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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Still time to escape in a good book

Here’s to one more summer of reading

Sweet fish swim in sweetwater

The everyday banalities of saving the world

Lesson 3: Jumpstart your garden with compost tea

Female blue crabs need our protection

It’s beginning to look like business as usual with the Chesapeake’s most treasured natural resource, the blue crab. Maryland is on course to resume the destructive harvest of female crabs, sooks, with its first official act upon the arrival of news that the crab population has at last begun to rebound. At the brink of species collapse two years ago, our crab population has shown a 60 percent increase in only two seasons after the first significant reduction of female harvest....
Dear Bay Weekly: Thanks for Ron Stein’s July 8 exclusive about Nolan Smith [ http://www.bayweekly.com/year10/issue_27/lead_1.html ] , the local basketball star at Duke University. Being a Maryland fan, I admit it was kind of hard reading about the success of someone who could have been a Terp if our recruiting was up to par. But Terps fans have gotten used to that. I really liked how the story began, reliving the final moments of the Duke-Butler NCAA final this year, which was one of...

The Choptank River piers named for him get you to where the big ones are

As Bay Weekly — which is also the name of the Albin 28 in which husband Bill Lambrecht and I fish and cruise — passed under the Choptank River Bridge and through the extended arms of the Bill Burton Fishing Piers, we saluted the Old Man of the Bay. But salty stories in his honor were interrupted by the shriek of an engine alarm. A clogged fuel filter sent us back to Cambridge.  Clearly, Bill Burton wanted to keep us around. Since Bill Burton’s death at 82 last August 10,...
Dear Bay Gardener: I have two trees in the front yard. I do not know what kind, but they are about eight feet high with trunks about a foot wide. The problem is the roots are growing above ground. One is growing along the driveway toward the house. Can I cut the roots without damaging the trees? –Tim Steeley: steeley@verizon.net   A I do not know of any trees that are only eight feet tall with trunks 12 inches in diameter. A tree can survive from having lost 50 percent of its roots....
July 2, North Beach: Red admiral butterflies are abundant in the yard. Some species of butterfly hatch multiple broods during a season. Red admirals have two or more broods in our region. One brood must have just hatched because so many are around. They are one of the widest-spread species on the planet. There is also plenty of Calvert County’s official insect, the zebra swallowtail, flying about. The weather is surprisingly cool, a nice break from the recent heat. But it is going to get...

Depends on how you define it

I am frequently asked if I am an organic gardener, based on my reputation for having been heavily involved in composting and compost utilization research since 1972. My answer is yes and no. The importance of organic matter in soils and the use of compost to improve and maintain soil productivity is not thoroughly appreciated. In my gardening practices, I use a combination of compost and chemical fertilizers and minimize restricted-use pesticides as much as I can. Based on my many years of...

Maryland chefs show you how to keep your cool when the mercury bubbles

It’s too hot to cook. Yet the heat that’s stewing us is sugaring the peach, sweetening the corn, swelling the crab.That’s summer’s dilemma. The heat that cooks fruits and vegetables — even Maryland seafood — to perfection is the same heat that’s stewing you. Nobody knows this better than the chefs whose joy and job torture them with the best raw materials when kitchens are hellishly hot. Except perhaps the farmers, condemned to reap in July what they...

Annapolitan Joel Machak’s Crash Test Dummies break into the Smithsonian

It was a very bright idea indeed that struck Annapolitan Joel Machak and then partner Jim Ferguson a quarter of a century ago. Struck is a key word here. For in that moment of brilliance, the two ad men created the Crash Test Dummies Vince & Larry. For the next 14 years, from 1985 to 1998, Vince & Larry struck and were struck by all sorts of dismembering objects in a variety of collisions so inventive it seemed to be drawn from Looney Tunes. All to keep you safer while driving.  In...

Grants from Maryland Heritage Areas Authority makes two groups flush (with cash)

It’s surprising the difference a bathroom makes. As Maryland Heritage Areas Authority divided its $2,617,146 of grant money between 55 projects, at least two projects in Anne Arundel and Calvert County got cash for bathroom upgrades.  At Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, executive director Linnell Bowen has long hoped to update the old Annapolis high school’s facilities. “We have the volume of people,” she said, “and we need to keep up.” The hard part...

Week 19: On the Road to Independence

A milestone has been reached. Junior is finally feeding himself. Now he can stuff himself with fish to his heart’s content and grow even faster. Here’s how it came about. After Oliver delivered the fish one morning, Olivia hunched over it and tore into it without feeding it to Junior. Then Olivia took off and flew circles and figure eights around the nest, swooping in close every once in a while. She was getting young Junior to feed himself of the pieces she had torn off, then to...