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Good Living

Lessons from Build-A-Bear to the magical Chesapeake Christmas tree

When its lights went on, the Christmas tree seemed suspended above the Bay like magic. The suspension was an illusion. The tree stood on the solid base of the Fairhaven community swim platform in Herring Bay. But the magic was — and remains — real.     This season marks the 30th illumination of Ed Becke’s and Mark Manders’ Herring Bay Christmas tree, which began with a real tree to light up the last Christmas in the life of a neighbor, Tommy Hoyle.

To bring Teddy home, this old dog had to learn new tricks

My pledge never to have another pet didn’t last a year.     My favorite dog died of congestive heart failure last July. No more pets for me. My heart can’t stand the loss, I pledged. I still shed a tear when I remember Damien, my black Pomeranian.     By February, an empty feeling invaded again. Time for another pet. This time I pledge to save a life.

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.”     “This is my first night market, and it’s been a great success,” Cox says.

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.     The partnership brings us ever-increasing diversity in what we eat and how it’s raised.

The crabs are back and the corn’s ripe, so it’s time to feast

by Sandra Olivetti Martin and Dennis Doyle with Michelle Steel

If the bigger the better sets your standard for crab feasts, you’ll find happiness, crabs and company at three upcoming festivals, each a Maryland tradition.

Wednesday July 18: The 36th annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield, the crab capital of the world.

Jones Station Severna Park Farmers Market celebrates 25 years

A sensory feast — colorful fruits and veggies, fresh eggs and meat, well-tended ornamental plants along with herbs and veggie plants — that’s the main reason to go to a farmers market. But education and the ability to speak directly with producers run a close second. At the Jones Station Farmers Market, education includes beekeeper and honey seller Peter Quinton’s display of what bees do to make honey and Lori Beard spinning wool roving into yarn.

The pomp and parades of Independence Day date back to the nation’s founding

Independence Day provides us with a free day of homemade and heartfelt celebrations, ranging from small-town parades to Washington, D.C.’s capital show. Complete with cannon fire, that extravaganza of sound and light lets you imagine the bombardment that drew The Star-Spangled Banner out of Francis Scott Key’s soul.     With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 upon us, it’s tempting to think that our Independence Day fireworks celebrations imitate those rockets’ red glares.

Farmers markets now selling local corn and peaches

Farmers market shoppers in the know arrive at the Sunday morning Freshfarm Market in Annapolis before 10:30am, when Bob Miller of Nice Farms Creamery sells out of his famous chocolate milk.

Corvettes on the Bay presents 60 years of iconic history

Elaine Phillips was always interested in cars. When she married a man with a ’59 Corvette C1 he’d personally restored, her interest became an obsession. Now they have three, the ’59 C1, a ’61 C1, and an ’05 Coup, and she edits the Fiberglass Flyer, the newsletter of Corvette Annapolis.