Mid-Shore Culture: Revisiting the President’s Mother with Martha Sexton

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Washington College’s Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, Martha Sexton, has built a remarkable career in bringing to light the real lives of this country’s most misunderstood women throughout her distinguished scholarship. With books as diverse as Little Women author Louisa May Alcott to the Hollywood sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, Sexton has used her unique skills to uncover far more realistic, more nuanced, and perhaps a more sympathetic understanding of their motives and character.

During this special week that combines Presidents’ Day, George Washington’s Birthday, and, of course, Washington College’s special convocation celebrating its namesake, it seemed appropriate for the Spy to catch up with Martha, who recently authored a forthcoming biography of the first president’s mother, Mary Bell Washington.

In The Widow Washington, Sexton pushes back on the sometimes dismissive or derogatory treatment of Mary Washington by many famed biographers of Washington as well as brings to light the simple hard realities that faced elderly widows in the 18th Century.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about the College’s C.V. Starr Center Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship please go here.

Design For You: The Home Elevator by Pamela Heyne

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Have you ever considered installing an elevator in your home? Now that more of us are living longer and staying in our homes as long as possible, this technology does add value to the home, despite the total price tag of between $30,000 and $35,000. According to realtor Elizabeth Foulds, “This helps for re-sale when otherwise the buyer may only be looking at single level homes.” There are two basic approaches: the more traditional elevator with a shaft, and the cylindrical futuristic looking pneumatic elevator.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 7.42.06 AMI recently spoke to an expert in the field, Merl Beil, currently with Delaware elevator. He agreed that people should not go for a minimum size elevator, but one that can accommodate a wheelchair. That cab size would have an inside dimension of 3’ wide and 4’ deep. 5’x5’ is the basic inside dimension required for a shaft. This requires a reinforced concrete floor under it, 1’ below the main floor level in the house. In the shaft are pullies and a piston that move the car. Additionally a machine room is needed; it can be as small as 4’ x 4’ and is best if it is as close to the main elevator shaft as possible.

I also spoke to Brent Garner, manager, Talbot County office of Permits and Inspections to get his take on home elevators. He said that in the year since he has been working for the county he has not issued any permits for one. However, he used to work as a builder and installed “a beautiful one” he said. He had installed a window both in the elevator cab and in the shaft, so that when the cab reached the second floor, a lovely view appeared. A mural was installed of the same view on the ground floor, in the shaft itself, so that when the cab was on that level, the window did not look out onto a blank wall. There are many aesthetic options for these elevators. Want different door arrangements or an all glass shaft? No problem. Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 7.42.41 AM

I specified a home elevator for a traditional townhouse in Georgetown, DC. It featured an exterior elegantly paneled door. These elevators will have two doors, an outside door and then in the moving cab itself, some sort of folding door. The solid sliding doors we see in commercial elevators are rarely specified for residential elevators, because a much wider shaft would be required.

Closing the interior door is mandatory, or else the elevator will not move. Obviously this is a safety feature. However, Merl said many times he would get calls from people complaining the elevator would not work. He would ask, “Did you close the gate?” Invariably the answer was, “Well, uh…no.”

The cylindrical pneumatic elevator is appealing to me, and I have considered it for my own home. This type of elevator operates without cables, but because of variations in air pressure, and has a secondary braking system. A Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator, PVE, unit from Miami Florida has three sizes, 2’6”, 3’1” and 4’4” outside diameter. The largest unit is appropriate for wheelchairs. One must deduct about 7.5” from the outside diameter to get the inside clearance. These don’t require pulleys and a machine room.

There is also a small, shaftless elevator recently introduced to the market, that can be installed in the corner of a living room. It is too small for wheelchair use, and, to my mind, has little appeal aesthetically. However, it is another option to the stair lift.

Pamela Heyne, AIA is head of Heyne Design and author of In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child. She will give a slide talk about her book Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3:30 at the Book Plate, 112 s. Cross Street, Chestertown. Light refreshments. pam@heynedesign.com

4-H Coming Events for February

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Volunteers needed in 4-H: Looking for volunteers as Kent County Fair 4-H Division chairpersons, judges and much more! Call the Extension Office if interested, 410-778-1661. The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

February 2017

February 4-H Have Heart a Food Drive Challenge (All food delivered and weighed at Achievement!!!)
4           4-H Senior Portfolio Interviews, Eastern Shore, 9:30 am, Q.A. Extension Office, Centreville (2 Kent 4-H’ers)
6, 16, 23, 28 Kent County 4-H Dairy Bowl Practices, 7:00 pm, Hill Farm, Kennedyville
7           4-H Senior Portfolio Interviews, 4:00 – 7:30 pm, MD 4-H Center, College Park (3 Kent 4-H’ers  interviewing)
11         4-H Club Officer Training, 10:00 – 12:00, Extension Office – All club officers should attend!
12        Kent Clover Kids Program, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Running W Kennel, Worton. Dog Care and Grooming
15        DEADLINE: Achievement youth job sign-up and deadline to submit 2016 photos! UME 4-H Volunteer Training, 6:30 pm, Extension Office
18-20 MD State 4-H Council Retreat, Annapolis
20        President’s Day Holiday ~ Extension Office Closed
21         Ag Center Board of Directors Mtg., 7:00 pm, Extension Office
25        Healthy Living 4-H Ambassador Training-QA 4-H Park, 10 am – 2 pm, Lunch provided

Kent County 4-H Club Meeting Dates

Scheduled Club Meetings (Subject to Change!)

Bits & Bridle Horse Club – 3rd Saturday, 1:00, Running W Kennels
Kent 4-H Triple Shots Shooting Sports – Shotgun – 2nd Sunday, Noon, Kent Gun Club, Archery, 1st and 3rd Sundays, 2pm, Cypress Creek Archery, Millington, Rifle, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2-4pm, Kent Ag Center Rifle Range, Tolchester
Business meeting held the 1st Wednesday of every month, EXCEPT: January and July. 6:30pm at the UMD Extension Office
Junior Dairy Associates – 3rd Friday monthly, 7pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church
Kent Clover Calf – 2nd Wednesday, 7pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church
Kent Fuzzy Tails & Shiny Scales – 4th Thursday monthly, 6:30pm, Presbyterian Church of Chestertown
Kent Puppy Pals Dog Club – Practice 3rd and 4th Wednesdays, 6:30pm, Winter: Radcliffe Creek School, Summer: Running W. Kennels, Worton. Monthly business meeting, 2nd Monday, Running W Kennels, 6:30pm

Cheers: Beer Sampling Approved at Saturday Market

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Yes, frothy brew samples will now be allowed at Saturday Market. And growlers for sale.

Monday’s short town council meeting voted unanimously to allow Bull and Goat Brewery to offer free samples of their Centreville brewed beer at Chestertown’s Saturday Market pending a review of all necessary licensing.

The brewery, which already has a presence in Chestertown at Cassinelli Distilling on High St. will dispense one free oz. samples of their craft beer to anyone 21 and over while offering refillable growlers. A refrigerated cart will be used as a sampling station.

More about Bull and Goat Brewery may be found on their Facebook page here.

This video is approximately 3 minutes in length.

*Factoid: “The term likely dates from the late 19th century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small, galvanized pail. It is claimed the sound that the carbon dioxide made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl.” Wikipedia

Spy Notes: Can a Model for Chestertown and Washington College be Found in Kentucky Coal Country?

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With a headline reading, “This Tiny College Town is the Epicenter of a Food Revolution…,” it didn’t take long for the Spy to check out a recent article of Fast Company on the remarkable story of Berea College and its bold investment in local Food.  We recommend Chestertown take note.

“On a bright August morning in Berea, Kentucky, Herb & Willow, a tranquil coffee shop and local arts market, is sunny and quiet. From behind the counter, Senora Childers, 25, chats with Jesse Fowler, 22, who sits drinking cold brew and bopping his baby nephew on his knee. The shop is delightfully crammed with for-sale pottery, tinctures, jewelry, and other handcrafted creations. Owner and ceramics artist Tricia Taylor, 24, opened the space in December to promote the work of her and her friends, a younger crowd that didn’t feel at home in Berea’s longstanding traditional folk-art scene.

Taylor, who developed her business through a local artist-specific business accelerator, was also passionate about serving local food and drinks: From the croissants and scones by nearby Clementine’s Bake Shop to the Ale-8-One soda (aka “Kentucky swamp water”) that’s been bottled in the state since 1926, Herb & Willow is a testament to how easy it can be to eat and drink locally in Appalachia these days.”

For the rest of the story, please go here

Mid-Shore Food Notes: Ken MacDonald and the “Harriet” Influence at Perry Cabin

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It was certainly reassuring to note on the resume of Ken MacDonald, the Inn at Perry Cabin’s new executive chef, that he had spent quality time at such iconic dining venues as the Ritz of London and the Peninsula in San Francisco.  Perry Cabin has had a significant track record in the area of fine dining, and it was in keeping with this tradition that a new leader in the kitchen would come with this type of pedigree.

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Harriet Bullitt

But what really caught the Spy’s eye was the fact that Ken had worked for, and with, the legendary Harriet Bullitt for almost seven years. While it would be understandable that the name would not ring many bells for most on the Mid-Shore, for those who once lived in Pacific Northwest, Harriet Bullitt was, and is, a remarkable superstar in all things local and sustainable.

In Harriet’s case, it has been a lifetime (she’s 92 years old now) of dedication to land conservation and local food. With her family foundation, the Bullitt Foundation, as well as her own philanthropy, Harriet has been an instrumental leader and innovator in Washington state since she created the region’s first sustainable building in 1965.

So, to see a partnership between Harritt and Ken at Sleeping Lady, her innovative retreat and restaurant in the mountains two hours out of Seattle, intrigued us enough to sit down with Ken for a short conversation about Harritt, Sleeping Lady, and his own food philosophy as he begins a new, hopefully “Harriett-influenced,” era at Perry Cabin.


This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Perry Cabin, please go here.

Three Eastern Shore Wineries to Feature Artisan Wines at Downrigging

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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

 

Kent County Native Named an ISA ‘True Professional of Arboriculture’

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Kevin Eckert, of Kailua, Hawaii has been named a “True Professional of Arboriculture™” by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). The True Professional recognition program honors arborists and tree care professionals for their positive impact on the industry in and around their communities.

Kevin Eckert

Kevin Eckert

As President and Managing Director of Arbor Global USA, Eckert provides arboricultural consulting, training, tree management, and expert witness services to government, corporate, and private clients throughout the United States, Hong Kong, and the Asia Pacific Rim.

“Kevin Eckert has a passion for the arboriculture profession and for sharing his knowledge and experience with students and colleagues.” says de Gourét Litchfield, ISA board president. “He strives to enhance ability and understanding for others in the industry.”

Eckert, who grew up in Chestertown, Maryland, implemented a professional training program at Hawaiian Electric Company (HECo) that emphasized industry standards and certification to improve utility arborist performance. “There were some wonderful industry leaders who were making progress but had not been able to get the desired outcome,” he explains. “The HECo program was successful and significantly improved performance, which caught the attention of government and tree management stakeholders who ended up modeling the HECo program.”

“My life’s goal is to leave a legacy of happy and healthy trees that benefit the natural and human environment that live on well beyond my years,” Eckert shared. Regarding the many training programs he leads, Eckert said that he wants to enhance the environment through trees and future generations. “I enjoy sharing my passion, experience, and knowledge with others to help them reach their goals, correctly care for trees to benefit the environment and our communities, and find as much joy in this profession as I do.”

Eckert was recognized at the opening general session of ISA’s 92nd Annual International Conference last month in Fort Worth, Texas. He is one of eight individuals selected as a 2016 True Professional. ISA launched the “True Professionals of Arboriculture™” recognition program in 2009 to increase public understanding of arboriculture and the professional skills of today’s arborists. Recipients are from various backgrounds in the profession and hold industry credentials including certifications from ISA.

Individuals are selected by the ISA Awards Committee, a diverse group of experts in arboriculture including university professors, retired arborists, tree care company owners, trainers, and forestry managers. After selection, award recipients are approved by ISA’s Board of Directors.

Profiles and case studies of the “True Professionals” will be featured on the ISA website at www.isa-arbor.com and highlighted in future ISA publications such as Arborist News.

Click here for a video on Kevin Eckert.

Eastern Shore Brewing Wins Statewide Medals in Brewing Competition

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Pictured from left to right: Eastern Shore Brewing's Zach Milash (Brewmaster), Cory Edwards (Beer Server), Jay Hudson (General Manager), Adrian Moritz (co-owner). Co-owner Lori Moritz is not pictured.

Pictured from left to right: Eastern Shore Brewing’s Zach Milash (Brewmaster), Cory Edwards (Beer Server), Jay Hudson (General Manager), Adrian Moritz (co-owner). Co-owner Lori Moritz is not pictured.

St. Michaels based Eastern Shore Brewing, the oldest brewery on the Eastern Shore of MD, was awarded two medals in the 2016 annual competition of the Brewers Association of Maryland.

Eastern Shore Brewing won a silver medal for their porter named Duck Duck Goose. The brewery also won a bronze medal for their Knot So Pale Ale and an honorable mention for their Situation Critical IPA.

The competition included over 260 entries in ten different categories. Evolution Craft Brewing Company of Salisbury was the only other Eastern Shore brewery to win medals in this year’s competition. Eastern Shore Brewing has won a total of ten medals in the state competition since its inception in 2008.

Owners Adrian and Lori Moritz, and brewer Zach Milash will attend a ceremony and presentation by the Comptroller later this year.