulfill the vision shared by two new farmers who want to help Save the Bay.

—Kellie Rogers

Learn more about how farmers across the watershed are working to improve both water quality and farm productivity in our Farmers' Success Stories series.

 

Group Planting photo
Ladybrook Farm tree planting this fall. Photo courtesy of Rob Schnabel/CBF Staff.

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