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A starting bell “makes for an orderly market”

Clusters of customers and a couple dozen sellers wait along Fifth Street for the bell to ring at 6 o’clock sharp. That’s the signal to start at North Beach Farmers Market.
    “We need a bell at a market of this volume,” says Mike Cox, a Mennonite farmer from White Oak Point Farm. “It makes for an orderly market where everybody’s on the same footing.”
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Maryland lawmakers return to take up gambling in their ­second special session of the year — here’s what you need to know

When?
    Opening Thursday, August 9 and running “two or three days,” according to Sen. President Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller, a champion of expanded gambling.
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Four Maryland farms — out of multitudes

Twenty-first century Maryland is still a farm state. About 1,400 produce, meat and dairy farms, orchards and vineyards thrive on the renewed appetites of Marylanders. We’ve rediscovered the old-fashioned taste of food grown locally, often by neighbors who’ll eagerly share their experiences as well as their results.
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Harvesting Furgurson’s Folly

In a 10-by-20-foot plot at Goshen Farm’s Sharing Garden in Cape St. Claire, my family has built a little organic city. Furgurson’s Folly, my father dubbed it.
    On one end are tomatoes, fat to the point of splitting, interspersed with basil plants. On the other, two trellises host green beans, one so abundant the trellis teeters over our plot’s edge.
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Anne Arundel County Landfill turns trash into electricity

Your trash isn’t going to waste. It’s keeping your lights on.
    Instead of burning off the methane gas produced by decomposing waste, Millersville Landfill now converts the gas into electricity and sends it on to the national power grid, lowering the county’s carbon footprint.
    The methane used to be burned off in a fiery plume.
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Pack your pjs for three, four or seven nights

If your approach to historic tourism is the closer the better, here you go, with deluxe comfort and rare opportunity.
    Calvert Marine Museum is now booking both sides of the Cove Point Lighthouse Keepers’ House for seven-, four- or three-day overnight rentals.
    It’s the only lighthouse in the Mid-Atlantic where you can sleep over.
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Students decorate local ­businesses with murals

When Alex Wilson saw the mural on the Muddy Creek Animal Hospital, a light bulb went off in his head. What a way to advertise his marina!
    Up close, he saw the signatures of Southern High students, so he called the school to see if they would do the same for him.
    Yes, said art teacher Michael Bell, who chose Cat Allen to organize a team and design the Bridge Marina mural.
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More than 50 farmers sell at the county’s oldest market

At 31 years old, the Saturday Anne Arundel County Farmers Market is Anne Arundel’s oldest and largest. Over 50 farmers and producers sell not only fresh fruits, vegetables and meat but also a diversity of homemade goods, like soaps, pies, jams, ceramics, cards and beeswax items.
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Gathering Figs

Figs, like many fruits in our yard, are a month early this year. We have two varieties, including my favorite, brown turkey, which I’d picked up at Mount Vernon in 2006 and nursed through a few years of condo living before planting in Annapolis. The other is Hardy Chicago, and I’m getting more of them this year, when they taste better than they usually do.
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Calvert County Farmers Markets

Tempt your taste buds with summer’s finest. Softball size tomatoes, basketball size cantaloupes, fresh baked cinnamon rolls along with golden sweet local honey are just a sampling of treasures found among Calvert County’s Farmers Markets.
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