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Green Living

At Spider Hall, education and old-fashioned fun help keep the family farm in business

Squeals rise from deep inside the eight-acre corn maze. Families hitch a ride atop bales of hay. Kids scour the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect gourd. Shoppers mull over crisp apples and Maryland meat, cheese and ice cream in the farm market.     Susan and Catherine Cox — mother and daughter proprietors of Calvert County’s Spider Hall Farm — lure people to their fields with fun — hoping they leave with good memories and newfound respect for farming.

We’ll all have to do our part in managing our Total Maximum Daily Load if we’re going to piece together a healthier Bay

It won’t happen without you.     The actions of federal, state and local governments are just the beginning of revitalizing the Bay. We are also counting on the partnership of millions of people who live in this region to join in protecting the waters that support their health, their environment and their economy.     So said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson this summer, speaking in her new role as this year’s president of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council.

Southern High School artists will paint you a wall to proclaim it

When it comes to wearing your heart on your sleeve, Muddy Creek Animal Hospital, in the rural crossroads known as West River, has reached a new high. The artists of Southern High School have splashed a celebration of the Southern Anne Arundel environment — from Bay to wetlands to farm fields — onto the vet clinic’s 25-foot-high exterior wall.

Dale and Debbie Jones want you to know what you eat, where it came from and how it was raised

What are you eating and where did it come from? That’s Dale and Debbie Jones’ mantra.     On Windy Willow Farm in Sunderland, the Joneses raise pastured, grass-fed beef, lamb and goat. Theirs is a relatively new business venture: they’ve been selling meat for only two years. Spend just a while talking with them, and you know what they do is more than a business. It’s a mission.

Opening the tap can save you big bucks while helping the environment, too.

Come close because I have a secret to tell you. It’s not a secret you need to keep. It’s a secret you need to spread.     Want me to spill it?     Listen up.     That water that comes out of your kitchen sink or bathroom faucet, you know the stuff. The same water you use to brush your teeth or wash your dishes. The same water you fill your dogs’ bowls with. Yeah, that water.

Locally grown and ethically treated livestock brings meat you can trust to your table

Growing your own veggies is one thing; raising your own livestock is entirely another.          That’s the lesson of my friends’ rabbits.

New website gives an eye-opening look at the effects of sea-level rise

Dobbins Island in the Magothy River is a summertime attraction for boaters. On a warm summer weekend, the sandy north-facing beach becomes crowded with enthusiasts dropping anchor and floating languidly in the gentle current. Sooner rather than later, though, Dobbins Island will be reduced to a skeleton by rising sea levels. Water will cover the sandy shores, and the beach will turn into an obstacle course of submerged trees.

An army of volunteers give a rare Chesapeake marsh a second life

A boardwalk leads through pinewoods to the water. From its beginning, you see a sliver of shining Bay. As you walk along the worn planks raised over marshland, the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas facility — the industrial campus, the seven vast blinding-white storage tanks — disappear. At the end, the marsh and the tall reeds give way to the low dunes of Cove Point Beach.

Anne Arundel County hopes larger containers amount to a greater recycling haul

The bigger, the better. That seems to be the theory behind Anne Arundel County’s push to distribute 65-gallon recycling containers throughout the county.     “Recycling is a budgetary priority of this administration,” says County Executive John R. Leopold. “I’m always looking for ways to enhance the convenience of our recycling plan.”

We’d get two sticks under Maryland’s Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act

This is how you’d look if all you had to wear were the plastic bags you toted home all year long.     You’d look like a plastic imitation of New Orleans’ legendary Mardi Gras Indian tribes. But you’d be warm.