Boyer farm is an anachronism in suburbia. Owned for generations by the same family that toiled on its 50 acres, it will soon be turned into a new condominium development.
Across 50 acres in Severn, Md., near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, is Boyer farm, a family-owned business that grows flowers, vegetables and fruits. It used to be several times larger but developers turned swaths of the farm into suburbia.
The planting season begins in early spring with seedling growing in greenhouses around the farm until the small plants are large enough to be transplanted outside.
Before crops are planted in fields, pink blossoms appear on the thousands of peach blossoms on the farm. A nearby neighborhood is named after these flowers which appear early in the spring.
Greg Gibson, one of the farm's owners, creates a strategy for growing the most crops as possible with limited space in greenhouses. It's a matter of greenhouse real estate.
Kathy Boyer, another one of the farm's owners, plants watermelon seeds that are about the size of an eraser head. The seeds will start to grow in trays before they are transplanted into fields.
Greenhouses keep temperatures high enough for seeds to sprout, keeps young plants away from pests and out of strong winds that could snap their limbs.
Ridgley Boyer, one of the farm's owners, has to use the tip of a pencil to gently press tiny watermelon seeds just beneath the soil's surface.
Gibson waters cold crops, a family of plants that includes broccoli, collards and other vegetables.
Tim Sheils presses the roots of a tomato seedling into a planter full of mushy soil.
Sheils, 26, has worked on the farm since he was 12 and could walk there from his parent's house. His family has no material attachment to the land but he and several of his siblings have all worked there.
After spending more than half of his life working on the farm, Sheils, along with his girlfriend and pit bull, has moved into a small cinderblock bungalow on the land.
When Sheils' boots aren't on his feet, they're next to the kitchen door.
Every day, exactly at noon, work stops at the farm for lunch.
Tim has trained his dog to play dead when he makes a pistol with his hands.
Ridgley Boyer drives a tractor around his farm. He has worked there nearly every day of his life, barring college. His retirement is in the soil.
Most of the farm equipment is kept in a large pre-fab house, all of which will be demolished to make way for new condos.
Sheils, who has a college degree and graduated with honors, hopes to get a job at a casino that opens nearby when the farm closes.
When the farm closes, it not only means that Sheils is out of a job, but he and his girlfriend are out of a home too.
Sheils maneuvers a tractor around greenhouses that may be empty in a year.
While his time at the farm will soon end, Sheils is in no rush to leave before the bulldozers arrive.