Want to start an Urban Farm in Prince George's County?

Stay tuned to this page for more details and resources for your new enterprise!

In the meantime, please contact the Prince George's Soil Conservation District (301-574-5162) to get started on your farm management plan.

 

Urban Agriculture in Prince George's County

How Do I Get Started?

Looking for resources to get your urban farm enterprise started in Prince George's County?

After you have identified land, one of your first steps is to contact the Prince George's Soil Conservation District and become a Cooperator. They will confirm that you are able to farm in your zone and assist you with an urban farm management plan and navigatin regulations that may apply to operating an urban farm in Prince George's County.

The University of Maryland Extension offers a variety of resources including:

  • Dave Myers (myersd@umd.edu), Extension Educator 
    • Can help with a variety of resources related to enterprise
  • Esther Mitchell (estherm@umd.edu), Master Gardener Coordinator 
    • Can assist with planting ideas, weed and disease control measures without chemicals and soil testing resources
  • Chris Dowell (csdowell@umd.edu), Nutrient Management Specialist
    • Can help set up a nutrient management plan for farms that generate a revenue of $2,500 or more
  • Charlie Sasscer (csasscer@umd.edu), Ag Marketing Specialist
    • Can help with marketing and business planning needs in addition to helping navigate regulations that pertain to your enterprise

Finally, be sure to check out USDA's Urban Agriculture Toolkit and Urban Agriculture Resource Page. The toolkit lays out the common operational elements that most urban farmers must consider as they start up or grow their operations. It also contains a special section on resources for developing indoor growing operations, such as aquaponic facilities. For each element, the toolkit identifies technical and financial resources that have been developed by federal, state, and local partners. While some of the elements require local-level solutions (e.g. zoning), federal programs and services can support a variety of activities related to urban farming.

In addition, USDA's National Agricultural Library's Alternative Farming Systems Information Center has an urban agriculture resource database.

Business Planning & Marketing

It's important for any business to have a game plan and your urban farm enterprise is no different.

Many questions need to be answered in the areas of production, regulatory, business, and marketing topics. The Starting a Farm Enterprise in Maryland: Checklist contains a listing of resources as you consider a new farm enterprise. It includes government agencies, organizations, and production information that will be vital for getting started.

Need help with developing a business plan and marketing strategy? UME offers virtual entrepreneurial coaching!

 

Cultivation & Land-Use Practices

For assistance with soil testing, please contact our Master Gardener Coodinator, Esther Mitchell (estherm@umd.edu). You can also refer to our Home & Garden Information Center for further information on soil testing.

In addition, Prince George's Soil Conservation District can help with:

  • Soil Testing
  • Soil & Water Conservation Plans
  • Best Management Practice Design
  • Navigating Zoning & Permits
  • Property Tax Credit Certification
  • Identifying Utilities
  • Mentoring & Engaging Urban Producer

If you are in need of developing a nutrient management plan, please contact our Nutrient Management Specialist, Chris Dowell (csdowell@umd.edu).

For more information about the state's nutrient management requirements for farmers, click here.

If you are a soilless producer interested in aquaponics, hydroponics and other Controlled Environmental Agriculture enterprises please contact our Aquaculture Business Specialist, Matt Parker (mparke11@umd.edu).

Helpful Link:

Education & Training

Legislation & Regulations

Prince George's County Urban Farms Are Open for Business!

CB-25-2016, was passed to allow urban farmers to locate in residential zones in Pince George's County and bring locally grown produce directly to where residents live, pray, and play. Many thanks to Council Members Mary Lehman, Dannielle Glaros, and Todd M. Turner for sponsoring the bill. The Food Equity Council, Soil Conservation District, University of Maryland Extension, ECO City Farms and other community partners and residents were instrumental in supporting and providing technical expertise regarding this important pience of legislation.

In addition, County Council established a tax credit for real property that is used for urban agricultural purposes through CB-74-2015, introduced  by Council Member Mary Lehman.

If you have questions about regulations pertaining to urban farms, contact our Prince George's County Food Equity Council (864-373-4713 or pgfoodcouncil@gmail.com). You may also visit their website for resources and other information.