Shore Good Farm on Hog Creek in Preston
Meet Jack Stieff, Caroline County native and owner of Shore Good Farm outside of Preston. Jack is a storyteller, marketer and businessman with decades of experience and stories. He’s fourth generation in the cajun-creole peanuts and products business and he’s creating a village of sorts – with old buildings and stuff and plants and vegetables and old tools and antiques. He brings the past alive by showing people how to do things – “people don’t know how to hoe – here’s how you do it” and “nobody slices cucumbers right” and “what do you think this thing is for?” It’s a wreath maker, an asparagus buncher, a seed sorter, a butter spinner, a watering tape, etc.
Jack’s vision is to bring tourism to Caroline County – to build upon the agricultural history and to show people how things are done. Garden clubs visit and he talks about bus tours too. He has sheds filled to the brim with all kinds of stuff. It’s like stepping into the past, because the past is all right there in front of you.
We walked into the watermelon field next to his garden and he showed us how they keep the fields weeded and watered (tape watering under the roots, as opposed to irrigation which evaporates and waters weeds in between rows.) Within view of his farm are hundreds of acres of watermelon and cantaloupe.
There’s not one weed in his garden, and it’s because he scrapes that sawed off hoe around every single day (you slide it, you’re not supposed to chop, but slide that hoe around before the weed seeds germinate, not after they’re thick – aha!) – in between all of the plants and rows – scrape-scrape-scrape. The man doesn’t stop moving, and he doesn’t stop talking. The sheds are piled high, but the shed floors are clean and weed free – scrape-scrape-scrape.
Jack can be found on Hog Creek Rd in Preston (410-829-2747) and if you ever need kettle corn or peanuts, or want a lesson on what life is like on a farm in rural Caroline County – nobody can show and tell it quite like he does. A living legend, right here on the Shore.