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.


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.


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

Catherine (Cate) is the founder and visionary of TALMAR (Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland). Educated at Virginia Commonwealth University and The Johns Hopkins University, she received advanced degrees in Social Work and Education. She also studied at Cornell University where she obtained an education in Horticulture. Dedicated to the principle of inclusion, Cate is widely recognized for her innovations. Her expertise in horticulture is immensely valuable to educating, training, employing, and engaging people of all abilities.

Cate is the recipient of numerous citations honoring her achievements as a Registered Horticultural Therapist. The American Horticultural Therapy Association has honored Cate with the international service award in recognition of significant contribution to horticultural therapy in the area of program services provided for a community.

Kate Long joined us in 2019 as the Sustainable Agriculture Instructor of our new training program for veterans. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied Organic Farming with an emphasis on vegetable production. Kate then spent nine years managing small-scale farms which sold locally to restaurants, grocery stores, through farmers markets, and through Community Supported Agriculture. Her experience includes urban agriculture in Detroit, where she developed a non-profit program to grow fresh produce for soup kitchens and food pantries. She also managed an agricultural tourism farm which provided educational and recreational experiences based on sustainable agriculture.

Kate has designed multiple demonstration and children’s gardens, as well as managed an aquaponics operation. In addition to her work with TALMAR, currently teaches Plant Propagation at the Community College of Baltimore County. She is also a certification inspector on organic livestock farms. Kate is passionate about providing local, nutritious, organic produce to her community.

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.

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