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Fielding her dream: Teacher cultivates family business

Two years ago, Carrie Buppert Frasure returned to the fields and greenhouses of her family’s business, Buppert’s Doran’s Chance Farm in Marriottsville. There, they raise and sell flowers, fruits and vegetables. Frasure’s husband, Jesse, is the part-time beekeeper, and their 4½-year-old daughter, Gretchen, pitches in, too.

Carrie Buppert Frasure shows students from The Harbor School what mulch looks like. (The Daily / Maxmilian Franz)

Carrie Buppert Frasure shows students from The Harbor School what mulch looks like. (The Daily / Maxmilian Franz)

Since joining the family business full time, Frasure, a former parochial school teacher in Howard County, has worked to increase the business’ educational programs. Each week, the farm hosts school tours and Frasure and staff participate in Days of Taste, a grant-funded program that educates underserved Baltimore students about agriculture and how their food is grown.

It’s not just students who want to look at the tomato plants. Plenty of families and adults stop by as well. “People want to know where there food is coming from. So, there is a big demand for this,” Frasure said. “People like to get their hands dirty and try things they have never tasted.”

For the past 37 years, the family also has been selling its produce and posies at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar under Interstate 83.

“I love the customers. When you see the same face, week after week, they become a part of your life,” Frasure said. “What I have learned from my relationships with the customers has been a significant part of the development of the lens through which I see the world. And it is such a beautiful world.”

Farm life by the numbers:

  • 1951, the year that Frasure’s grandparents bought the farm
  • 100 acres is the size of the Marriottsville farm
  • 3 greenhouses are filled with 1,000 plants, including 8 different varieties of impatiens and 60 different perennials — “We love when the flowers bloom and the colors of each one pops up,” Frasure said.
  • 1979, the year the family began selling flowers, fruits and vegetables at the Baltimore Farmers Market, which opened only one year before, in 1978
  • 14 hours to pick the flowers/produce that go to the Sunday farmers market; Depending on the produce, the work could be spread out over two days. A lot of thought goes into how and when the products are loaded into their box truck. “Things like peppers we can pick two days ahead. Greens and corn we pick the night before,” Frasure said.
  • 4:45 a.m. Frasure, her daughter and two other workers depart Marriottsville for the Sunday market. Once they arrive, it takes over an hour to set up and they sell their flowers and produce from 7 a.m. to noon.

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