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Local bounty is all around us, with roots in our hearts

Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge makes the typically sultry last week of July one of my favorite times of the year.
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Perched to take advantage of the sun

Long before dinosaurs walked the earth, dragonflies took to the air.
    Griffenflies, the gigantic precursors of our modern-day dragonflies, took flight in the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago.
    Their descendants have had plenty of time to spread around the world. Ancient Celts called them big needle of wings. In England, they’re water dippers. In China, old glassy.
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LIKE the energy giant to get to know the Bay and Baltimore better

As a fan of Chesapeake Bay, you can get your interest rewarded for each of the next four weeks. But to compete in the Bay Quiz, your love for the Chesapeake must be patient enough to navigate Constellation Energy’s layers of self-promoting websites.
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Unity Gardens wants to help green your community

From Glen Burnie to Severn Heights to Presidents Hill to Shady Side to Fairhaven, Anne Arundel gardeners seeking to green their communities turn for funding to Unity Gardens (www.unitygardens.org), which twice a year awards grants up to $1,000 to local groups creating neighborhood green spaces.
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But don’t expect an easy job

Rhododendrons are one of the most difficult ornamental plants to grow in landscapes. This year the rhododendrons did exceptionally well due to the cool, moist spring. Many growers noted that the ornamental plants bloomed heavier than normal and that their flowers lasted longer.
    In their native habitat, rhododendrons grow in regions where the climate is cool, in soils that are well-drained but with ample moisture.
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Annapolis-based nonprofit pays to find out

Can nature heal us?    
    Tom and Kitty Stoner have invested $20 million in answering that question.    
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Here’s what we’re reading this summer. What about you?

Ashley Brotherton of Calvert County and now Baltimore is moving on after a year as Bay Weekly calendar editor and staff writer
    Looking at my nightstand, you wouldn’t know it, but there are piles and piles of books. The piles are condensed into my Nook, the Barnes and Nobel eReader.
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Gru lets his minions do the comedy work in this silly sequel

Retired super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell: The Office) is a great dad to his three adopted daughters. But he isn’t very good at life on the side of right.
    Plus he has to figure out what to do with his evil scientist partner and scores of odd yellow minions.
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Biltong is a South African ­alternative to freezing

Over the last few years, I have generally kept only those rockfish that my family and I could immediately eat, either giving away or releasing any extras landed. This season, however, the bite has been so good for so long and the fish so delicious that my policy has changed.
    By trial and error, I’ve developed two favorite ways to preserve this great fish.
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With dinner and drinks, Comedy in the Courtyard is your ticket to Tuesday night fun

Sitting under the towering magnolia of the Reynolds Tavern courtyard, I sip a spiked summer Tavern Tea and munch fried green tomatoes with shrimp and corn relish, all the enticement I need to come out on a warm weeknight. But there’s more. Listening to the gentle strains of a harpsichord, I am transported back in time — way back to 1664 for Moliere’s Tartuffe, the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s first production in the new Comedy in the Courtyard series.
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