The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is offering grants to aid in the purchase of wine grape vines to local farms in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties. These funds are being made available as a continuation of SMADC’s Growing Grapes for Wine Program which was established to encourage the development of a competitive wine industry in Southern Maryland.
The grant program requires matching funds supplied by the farm owner for the purchase of grape vines of recommended grape varieties compatible with the region. The Grapes for Wine Program is offered together with the University of Maryland Extension Agency which will provide ongoing training and production expertise.
To be eligible an applicant must own or be co-applicant with the owner of at least 5 acres of land currently in agricultural use. Existing grape growers and new growers may apply, unless the farmer is a prior recipient of a SMADC Farm Viability Grant awarded specifically for vineyard enhancement. Past participants of the Growing Grapes for Wine cost-share program are eligible.
Awards for this spring will be contingent upon farms having suitable soils that have already been tested for nematodes. Farms with soils that have not been tested for nematodes will be given consideration for the following spring planting (2011), but awards will be made based on test results after the completion of 2010 growing season and pending availability of funding.
To acquire a grant application and guidelines visit www.SMADC.com or contact SMADC staff at 301-274-1922.