Chesapeake Country’s Bountiful Harvest:
Working the Land

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Life in Chesapeake Country is inseparable from the Chesapeake Bay. People have worked the region’s natural resources, the land and water, from the first settlement in the early 1600’s and continue to do so today. Though the technology has changed, farmers and watermen continue to serve an important role in the economic engine of Chesapeake Country. A trip through Chesapeake Country on this itinerary will reconnect visitors with where their food comes from and how it is produced. You will see working family farms along the way and glimpse into a profession very few Americans experience today.  
To supplement this experience, we recommend stopping at the Chesapeake Exploration Center for an introduction to the region. Pick up the “Upper Shore Harvest Directory” there at the visitor’s center for more details on agricultural destinations to visit while you’re here!

Some etiquette to remember on this tour. Please respect the privacy of the farmers. Do not drive down farm lanes unless there is a place of business open to the public. Remember that the Amish do not approve of having their picture taken. Do not block farm lanes. Do not climb on fences, gates, or equipment.  Do not stray into private lands. Please keep everyone safe by giving farm equipment sufficient distance, be patient until the equipment can move to the shoulder of the road or wait until it is appropriate to pass and do so safely.

Portions of this itinerary could be done in a day, however this experience in Chesapeake Country should be done over the course of an extended weekend or family vacation (in season of course!) This is truly an authentic Chesapeake experience!

The Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway is known as the traditional ‘farm-to-market’ road. It is the route that farmers have taken their harvest to market for generations. There are approximately 1200 farm families on more than 350,000 acres in the region.  While the majority of what you will see are acres and acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and barley, many of our region’s farmers have diversified. U-pick produce operations, nursery and greenhouse, organic dairy, vineyards, and community supported agriculture to name just a few ‘alternative’ crops to the traditional grain operations. Your dollars spent on local agricultural products assist in the preservation of our rural landscape. In turn, you will be rewarded by the fresh taste and high quality of our Chesapeake harvest.

Chesapeake Exploration Center
425 Piney Narrows Road, Chester, MD.

Begin your ‘Chesapeake Country Working the Land Tour’ at the Chesapeake Exploration Center. Learn about how tobacco, then known as ‘stink week’, paid for the construction of the early colonies. Revisit how agriculture and the bay are intricately tied together making Chesapeake Country a unique region.

Suggested time spent:  1 hour

Return to Route 18, crossing the Kent Narrows drawbridge,
and continue East on Route 18.

Lowery’s Produce
1908 Main Street, Chester, MD.

This farm sells homegrown sweet corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, and other local produce. The fall season brings pumpkins, mums, apples, and cider. Summer hours 9 AM to 7 PM, Fall hours 10 AM to 6 PM.

Suggested time spent: 30 minutes
Mileage: 2 miles    
Estimated drive time: 5 minutes

Continue on Route 18 East toward Grasonville.

Wildflower Nursery, 4024 Main Street, Grasonville, MD

This is a fully stocked nursery with trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, herbs, mulch, and ornamental grasses. Garden gifts and holiday items including Christmas trees, poinsettias, fresh wreaths and roping in season. Open Monday – Friday 8 AM to 5 PM; Sundays 10 AM to 4 PM.

Suggested time spent: 30 minutes
Mileage: 3.5 miles
Estimated drive time: 5 minutes

Continue on Route 18 East, merging then crossing Route 301 so as to stay on Route 18 through Queenstown. Continue on Route 18 East. Turn left onto Dulin Clark Road and right into the grounds of the 4H Park.

Queen Anne’s Museum of Eastern Shore Life
126 Dulin Clark Road, Centreville, MD

The museum is a collection of Americana ranging from American Indian artifacts to antique farm equipment. The museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying artifacts that focus on the Eastern Shore rural life experience.  Open April to October, Saturdays & Sundays, 1 PM to 4 PM or by appointment.

Suggested time spent: 1 hour
Mileage: 8 miles    
Estimated drive time: 15 minutes

Continue East on Route 18 to Route 213. Turn left onto Route 213 North.

Centreville Farmers’ Market
101 Lawyers Row, Centreville, MD

Beginning in May, the farmers’ market is open every Wednesday and Saturday, 9 AM to 1 PM selling locally grown produce.

Suggested time spent: 30 minutes
Mileage: 3.5 miles
Estimated drive time: 10 minutes

Continue North on Route 213 to Chestertown. Turn left onto Cross Street
at the first traffic light.

Kent County Visitor Center
122 N. Cross Street, Chestertown.

Upon arriving in Chestertown, the seat of Kent County, stop in the visitor’s center and pick up a copy of the “Farm & Country Tour”. This self-guided driving tour will bring you throughout Kent County and give you a snapshot of a variety of different farms. 66% of Kent County’s land area is agricultural. Agriculture accounts for significant economic output making it Kent County’s largest industry. While you’re there, pick up a guide to “Chesapeake Farms Agricultural and Wildlife Management Demonstration Area”. You’ll be needing it later on!

Suggested time spent: 15 minutes
Mileage: 16 miles
Estimated drive time: 25 minutes.

Stroll down to Park Row from the visitor center.

Chestertown Farmer’s Market
Park Row, next to Chestertown’s Fountain Park.

Fresh, local produce, baked goods, locally-make cheese from local dairies, and local soaps and salves. Saturdays, April through December, 8 AM to Noon.

Suggested time spent: 30 to 60 minutes
Mileage: 0.1 miles from visitor center
Estimated walking time: 2 minutes.

Return to your car. Turn right onto Cross Street, then Right onto High Street in downtown Chestertown. Continue North on High Street until it becomes Route 20 West.

Redman Farms
8192 Bakers Lane, Chestertown, MD

Sells fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, annuals, perennials,  pumpkins, and honey at the farm stand. U-pick strawberries in season also available. Flower Moon Soaps sells home-made soaps, moisturizing creams, healing salves infused with botanical ingredients selected from their herb garden, bath and shower gels, tea blends for the tub or Jacuzzi, exfoliating bath salts, bath and body oils, lotion, and skin butters. Open April – October. Also sells at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market.

Suggested time spent: 30-45 minutes
Mileage: 3 miles
Estimated drive time: 5 minutes.

Continue South on Bakers Lane. Turn right onto Ricauds Branch Road. After approximately 2 miles, turn left onto Remington Drive. This begins your driving tour of Chesapeake Farms.

Chesapeake Farms
7319 Remington Drive, Chestertown, MD

All 3,300 acres of Chesapeake Farms are devoted to the development, evaluation, and demonstration of advanced agricultural practices and wildlife management techniques, which are designed to be environmentally sound, productive, economically viable, and socially acceptable. Pull out your guide leaflet and follow the 16 stops on the self-guided tour. At the stops, and along the route, watch for labeled plants and features of special interest.

Suggested time spent: 1 - 2 hours
Mileage: 3 miles
Estimated drive time: 5 minutes.

Return to Ricauds Branch Road, turn left on to Ricauds Branch Road, then left onto Route 20. Go ½ mile and turn right onto Reeses Corner Road, which becomes Swan Creek Road.

Horizon Organic
11471 Augustine Herman Highway (Route 213), Kennedyville, MD

This large dairy operation milks over 500 cows per day. Dairy manager, Greg Heidemann is quoted on their national website saying “The best thing about farming organically is that it makes you be a dairyman again."  While this is a private farm, some of their herd and their operation can be seen along the byway.

Suggested time spent: 10 minutes (private farm)
Mileage: 20 miles
Estimated drive time: 34 minutes

Continue north on Route 213, turn left onto Route 448/Kennedyville Road, Turner’s Creek Road.

Kent Museum
13675 Turners Creek Road, Kennedyville, MD

A collection representing the rural heritage of agriculture and domestic life in Kent County. A variety of farm equipment including antique wagons, tractors, reapers, threshers, and other artifacts are preserved at the Kent Museum.  Historic sites to visit include the Stavely family grave of a son who fought in the Revolutionary War and a Tockwogh Indian Village area visited by Captain John Smith in 1608. Open Saturdays, 12-3 and by appointment.

Suggested time spent: 1 hour
Mileage: 5 miles
Estimated drive time: 10 minutes

Return to Route 213 North to Galena. Turn Right at the Light and go about 1 mile South of Galena down Route 313. Turn Left into Turner’s Unlimited.

Colchester Farm
31285 Georgetown Cemetery Road, Georgetown, MD

A non-profit, community-supported agriculture, which is also a Maryland Century Farm. What does that mean? At least 1 descendent of the pre-1884 owners must still live on and/or farm the land, the farm must retain 10 of its original acres, and the property must turn a profit of at least $2,500 annually. Colchester Farms conducts on farm research on sustainability, and host groups interested in learning about sustainable agriculture. CSA’s work by members buying ‘shares’ of the harvest prior to the growing season. When produce is ready for harvest, the members receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce.

Suggested time spent: 30 – 45 minutes.
Mileage: 1.5 miles
Estimated drive time: 3 minutes.

Continue north on Route 213 until just south of Cecilton. Note Amish products
sign on left.

Amish Products, Route 213 South of Cecilton.

Sells eggs, hand-made picnic tables, and wishing wells. Closed Sundays. No photography please.

Suggested time spent: 15-30 minutes
Mileage: 3 miles
Estimated drive time: 8 minutes

Continue north on Route 213 through Cecilton.

V & M Priapi, Inc.
5996 Augustine Herman Highway, Cecilton, MD

Sells fresh flowers, vegetables, plants, herbs, seasonal wreaths, and Asian pears. Open Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays March through December 10 AM to 3 PM.
Suggested time spent: 30-45 minutes.
Mileage: 1 mile
Estimated drive time: 2 minutes

Continue on Route 213 North.

Nickerson Meats
3034 Augustine Herman Highway, Chesapeake City, MD

Sells locally grown beef. Tel: 410-885-5280

Suggested time spent: 15 minutes
Mileage: 7 miles
Estimated drive time: 10 minutes