Mission

TALMAR (Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland) is dedicated to the mission of enhancing health for all people of all ages and abilities.  TALMAR offers an innovative therapeutic environment providing work skills development, and vocational, educational and recreational programming in horticulture and agriculture. All programs are designed to be inclusive of individuals with physical, mental, or developmental challenges.

Background

TALMAR began in 1998 with a focus on work-skills development, vocational training and horticultural therapy. Today, TALMAR operates programs for developmentally and physically challenged children and adults and for those with depression, mental illness, stroke, and at-risk youth.  In 2015, TALMAR expanded to support the military veteran population, engaging veterans throughout the area in a farmer’s training program. On average, TALMAR services 130 individuals per year.

Today

After professional assessments, participants are introduced to horticultural therapy practices, vocational training, social skills, and leisure programs tailored to individual needs.  Examples include planting, cutting flowers and harvesting fresh produce. Participants gain satisfaction from the fact that their flowers and produce are organically grown and sold to the community to support programming. Our beautiful 10-acre farm setting offers a safe and nurturing environment that promotes social development as well as psychological and physical advancement.

Partnerships and Affiliations

TALMAR sustains productive relationships with organizations supporting services to members of the disability community in Maryland. We work with schools, educational organizations, community groups, and mental health service groups. In order to support our daily farm operations and programming, we also partner with local florists and markets to sell fresh produce and cut flowers.

  • American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA)
  • AmeriCorps
  • Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
  • Baltimore County Department of Aging
  • Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks / Therapeutic Recreation
  • Baltimore Office of Sustainability
  • Black & Decker
  • City Farms (A program of the Balt. City Dept. of Rec and Parks to allow people to rent garden beds for personal use)
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • Cromwell Valley Park Council
  • MD Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
  • Goucher College
  • Itineris Foundation, Inc.
  • Maryland Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC)
  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • ME (Minor Expressions. Big Moments)
  • Mosaic Community Services
  • The Arc Baltimore (For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • Towson Farmers Market
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Perry Point VA Medical Center and Baltimore VA Medical Center
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) – Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Whole Foods Market

Leadership and Staff

Kate Joyce joined TALMAR in 2019 as the Executive Director.

Kate’s first introduction to agriculture was as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. She transitioned from raising chickens and growing food in the Sahara Desert to raising chickens and growing food in Baltimore. An avid traveler, voracious reader, and woman who remembers more useless trivia than necessary, Kate’s professional background includes not only urban agriculture, but social enterprise development, marketing, fundraising, and non-profit leadership. She has been recognized by the Daily Record as a Leading Woman (Top 40 under 40). Kate received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and Masters in Business Administration from University of Maryland.

Gina Porter joined the TALMAR team in 2019 as the Director of the Breaking New Ground Sustainable Agriculture program for Veterans. Gina is originally from the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. She moved to Maryland in 2000 where she earned a degree in Education from the University of Maryland. Gina is a Master Naturalist with 15 years of experience in environmental education. She has managed two small scale naturally grown farms, specializing in microgreen and mushroom production.

Gina currently lives on a homestead in Southern PA with her husband, three children, a chocolate lab and a flock of chickens and turkeys.

Nan brings 20 years of horticulture and teaching experience. Combined with her educational background in psychology, horticulture and special education, she far exceeds the credentials needed as TALMAR’s Farm Manager and Sustainable Agriculture Instructor, as she is an instructor of Sustainable Agriculture. She is a Registered Horticultural Therapist.

Tanya, while working on our team at TALMAR, is the owner of “Gorgeous Gardens” in Baltimore which provides gardening opportunities for the elderly and those with special needs, and provides employment and volunteer opportunities for local youth. She is the President of Biostorage Lab Services and is responsible for marketing and sales of services to academic/ medical/ commercial/ government laboratories, where she writes grants and develops appropriate control and quality assurance procedures for the company. Tanya was the recipient of an award for outstanding marketing in 2014-2016. She holds a masters degree in Management, Biotechnology and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Lori has been with TALMAR for the past 5 years. She is our front person that greets everyone with a wonderful smile. She is responsible for administrative and employee management. She came to us from Goucher University. where she was an administrator for student admissions.

Board of Directors

Marie Ourand is retired from Bank of America where she held multiple leadership roles in project and change management. Marie has extensive experience post-merger integration, product launches and business process re-engineering. Enjoying retirement, Marie can be found volunteering in the fields at TALMAR.

Andrew Mangle, Ph.D. is supporting the global demand for Information Technology (IT) professionals by providing professional advice to the military, public industry, private industry, and the community on cyber security and IT challenges. Dr. Mangle has been part of the higher education community since 2007. He has taught and developed courses for face-to-face, hybrid, and online instruction. He has created Quality Matters Approved Courses and serves as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer for online courses. He is a 2014 graduate of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management (SBM) Information Science and Systems.
Charles Walker is Senior Vice President and Certified Financial Planner with SunTrust Bank in the Private Wealth Management Group. Charles has over 20-years experience in banking and is a current Advisory Board Member for the DeVito Family Trust. He has extensive experience developing financial plans with companies and individuals to fulfill philanthropic interests. He is a former volunteer coach for Baltimore Stars Youth Hockey Club.

Eryck is a Navy veteran who served for 23 years. He successfully completed TALMAR’s Breaking New Ground program, a sustainable agriculture education program for veterans, and has become actively involved in growing and advocating for hemp in Maryland.

Support Our Work

0 Years
And Counting
0 People
And Counting
Give Now

Get Your Hands Dirty

Learn more about other ways to get involved with TALMAR, whether it’s through volunteering or becoming a member of our CSA.

Get Involved