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You’ll love persimmons — once you learn the to eat them

Now that I have returned to the Deale Farmers’ Market Thursdays from 3 to 6pm with persimmons, I get lots of questions: What do you do with persimmons? What do they taste like? The persimmons I grow and sell are the Asian type, almost as large as tomatoes and with very few seeds, if any, depending on seasonal conditions. This year, persimmons have more seeds than usual. Persimmon Pie Dissolve two packages of unflavored gelatin in 1⁄4 cup boiling water. Blend the dissolved...

There’s a lot of life in those old sails yet

The Haughwouth sisters’ parents had passed away, and the boat was long gone, but when their childhood sail resurfaced, Penny and Pixie couldn’t bear throwing it away. Instead they turned it into two jackets. Then they turned it into a business, Sea Fever Gear. Sailors don’t have many options for worn-out sails other than throwing them away. “So many hold onto them,” says Haughwouth, “because they carry an emotional tie. Who owned it before? Where has it been...

Circling earth at more than 17,000 miles an hour, the International Space Station is a fleeting target

  Sharp eyes and a clear view of the west horizon will reveal an ever-so-thin crescent moon emerging from the sun’s glare Friday just after sunset at 8:11. But you’ll also need good timing, as this nascent moon, just a day from new, dips beneath the horizon within 30 minutes of the sun.  Sunset the next night is a minute later, and it reveals the moon 15 degrees higher. Above and to the left shines dazzling Venus. Sunday, the moon and Venus are still only six degrees apart...

Reviewer turns actor in Mrs. California

  It looks a lot easier from the audience.That’s one thing I’ve learned by returning to the stage after years on the reviewing end of community theater. Musical theater and opera were my first loves. Now I am captivated more by non-musicals, because I realize that actors who can’t lean on song and dance to sell their stories are the bravest performers of all. How would I fare, on stage, without my singing voice to pave my way? The opportunity to find out presented itself...

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  What the Mothers Thought Dear Bay Weekly: I can’t thank you and Mrs. Martin enough for allowing our class an opportunity to do this project [How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways: May 6]. So many parents emailed me about how wonderful they thought it was. Thanks again. –Kathleen Smith, Second Grade Teacher: Arnold Elementary - Celebrating London Town to the Tune of $25,000 Dear Bay Weekly: On behalf of the London Town Foundation, thank you for contributing to our third...

Doug Sisk can’t bear to see anything go to waste

  Doug Sisk can’t stand to see stuff — good, solid, reusable stuff — go into the landfill. He knows firsthand that just about anything can be made into something useful. It just takes creative thinking and handiwork. Like the 40-year-old deck on the circa-1960 ranch house the Sisk family had begun to remodel. “There was nothing wrong with the deck,” says Sisk. “The wood was clean. It wasn’t warped. It wasn’t full of insects. And the builder...

After 21 seasons, native-plant propagator Mary-Stuart Sierra prepares for one final harvest

  Mary-Stuart Sierra walks in peace among rows of potted plants. Shades of green envelop her, as if the plants are watching her watching them. She stops at a lead-root wildflower, an early spring bloomer, and pulls back the petals. She’s looking for the seed pouch, inspecting it for ripeness. “There is only a five-day span that these seeds are collectable,” she says. “Day one they are perfect and ready to be plucked, but by day five they’ve fallen and you have...

Southern Maryland gardens want native yellow river birch

  Arbor Day has just passed, and it’s the season of tree planting. At a recent lecture, one of the planters asked why she was having so much trouble growing white birch trees in her yard. She lamented that she had replaced three in 10 years. Where she came from, she said, white birch trees grew like weeds. I concluded that she came from either New England or from northern New York or Pennsylvania. White birch trees originate in regions of long, cold winters and moderate summers. In...

My unofficial readers’ poll takes you to the sunny side of the street

  What’s worrying you? Thirteen minutes ago, the biggest problem on my mind was on my tail, in the form of a dump truck a lot less than four truck-lengths behind my little car across the Rt. 2 bridge over the South River. Now at my desk, my worry has changed. My chest throbs with the weekly high-anxiety, high-adrenalin pressure of getting Bay Weekly to you. For the next 12 hours, I’ll be outrunning that worry. If it weren’t for sweating the small stuff, I’d be...

Sometimes it’s all ephemeral

  Sometimes, it seems, everything happens at once, and one is overwhelmed. Last week in Nashville there was too much rain, right now there is way too much oil in the Gulf and there is too much debt in Greece. A few months ago, right here in Maryland, we had too much snow and, more recently the pollen count was off the charts. If there is one thing that I want too much of it is springtime because it never lasts very long. Still, each year I hope for a slowly unfolding, drawn-out spring and...