Food Friday: Spring Planting = Summer Delights

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You have been waiting all winter for this – admit it. You have been thumbing through seed catalogues and feverishly imagining your sunny, raised garden bed, fecund and lush and o’er-spilling with cukes, and beans, and sun-warmed tomatoes. Thinking about all those tender, fresh, aromatic herbs that no one else can coax as greenly as you. Picturing the extra little flourish and the modest bow you will take when you humbly present your salad greens (with brio) at the Fourth of July picnic. Visualizing the ribbons you will take home from the Fair. Envisioning how you will please, delight, and amaze your family when you whip out a fresh, homegrown shallot for the salad dressing. Or when you pop open a jar of homemade pickles at Thanksgiving. Considering how you can take revenge on the idiot neighbor who mows his lawn on Sunday mornings – zucchini is the perfect passive/aggressive pay back. All the glory goes to you.

So get hopping!

These
cabbages,
onions,
spinach,
peas,
lettuces,
carrots,
celery,
corn,
summer squash,
tomatoes,
shallots,
pole beans,
lima beans,
watermelon,
pumpkins,
and zucchini
will not plant, water, NOR weed themselves. “Plant a carrot, get a carrot.” Get in a little elbow grease action – which is much more nurturing and healthy than hot yoga. Heavens to Betsy.

I have learned over the years with my sandy back yard, and my short attention span, that I am easily tired and discouraged. I now keep my exposure to a minimum. I am happiest (and most successful) with a little container garden. I have fresh herbs, and a catnip plant to keep the ancient bony cat entertained. I do a couple of tomato plants every year, but this year I bought some trendy heirloom, organic tomato seeds. Let’s see if they do better than my usual cheating, pre-fab seedlings from the hardware store. Although anything is better than those soul-less, soggy, cardboard globes I get at the supermarket.

It is time for my annual bean experiment. I imagine myself living in someplace ancient and beautiful like Sissinghurst Castle, where the gardener’s assistants take care of the weeds, and I am left with my follies and the trés amusement
garden structures I fashion from bamboo poles and woven willow strips. I will train the beans this year in a big terra cotta pot, with three bamboo poles perched like a teepee above the seedlings. Maybe they will do better than last year’s. Maybe if I remember to water every day they will have a shot at making it to the table.

I had a successful little run with lettuce last year. We had some awfully fresh salads for a couple of weeks. I doubt if it was very cost effective to wrangle my own little Bibb-aroos, but it felt so good to wander outside with the kitchen shears, and judiciously snip a leaf here, another leaf there, and know the salad was good and fresh, and I was leaving modest carbon foot print.

They are saying that all those Amazon deliveries, however convenient and fast, are proving problematic – they are increasing traffic and road wear as those UPS trucks come streaming our way with our cheap books and Kindles. So I have to do my bit and think of the environment when I plant my tiny little vegetable garden.

If you do not feel not up to the responsibilities of growing your own vegetable garden this season, now that the snow has melted, and the snow drops are popping up every where, please think about supporting your local farmers at farmers’ markets and farm stands and CSAs. We were cool long before Brooklyn and all its mustachioed, plaid-sporting, artisan, organic, heirloom, microcosmically hip farmers, tanners, butchers, chicken farmers, bakers and baristas. We like homemade and all the virtues associated with it.

It is oh, so very pleasant to wander outside in your jimjams on a summer morning, pausing to watch the sun rise, while munching meditatively on a dewy green bean that you have just twisted off a vine, before you ever have a cup of coffee or read the newspaper. Instagram cannot replicate that real delight. Honest.

https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/uploaded/planting%20chart-spring.pdf

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/03/margery_fish_s_we_made_a_garden_is_a_feminist_manifesto_disguised_as_a_gardening.html?wpsrc=fol_fb

http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/classics/onward_and_upward_in_the_garden/

“From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens:
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind’s eye.”
– Katharine S. White

Adkins Arboretum Offers Landscape Design Workshop March 28

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Register for Adkins Arboretum’s Landscape Design Workshop on Sat., March 28, and learn how to transform your property into an attractive landscape with year-round interest and beauty.

Offered again by popular demand, this all-day workshop will address typical challenges of homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay region. Three experienced landscape designers and avid gardeners will lead this intensive planning session. Come with your challenges and dreams, and leave with a landscape plan, ideas and confidence to transform your home landscape for your enjoyment and pride.

Topics include analyzing the challenges and opportunities of your property; developing a plan for circulation and unique features; designing “rooms” for outdoor living; choosing materials for patios and walks; incorporating sustainable practices; and selecting ornamental plants. The designers will offer practical advice on getting started; tackling wet areas; laying out a path; screening an undesirable view; and plants recommended for specific conditions. Step by step, participants will develop their own landscape designs.

Workshop leaders are Arboretum Executive Director Ellie Altman; landscape architect Barbara McClinton, formerly of the Baltimore landscape architecture and land planning firm Daft, McCune, Walker; and landscape designer and native plant enthusiast Chris Pax, a graduate of the George Washington University sustainable landscape design master’s program.

The workshop begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. The fee is $125 for Arboretum members, $145 for non-members, and $175 for member couples. Advance registration is required. Bring lunch, a property plat, photos and other documentation of your property. Continental breakfast, break refreshments, worksheets and handouts will be provided. Register at adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Initiative to Certify Conservation Landscape Designers

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Tom and Judy Boyd knew they had landscaping and drainage problems at their home in Charlottesville, VA. And even though Judy is an avid gardener and knows her fair share about the importance of native plants, they didn’t know as much about how their yard could contribute to capturing and treating rainfall.

 That is, until they hooked up with Virginia Rockwell, a horticulturist and landscape designer from Orange, VA, who is one of a growing breed of professionals who marry traditional landscaping with stormwater management techniques.
Throughout the Bay watershed, local governments, watershed groups and their partners are installing small-scale rain gardens, pervious pavers and bioswales to reduce nonpoint source pollution from stormwater and meet Bay cleanup goals. But they need help in making sure their investments are built right to begin with and maintained correctly over the long haul.
To meet the growing demand for qualified professionals, the Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council and partners (University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension, Wetlands Watch, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Habitat Partners) is spearheading an initiative to certify professionals in the design, installation and maintenance of these landscape practices.
This consortium has engaged landscape and horticulture industry representatives, state and local government leaders, watershed groups, and educators and workforce development specialists to develop the certification program.
Their goal is to have the program established by 2016 in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and expanded Baywide in 2017.
They are planning a program that will include a standardized evaluation of the skills and knowledge of landscape contractors in three tracks: design, installation and maintenance. The certification program will also have an online database to help consumers connect with trusted, credentialed professionals.
The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee, which consists of local elected officials from around the watershed, said that increasing the pool of qualified employees and contractors to carry out restoration and protection projects was a top priority in 2014.
Local governments are in the front line to make sure measurable goals are met for the reduction of nutrient and sediment pollution from urban and suburban stormwater.
Often, stormwater management practices installed at parks, schools and municipal buildings are the easiest way for local governments to get reductions. But this can be expensive — and in many cases, there are not enough opportunities on public lands to meet the stormwater reduction goals.
Thus the need for more residents, like the Boyds, to reduce pollution from their properties.
Christin Jolicoeur, a watershed planner for Arlington County, VA, who serves on the consortium’s certification committee, said that the county cannot meet its pollution reduction goals by installing practices on county-owned land. “We’re hoping that a large portion will be done voluntarily by homeowners and businesses.”
But stormwater management techniques like bioswales, rain gardens and green roofs — practices that combine infiltration with vegetation — must be designed and installed properly to improve water quality and reduce runoff. The Chesapeake Bay Program’s recent verification protocols, crafted to ensure that management practices are actually achieving these goals, offer up to five years of credit to local governments counting the best management practices toward their pollution reduction targets.
There is evidence that not all of these stormwater practices are working properly. Almost half — 48 percent — of a 2012 survey of rain gardens in the Severn River watershed failed to protect water quality. A 2008 survey in Fairfax County showed that 65 percent of the BMPs surveyed lacked adequate pond depth to capture stormwater effectively, and three out of the 20 surveyed didn’t infiltrate at all.
Donna Morelli, Pennsylvania director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, said that she’s seen BMPs installed as recently as 2010 and 2011 that are failing and need to be retrofitted to work properly. The Alliance works with local governments, homeowners and other nonprofits to install stormwater BMPS — often as part of grant-funded demonstration projects designed to encourage homeowners to adopt the practices.
“We’ve worked with some great landscape designers and engineers, but sometimes the installers didn’t understand the principals, Morelli said. “They didn’t follow the designs, or thought that substituting materials and plants was OK.”
The most common problem she’s seen is rain gardens that are convex instead of concave. “People are still used to the idea of mounding soil and compost for drainage away from a planting site.”
Having a certification program will help define and provide consistency in the best practices for small-scale infiltration BMPs, Jolicoeur said.
“Ten years ago, many installations were ‘experimental,’ for lack of a better word,” Jolicoeur said, adding that the science of bioretention is better now and standards are being developed in conjunction with state stormwater regulations and for credit in the Bay model.
Amanda Rockler, regional watershed restoration specialist with Maryland Sea Grant, one of the partners in the certification initiative, said it was also important that rain gardens and bioswales not fail aesthetically. “We need the citizens engaged in putting in these small-scale projects, but if they are hard to maintain or don’t look good, we’re not going to get widespread adoption by homeowners.”
Many homeowners do want to do their part in cleaning up their local rivers and the Bay, according to studies by the Hampton Roads nonprofit, Wetlands Watch, a partner of the certification initiative.
“We’ve conducted surveys in our area to help local governments understand the barriers that homeowners have to conservation landscaping,” said Wetland Watch’s Shereen Hughes, who is coordinating the initiative in Virginia. “Most homeowners said they just didn’t know how to do it.”
Tom Schueler, executive director of the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, said that stormwater utilities are offering incentives for homeowners to install rain gardens or other stormwater controls. Because few homeowners build the controls themselves, the demand for qualified professionals has increased, he said.
Landscape professionals are looking forward to the certification, too, as evidenced by the number of landscape and horticulture associations that have joined the certification partnership.
Both the Maryland and Pennsylvania Nursery and Landscape Associations are members of the certification consortium, even though they already offer conservation landscaping certification. The Baywide certification would complement these existing programs.
Rockwell, who is advising the Boyds and is a member of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association board, said having a Baywide certification program can enhance existing programs. “People from the industry say they are not hesitant at all about having another program, “ she said. “They are asking, ‘Where can I get the best training?’ ”
Having consistent guidelines across the Bay jurisdictions will also help developers, builders and engineers who work across political boundaries.
Growers, too, will benefit from the certification, said Leslie Cario, chair of Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council. While running a large native plant nursery for 14 years, Cario saw growers shift from nonnative ornamentals to a wide selection of native plants and cultivars She expects the trend to continue as demand increases.
The multistate certification program will have to dovetail with existing programs and certifications, including those offered by trade associations, state-mandated pesticide and nutrient management requirements, and stormwater regulations.
There are regional differences that will need to be accommodated. Working in Tidewater Virginia is different from working in Fairfax County, said Sara Felker, coordinator of the RiverStar program for the Elizabeth River Project. “We have a high water table and sandy soils, so we’re going to be designing rain gardens differently and using different grasses.”
But the principles are the same, she said, pointing to the council’s eight principles of conservation landscaping (See box on this page).
Wetlands Watch’s Hughes said the consortium was able to draw on “some really strong work that has already been done in this area.” Anne Arundel County, MD’s, Watershed Stewardship Academy, the Alliance’s RiverWise program in Virginia, and the homeowner BMP manual developed by the Chesapeake Stormwater Network are examples of the many programs.
“We’re on the tipping point of conservation landscaping becoming mainstream,” Cario said. “With such broad support within the watershed community, we’re feeling strongly that this is going to happen.”
If successful, the certification program will be a key component of meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup by supporting, in the words of the 2009 Chesapeake Bay Executive Order, “a dramatic increase in the number of citizen stewards — of every age — who support and carry out local conservation and restoration.”
There are numerous resources for homeowners and local governments who need help implementing conservation landscaping. A user-friendly guide that includes templates for planning and links to native plant nurseries and watershed service providers is found here:
By Leslie Middleton

It’s Empty Bowls Day on Monday

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The fifth annual Empty Bowls event to raise funds for the Kent County Food Pantry will take place Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater, downtown Chestertown.

For the price of a ticket (adults $20, students $15, children 12 and under $10), guests enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread and take home a handmade pottery bowl of their choosing. They also can take part in a silent auction and win door prizes.

Volunteers from the nonprofit organization River Arts will prepare the soup, and Evergrain Bakery will donate the bread. The keepsake serving bowls are created by local potters, including Washington College students, artists from the RiverArts clay studio, and other community members. For tickets and information, call 410-778-6118 or email student_activities@washcoll.edu. Only 100 tickets will be sold; none will be available at the door.

Empty Bowls is sponsored by the Washington College Service Council, the Office of Student Activities, and Dining Services.

Food Friday: Spring Forth with Cake!

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One of the perils of working from home is that I don’t get out much. Some days the only conversations I have are with the clerks at the grocery store. My office companion, Luke, the wonder dog, and I take a couple of walks every day. Luke is an enthusiastic and charming fellow, but his conversational skills are minimal. I can’t remember the last book he read, and he never minds that I do the crossword puzzle in ink. He might comment that I will never catch a squirrel, or that I don’t sniff mailboxes with gusto. And he would be right.

When Luke and I go on walkabout I usually have my earbuds firmly planted. I listen to several podcasts, and often feel that the folks on these podcasts are my real office co-workers. Podcasts are the intimates of solitary freelancers, nursing mothers and the sleepless. Every week Julia Turner, Dana Stevens and Stephen Metcalf charm my socks off. Their Slate Culture Gabfest podcast is full of good humor, insight, wit and bon mots. They merrily discuss popular culture with aplomb; dissecting current memes, television, music, and movies. Where else can I go for brilliant water cooler conversation? And one week, a couple of months ago, Julia (Yes, I do call her “Julia” in my cheeky fashion.) rhapsodized poetical about a recipe she had found in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for the perfect cake. I looked up the recipe and filed it away for another day.

And today is the day! It’s time to forget about winter, and move on to celebrating Spring! I have had the delightful television baking experience of The Great British Bake Off to fan my enthusiasm for home baking, and what better way to pay homage to Spring than with Smitten Kitchen’s Best Yellow Layer Cake? While you are poking through the brown oak leaves under the side yard hedge, looking for tender green daffodil shoots, you will be much happier knowing that there will be a slice of cake and a tall cold glass of milk waiting for you in the kitchen. The squirrels have retreated, so Luke has to stick with kibble, which always makes him very happy.

Smitten Kitchen’s Best Yellow Layer Cake

“Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake
4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.”

The Smitten Kitchen goes on to suggest that you use a chocolate icing, but I am feeling too cheerful and full of new spring hope. I am making a light, lemon-y icing instead.

Lemon Buttercream Icing

1 stick butter – room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Salt
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons half and half or milk

Beat the butter in the bowl with and electric mixer until it is fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar just a few tablespoons at a time. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Continue adding confectioner’s sugar, alternating with splashes of cream (or milk) and lemon juice Add more cream (or milk) if you like thinner frosting. You will need to double this recipe if you want to have tidy frosted sides to the cake.

Scrumptious! Thank you, Julia Turner!

You can find more charming intelligent folks on the Slate Panoply podcast network who discuss sports, finance, politics, the Supreme Court and even our friends from Food 52 with a podcast called Burnt Toast: http://www.panoply.fm/shows

More recipes:
http://smittenkitchen.com/

More of Julia, Dana and Stephen:
http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/culturegabfest.html

“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal?
Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake.
Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
― David Walliams

Humane Society Appoints New Board Members

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The Humane Society of Kent County announced that it recently appointed two new members to its Board of Directors–Helen Sharp and Lansing Williams. Both of the new directors will help leverage support for the nonprofit’s mission and work to bring a brighter future to the animals of Kent County, Maryland.

Helen Sharp

Helen Sharp

Helen Sharp, a Marketing Coordinator & Salesforce Administrator at Dixon Valve & Coupling, has over ten years of experience in database management and fundraising. Helen lives in Chestertown with her husband, daughter and three rescued cats. Regarding her membership on the HSKC Board, Helen states, “Sometimes, it is simply being a loving partner and parent, a compassionate pet owner, a good friend, an encouraging colleague, or a mentor to an aspiring youth. Other times, it is helping others to see the rewards of giving; the importance of honor in all that you do; the benefits of being a good steward of the earth; and the richness in finding your passion and purpose in life. But no matter how big or small, it is the act of kindness and enhancing the lives and living world around us that truly make a difference.”

Lansing Williams

Lansing Williams

Lansing Williams, an Assistant Professor of Business Management at Washington College, brings a background of teaching, public accounting, government contracting and consulting to his new role with HSKC. After a career spanning 35 years in the corporate world, Lansing now teaches accounting and maintains an active role in the Kent County community, serving on nonprofit boards, staying active in his church and guiding student organizations on the WC campus. Lansing says, “It is important to give back to the community in which one lives. I believe in helping others, especially those who cannot help themselves—our four-footed friends.” Lansing and his wife, Sue Caswell, share their Chestertown home with three dogs and six cats, two-thirds of which were adopted from The Humane Society of Kent County.

“I am grateful to have the guidance of both Helen and Lansing on our board. Helen’s database and fundraising experience will help garner new support for HSKC. Lansing will bring his skills in accounting and business management to help us maintain excellent accounting practices,” said HSKC’s Executive Director, Jane Welsh. For information about The Humane Society of Kent County, visit kenthumane.org, call 410-778-3648 or find the organization on Facebook at facebook.com/kenthumane.

 

Drinking New Beer Will Help Improve the Bay

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Mixing beer with the Chesapeake Bay may seem counterintuitive to cleaning it up, but Full Tilt Brewing co-owners and cousins Nick Fertig and Dan Baumiller created a new beer to help do just that.

The Bay IPA, new to the collection of craft beers from Baltimore’s Full Tilt, will donate about 10 percent of its profits to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Baumiller said.

While the company usually crafts its flavors to fit Baltimore themes like its Berger Cookie Chocolate Stout, Fertig and Baumiller said, they wanted to support a local organization and were inspired by the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s “Treasure the Chesapeake” license plates.

“We branched out a little from the Baltimore focus, but still stayed local with the Bay theme,” Fertig said. “We thought it’d be a great match.”

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization that collects money that it then redistributes to local communities toward cleanup and water quality improvement projects, said Molly Alton Mullins, director of communications for the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

“These two guys–they’re awesome. They love what they do: They both have full-time jobs and this is something they built because they wanted to do it,” Mullins said. “We couldn’t be happier to work with them.“

The label for the new citrus-flavored beer has the Full Tilt logo on top of the image from the license plate. In return for using the image, Full Tilt plans to supply Chesapeake Bay Trust with beer for its events and donate money throughout the year, Baumiller said.

“There’s no minimal donation–it depends on how much beer we make (or) sell,” Baumiller said. “The yearly donation from us is only likely to be a few thousand dollars…but the (Chesapeake Bay Trust) sees the greatest value in getting the word out.”

Baumiller said the Bay IPA is sold for the same $10 per six-pack price as other Full Tilt beers, reeling in less money for the company itself in order to donate and attach their name to the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s cause.

Jason Zink, owner of the Smaltimore bar in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, said that so far the beer has received a “great reaction” from patrons.

“It’s an easy sell to the customers because it’s a local beer made by people who live in the neighborhood, so it does real well,” Zink said.

Zink said he has not heard of other beers designed primarily for a nonprofit organization, and believes the Bay IPA will do well in its market as it gives back to the local community.

The Start of the Full Tilt Brewery

After Fertig spent six years serving in the U.S. Navy, Baumiller approached him with the idea of creating their own craft beer as a new hobby.

“We just started exploring and trying new things, new beers, and just found a love for craft beer,” Baumiller said. “You just get a curiosity of how is this done, how can I do this, and it kind of helps explain why you like one beer more than another by looking at the ingredients that go into it.”

“When we (first) did it, we just absolutely loved it. The smells you get from brewing a batch of beers is amazing–it’s like you’re in a bread factory or something,” Baumiller said.

In 2008 the two bought a $100 beer-making kit off eBay, and Baumiller said they still brew new test batches with the original home brewing kit out of his garage in Sykesville, Maryland. Full Tilt Brewing officially began in December 2012, and the Bay IPA marks their eighth beer.

Both 31 and Maryland natives, Baumiller said he and Fertig make a party out of the brewing process by having friends over to drink while they experiment with different flavors.

“Nick had a nickname donned on him by one of my friends as ‘Full Tilt Fertig’ due to his ‘pedal to the metal’ ways of doing things for the original genesis of the name,” Baumiller said. “But we just liked the sound of the name and it kind of embodied the way that we did things–we made strong and full flavored beers and went big with everything.”

Set for an official release date onboard the Spirit of Baltimore cruise on Feb. 21, Fertig said, cold temperatures and a frozen Baltimore Harbor delayed the formal release of the Bay IPA to March 21.

The beer is manufactured at the Peabody Heights Brewery in Baltimore. Baumiller and Fertig said that they are working on expanding their company into its own brewery location, as well as developing a new beer to be released Memorial Day weekend.

Baumiller works for the U.S. Department of Defense for acquisitions in Columbia, and Fertig works as a power plant operator for the Brandon Shores Generating Station outside Baltimore City, but, Baumiller said, they both plan to make brewing beer a full-time commitment.

“I think we want to be ready to devote ourselves fully, or totally into the brewery, but when that’s ready to happen–if we got the investment dollars tomorrow and were ready to break ground, we’d probably be pretty quick to making that our full-time job,” Baumiller said.

Besides the Bay IPA and Berger Cookie Chocolate Stout, Full Tilt Brewing also brews Baltimore Pale Ale, Fleet Street Raspberry Wheat, Patterson Pumpkin, Camden Cream, Hop Harbor and the Fully Tilted Baltimore Pale Ale. The Bay IPA is a part of Full Tilt Brewing’s permanent collection.

by Katelyn Newman

Taste of the Town Celebrates Eight Years of Delicious Food

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tasteinOn Sunday, April 26th, the 8th Annual Taste of the Town & County will once again be set around downtown Chestertown’s iconic fountain. Past dishes have included everything from crab bisque and oysters on the half shell to pulled pork, bangers and mash, grass fed beef sliders, fresh mozzarella & basil, beet napoleons and chocolate bread pudding – all courtesy of local chefs .

Over twenty restaurants will be on hand to offer a taste of their signature dishes, and compete for: Most Creative, Best Use of Local Ingredients, and Most Flavorful awards. A complete list of participating restaurants can be found at www.tasteofchestertown.com.

An additional feature is, “Diced! A Local Food Challenge,” patterned after the popular cable TV show “Chopped.” The “Diced!” chefs will demonstrate preparing an appetizer, entrée and dessert from a “mystery basket” made up of ingredients donated by local farmers. Farmers will be on hand to discuss their products as well.

Festival goers are encouraged to come early to see the Annual Paint the Town Quick Draw competition from 10:00 to 11:00. Over fifty painters from all over the East Coast are participating in this year’s four day plein air event culminating in a Quick Draw competition on Sunday morning.

Local wines, including Crow Winery & Vineyard, and local beers will be for sale during the event. Proceeds from a raffle and auction will go toward purchasing a additional holiday lighting for the Downtown Chestertown district.

Taste of the Town is sponsored by the Downtown Chestertown Association (DCA).. The DCA is committed to maintaining a viable historic business district as an integral part of preserving the quality of Kent County life.

Advance passes for $15 will be available through April 22, and may be purchased online at www.tasteofchestertown.com or at The Finishing Touch, located at 311 High Street in downtown Chestertown. Admission at the door is $20. For additional information, visit www.tasteofchestertown.com or call 443 480 1987.

 

 

Spying on Easton: Mid-Shore’s Food Hub Concept Becomes Chesapeake Harvest

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The major highlight at this week’s Easton Town Council was the report provided by Tracy Ward, Easton Economic Development Corporation’s director, that a food hub to be located in Easton would be named Chesapeake Harvest and has become a formal program of the EEDC.

The change in name and other strategic shifts for more outreach and consensus-building in the farming community by the EEDC to support the food aggregator for smaller producers on the Mid-Shore.

This video is approximately minutes in length. To watch this entire meeting, please click here to watch on TV-98 at http://streams.tv-98.com/