Three Eastern Shore Wineries to Feature Artisan Wines at Downrigging


The work ethic of farm families operating wineries on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has been a critical driving force behind the emergence of wine country on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. John Levenberg, international wine consultant who has worked with wineries on the Eastern Shore for over six years comments “What I’m most excited about and what I see as the real potential on the Eastern Shore is our ability to take effectively what is the farm – the energy and dynamics, and translate that into a bottle.”

During Downrigging Weekend, local wine lovers can taste what this phenomenon is all about. Sultana hosts its 3rd annual wine tasting pavilion showcasing artisan wines from three Eastern Shore Wineries that have strong agricultural roots. Each of these wineries will present information on their farm heritage, artisan wine-making and offer select wines for tastings. As well the pavilion will include a special exhibit on the emergence of wine country on Maryland’s Eastern Shore presented by shorevines Experience Chesapeake Wine Country, a program of The Upper Shore Regional Council of Maryland. The admission fee of $15 per day includes a commemorative wine glass and seven wine tastings from any combination of wineries. The Artisan Wine Tasting event happens October 29th noon to 5 pm and Sunday October 30th noon to 4 pm at the Chestertown marina store dockside to the tall ships.

Clovelly Vineyards will present wines made 100% from grapes planted on their riverside vineyard. Grape production started in 2009 and the vineyard and wine-making is just one part of a huge agricultural business run by the Gibbons-Neff family that includes Clovelly Nurseries and grain and Black Angus cattle production from Clovelly Farm. Several wines will be presented including the just released, Hambleton Creek, a unique blend of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes from their vineyard named after the peaceful creek bordering the property.

Crow Vineyard & Winery is an award winning winery that operates as an authentic, working farm. The Crow Family hosts a wine tasting room open year round and their business operations include a winery facility and on-site wine maker producing award-winning wines. The diversified farm operates a Farmstay B&B and cares for a herd of Grass-fed Angus Beef. Crow Vineyard & Winery in particular is helping to change perceptions and prove that quality local wines are being produced on the shore. Crow will be serving their 2013 Barbera Rosé, which won a gold medal and best in class at this year’s Maryland Governor’s Cup and their Red and White Vintner’s Select wines.

Triple Creek Winery, owned by the Spies family is located just off route 50 on the way to Easton and the beaches. The family has ties to several agricultural arenas; son Paul is an ag specialist for the Chester River Association, son Alex manages the adjacent hydroponic cucumber growing facility and Triple Creek wines benefit from son Corey’s skills as winemaker at one of the Eastern Shore’s first wineries – St. Michaels Winery. Triple Creek will feature three wines including their signature Chambourcin and Merlot dry red blend called “No Bull Red”.

Sultana Downrigging Wine Tasting Pavilion
shorevines Experience Chesapeake Wine Country


Author and Environmental Scientist Joan Maloof to Speak at Adkins Arboretum


joan-maloof-1How can we save the earth? More specifically, how can we stop the downward spiral of the earth’s forests? Author and environmental scientist Joan Maloof has considered this question from the view of an author, an activist and, most recently, a nonprofit director and founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network. She has probably visited more US old-growth forests than anyone alive today. Join a discussion of special forests and how they might be saved for the next generation when Maloof presents Nature’s Temples: Biodiversity and Old-Growth on Wed., Oct. 26 at Adkins Arboretum. The program begins at 2 p.m.

In this gathering for tree lovers, Maloof will discuss remains of these never-logged forests and what makes them so special—including the latest scientific findings. She will also discuss the successful expansion of the Old-Growth Forest Network, an organization formed to ensure that each county in the US capable of supporting forest growth will preserve at least one forest open to the public.

Maloof is the author of two previously released forest-related books: Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest (2005) and Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests (2011). Her latest book, Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests, will be released later this year. She is a Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University, where she founded the environmental studies program. She has experienced many of the nation’s old-growth forests firsthand.

Nature’s Temples is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members. Advance registration is appreciated at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Design for You: Really Comfortable Dining by Pamela Heyne


I advocate sit down dining in my book, In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child. Recently in my own family room I made two changes to enhance that activity.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-14-05-amThe first change was the chairs. I took away the dining chairs and added traditionally styled easy chairs to the glass topped table in the family room. These chairs are comfortable; blissfully soft, they say, “stay”. So….you lean back in them rather than sitting ramrod straight. Your head is supported. You relax. Maybe you scrunch your legs up. The effect is remarkable…my husband and I linger at the table far longer than we did in the past.

The second change was the TV. Oh we still have one, in an armoire. But, as the phrase goes, we “cut the cable.” Now we are not paying a fortune a month for shows we don’t watch and a few of those news shows we watched too much. We get all the news, commentary and specialized shows we really need, all delivered through the internet. But now, much of the time the armoire doors are closed.

In my book I mention that Julia Child enjoyed watching Tom Brokaw’s news show every evening, but never while dining. As I often say, the meals we enjoy and remember are the ones we share with others rather than with the TV. It takes twenty minutes for our brains to get the message that we have eaten enough. Distracted dining in front of the television often results in our eating more food than we need, and enjoying it less.

So maybe one solution to our national obesity epidemic is to make sit-down dining really, really comfortable. And, take a cue from Julia, no seconds! But, conversation has no calories…it is just food for thought.


Pamela Heyne, AIA is head of Heyne Design. 410-714-9040 her book is available through her, at local stores and online.

Food Friday: Boeuf Stew – Winter is Coming


There are many schools of thought (and even more recipes) about beef stew. Every family does it differently. It is a good and hearty meal to have bubbling away on the back burner; fragrant and fortifying. Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon might be a little daunting, as can be seen in the fey (and much admired) Nora Ephron film, Julie and Julia. Lots of steps, lots of prep work, lots of cooking time – for a meal that gets consumed in a flash! You have barely ladled the chunky, meaty morsels into a pretty antique porcelain soup plate, just scraped the knob of sweet Irish butter across the hunk of artisanal French bread, and had your first sip of perfumed red wine – when the meal you have labored over for two days is but a memory. Poof!

My mother watched Julia Child on The French Chef on PBS, back in the old days, on the black and white Zenith console TV in the living room. She kept a supply of little three by five notecards to remind herself of some of Julia’s witticisms and helpful kitchen techniques. This must been the time when my mother suddenly decided to add red wine to her stodgy winter staple: beef stew. Otherwise, the fanciest she had ever gotten, cooking-wise, was when she bought a garlic press and introduced her WASP-y family to the flavors of Continental cuisine. Julia Child then brought us into the vibrant 20th century world of the global kitchen. Good-bye Jell-O molds! So long to Velveeta! Howdy, La Tarte Tatin. My mother never got to level of Pâté de Canard en Croûte, probably because the butcher she patronized around would never have stocked duck, but her curiosity and appetites were whetted and our meals certainly became more flavorful.

I haven’t had a chance to recreate many of Julia Child’s recipes. I dip in and out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from time to time – when I want something ceremonial or mind-blowingly impressive. Boeuf Bourguignon is not a recipe to be entered into lightly. However, given a couple of home-bound hurricane days and a well-stocked kitchen it is a good way to while away the hours.

Be sure you have wine, bread, a small salad and then whip up a batch of Julia’s favorite brownies while waiting for hurricane season to end. Winter is coming.

And if you would like to addle your sad winter-tinged brain with more possibilities and permutations – here are 42 recipes from the clever folks at Food52, who had a contest for the best beef stew recipe ever.

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
-Dr. Seuss

Feast and Famine: The Food System of the Mid-Shore on Oct. 24


Living on the Eastern Shore, it’s impossible to ignore the fields and crops that make up a third of all of Maryland’s farmland. But did you know that one in ten residents on the mid-shore struggle to get enough to eat?

neoma-rohman-headshotStartling facts like that, and the issues surrounding our local food system, are central to a presentation by Neoma Rohman, “Feast and Famine: the Food System of the Mid-Shore,” marking National Food Day on Oct. 24. The talk at 6:30 p.m., in Hynson Lounge on the Washington College campus, is free and open to the public.

National Food Day is a celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. Though we all need to eat, most Americans buy their food at the store and think very little about where it comes from, the people who grew it or made it, and the journey it traveled before it arrived on their table.

Rohman is a local-food activist who is deeply involved in food-system issues, especially those of food equity, food justice, locally grown foods, and sustainable growing practices. She and her small family maintain a tiny urban homestead. In her talk, she will address the perceptions and reality of the food system on the mid-shore, where she lives and works, exploring the realities of life here on the shore, how the “system” really works, and what you can do to help. After her presentation, stick around to talk more with Rohman and taste smoothies made from local aronia berries.

Feast and Famine: The Food System of the Mid-Shore is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Chestertown Environmental Committee, Phi Beta Kappa Theta of Maryland, and Figg’s Ordinary. For more information on the workshop, visit the event page at For more information on Neoma Rohman’s work visit

Spy Moment: The Garden Club of America comes to the Mid-Shore


The Spy loves gardens and gardeners, so when we heard that the prestigious Garden Club of America Flower show, hosted by the Talbot County Garden Club, was taking place at St. Marks Church in Easton last Tuesday, we immediately sent one of our agents. The assignment was to gather vital intelligence on the sights, sounds and smells of this remarkable display of horticulture, flower arrangement, photography, and work by children from all over the Mid-Atlantic region.

Guided by Flower Show Chair, Bobbie Brittingham, and Garden Club member, Hannah Byron, our spy submitted the following reconnaissance report capturing some of the award winners and their stunning examples of our natural world’s beauty.

This video is approximately two minutes in length

Adkins Arboretum’s Fairyfest is Oct. 22


Magic is in the works for Adkins Arboretum’s Fairyfest on Sat., Oct. 22. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

Bring your wings and wands for a day of magic at Adkins Arboretum! The Arboretum’s first Fairyfest, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 22, celebrates fancy, fantasy and fun in the forest. Follow a trail of artisan fairy houses along enchanted forest paths, hunt for dragon tracks leading to a golden treasure trove, and join in a meadow maypole dance. Summon the courage of knights of yore while practicing archery with wooden bows and arrows, and bring your camera for photos with the Fairy Queen. Natural materials will be on hand for crafting wands, fairy houses, gnome houses and toadstools.

The event includes live entertainment throughout the day in the woodland theatre, shimmering fairy face painting, bubbles and magical games. Children ages 12 and up (or younger children with an adult) can create one-of-a-kind acorn fairies inspired by nature in Master Naturalist Beth Lawton’s Fairy Makers workshop. The workshop is $10 for members, $15 for non-members; advance registration is required.

Admission is $5 for ages 3 and up and free for children 2 and under. Pay your entry fee in advance at and receive a pass good for free Arboretum admission for two. Inspired refreshments will be for sale.

Fairyfest is sponsored in part by Garden Treasures of Easton and Dr. Ramirez’s Pediatrics. For more information, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or visit

Kent 4-H Begins New Clover Kids Program For Youth Ages 5-7!


Parents of youth looking for an educational experience for children ages five to seven years of age, Kent County 4-H has developed a monthly program designed just for any child in this age group. Children will experience a variety of hands-on activities that will explore the world around them including agriculture, nature, rocketry, art, science and much more.This is not the traditional 4-H club program where youth sign up and do 4-H projects and go to club meetings with officers. The club program is designed for youth ages eight  to eighteen years of age.

Kent Clover Kids is a program, to explore and discover the world taught by University of Maryland staff and volunteers. Each session are no more than two hours and scheduled on Saturday mornings from 10 am – 12 noon, Saturday afternoons from 1 – 3 pm or Sunday afternoons from 1-3 pm to accommodate busy family schedules. The days and times of programs will change, so contact the Extension Office for exact schedules and locations.

The first session on Trees, being held Saturday October 8th from 1-3 pm at Turner’s Creek in Kennedyville, is an interactive day for youth to experience and explore nature through trees. Youth will make a leaf collection and do leaf rubbings, plant a tree, share tree stories, and taste foods that come from trees. University of Maryland Extension (UME) horticulture program coordinator, Sabine Harvey will be teaching along with UME 4-H educator Beth Hill.

Families are encouraged to participate in each session. All youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian since many sessions will be held in outdoor locations.  Future sessions include Rockets and Flight in November and Holiday Crafts in December. Future Kent Clover Kids topics include insects, a dairy farm visit, gardening, recycling, animal science, agriculture and much more.

Families can attend one session or return and attend many sessions. To learn more or to register for a program, contact the University of Maryland Extension Office, 410-778-1661, or on the web at The University of Maryland is an equal opportunity employer and offers equal access programs. Clover Kids programs will be offered monthly throughout the school year and will conclude in June 2017. Programs will resume in the fall 2017.

Save the Date: Oktoberfest at Colchester Farm CSA, October 8


Mark your calendars for Colchester Farm CSA’s fourth annual fall harvest celebration, featuring food, fun and music for all ages, Saturday October 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the farm.

Family fun begins at 5 pm, with a variety of children’s activities. The fall harvest buffet features pulled pork and seasonal dishes incorporating Colchester Farm vegetables prepared by Chef Kevin McKinney of K-B Market and Kitchen School. Beverages include cider, a beer tasting (Lagunitas) and a cash bar featuring local wines. Mickey Justice & Friends will entertain with live music.

oktoberfestOne lucky person will win a sunset cruise complete with champagne aboard Elligail Charters, along with five of his or her friends. Raffle tickets for the sail are just $10 and available at Chestertown First Fridays, and at the fall celebration. Only 150 will be sold.

Proceeds support Colchester Farm CSA’s education programs. Colchester Farm programs inspire healthful change and an awareness of the natural and edible world through community cooking classes, small-scale agriculture workshops, field trips for K-12 youth, and apprenticeship and work-exchange opportunities.

Tickets for the Oktoberfest celebration are available on line at, and at Chestertown First Fridays. Prices are $25 for current CSA members, $30 for non-members, and $10 for children ages 12-17 (under 12 free). Adult ticket prices increase at the door. For more information please call Aundra Anderson at 410-699-0346 or email Colchester Farm is located at 31285 Georgetown Cemetery Road, Galena MD, 21930.

Sponsors of the event include Benchworks, Blue Heron Contracting, Chesapeake Bank & Trust, Chester River Wine & Cheese, Clovelly Vineyards, Dukes Moore Insurance Agency, Evergrain Bread Company, LLC, Gunther McClary Real Estate, Hogans Agency, Inc. – Insurance & Real Estate, Jane and Stan Doore, Kingstown Farm, Home & Garden, Lemon Leaf Café, Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit, Price Rentals & Events, Shore United Bank, Tessemae’s All Natural, Unity Landscape/Build, and Yerkes Construction. Sponsorship inquiries are welcome at the contact information above.

Colchester Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a nonprofit, small-scale farm that grows fresh local produce for shareholders and community members, and offers apprenticeships and education programs. The CSA promotes an alternative model of farming that strengthens the relationship between farmers, community members, food, and the land.