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What do we save and what do we sacrifice?

Saving the Last Farm on the Magothy, my November 4 column, brought lots of interesting mail that sent me down a broader path through the Preservation Woods.

Lucy Illif, who owns one of the few remaining farms in Arnold, reminded me that the Jordan Property next to Ritchie Highway has just been rezoned commercial and that the whole area is being swallowed up by houses and shopping malls.

“Will our farm now be the last one in Arnold?” she wondered.

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Composting returns all those nutrients to the garden

The soil in my first garden at Upakrik Farm in 1991 was mostly hard clods of silt. Because I have added liberal amounts of compost over the past 19 years, my soil is now loose, friable and highly productive. I attribute the change entirely to the use of compost.

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A soda can alligator takes top honors at the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Rethink Recycling contest

Josh Tichinel’s alligator may not be able to swim the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. But the soda-can reptile is a reminder that we can all help save the Bay through creative repurposing.

The Northern Garrett High School student won the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Rethink Recycling art contest.

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Big rockfish make foul-weather fishing worth while

Getting in on the early-winter rockfish bite can be quite unpleasant. Except for the lucky anglers with big, enclosed boats that can safely and comfortably ply our cold, windswept Bay, most anglers this time of year must simply deal with November’s increasingly nasty weather. 

 

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Tips on giving thanks by giving to charity

If all the layered meanings of America’s national feast day could be packed into a verb, to have seems to me the right one. We give thanks because we have, rather than have not. So it’s no wonder that the great feast got its impetus in times when having not was such a real alternative that it might be only a step away.

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Wizards and muggles will find fun and suspense as Harry’s magical world collapses around him

When the screen faded to black at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows there was an audible protest from the audience. The fact that a packed house sat still for 146 minutes and begged for more when the credits rolled is probably the best recommendation I can give.

But they pay me to write more than a paragraph.

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Suspiciously well done!

When Something’s Afoot opened on Broadway in 1976, critic Walter Kerr pronounced the musical mystery fundamentally flawed.  Because music relaxes, he said, it’s incompatible with suspense.

Obviously Kerr wasn’t a fan of Hitchcock. But his question remains: Can a suspense murder mystery sustain itself as a musical?

We’ll see.

Does Something’s Afoot give us memorable music? No.

Does it hold great suspense? No.

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Annapolis is a good place to start

I can still hear my mom’s voice: Go outside and play, but be back for dinner. The street where I grew up was surrounded by woods. A dirt trail — a remnant of a 10-mile, horse-drawn, streetcar track — cut through the woods and gave me hours of outdoor magical fun.

I was a free-range kid. Chances are if you are over 50, you were too.

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Dear Bay Weekly:

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They’re Mother Nature’s mulch

In the fall, I hate to see black plastic bags full of leaves lining streets. Next spring, I’m likely to see empty bags of mulch, peat moss and fertilizer waiting to be collected by the solid waste municipal workers. Of all the 42 years that I have owned a home in Maryland, I have never discarded leaves. Nor have I ever purchased a bag of mulch.

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