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The Season of Good Eating

Ours, and easy, to enjoy

Eating local is a way of life at Bay Weekly. Our family is not many generations removed from the farm, and fewer from the garden.

            For my barely first-generation mother Elsa Olivetti’s early life in Southern Illinois coal mining towns, what you didn’t grow, you didn’t eat. She was a hunter-fisher-gatherer-gardener who could turn just about anything, including dandelions, into delicious food, and nothing was wasted in our home or in our restaurant.

            So it’s natural that Bay Weekly’s pages have reported on growing and eating locally and sustainably from our first issues a quarter-century ago. From those early stories on green mulch and the phenomenon of community supported agriculture, we’ve kept the theme going all these years, with stories on more and more locally raised crops, including meat; the wider distribution of local foods; farmers and philosophies. Weekly, we bring you the Bay Gardener Dr. Frank Gouin’s expert advice on growing anything and everything.

            We also practice what we preach. Most of us at the paper are eating out of our own gardens this time of year, and one, Susan Nolan raises egg-laying hens.

            If you, too, planted a garden, you don’t need to leave home for ingredients to assemble a recipe you’ll find in this week’s feature story, Eating from Mother Nature’s Table. That’s the Corn Ragu, Pickled Tomatoes and Tomato Coulis half of Chef David Wells’ Crab and Tomato Duo. For the other half, softshell crab, you have to visit your local seafood market for the cyclical blue crab shed. In this era of local abundance, I can find five such markets within 15 minutes of my house.

            If you’ve failed to plant or are suffering from squash borers, farmers markets and roadside stands will supply any lack. At many you’ll find not only an alphabet of local vegetables but also just about every ingredient you need to cook and eat local except maybe olive oil and coffee. Eggs, if you don’t have your own laying hens. Honey, if you’re not hosting hives of bees. Milk and cheese, if cows, goats and sheep are too big for your farmstead.

Find It All in One Place

            You’ll find much of this bounty and more in one place on Monday, July 30. For one day only, Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian hosts the 2nd Annual Buy Local Challenge Celebration, a showcase of more than 40 farms’ meats, cheeses, produce, seafood, baked and canned goods, beer, wine and spirits.

            You’ll meet farm families each showing its own specialties, from Bay Weekly advertising partner Enticement Farm Raised Meats of Harwood to University of Maryland’s Terp Farm, which helps feed the college sustainably, producing more than 30,000 pounds of produce each year.

            Feeding you on the spot will be a dozen or more food trucks and provisioners, including 2 Guys and a Grill, Blue Wind Gourmet and Calvert Crabs and Seafood for Substance plus bakers Two Fresh Chicks and organic ice creamer Mrs. Moo’s Corner. A dozen local wineries, breweries and distilleries will keep your whistle wet.

            There’ll also be farm-based crafters and artists — including Alpaca Lane and Wilde Flowers Farm — and farm and garden experts. Suttler Post Farm Clydesdales offers carriage rides. Through it all, the Ryan Forrester Band plays.

            If you go, bring your recyclable shopping bags. For you’ll be able to buy — and sustainably carry home — many of the ingredients you’ll need to prepare for yourself and your family any of the recipes that catch your eye in this year’s installment of the Buy Local Cookout Recipe cookbook. You’ll find the online link to this — and cookbooks back to 2009, for these recipes never go out of date — in our feature story.

            There too you’ll find three recipes from the 2018 cookbook to whet your appetite for more.

            This season of good eating is ours to enjoy.

Sandra Olivetti Martin

Editor and publisher

email [email protected], www.sandraolivettimartin.com