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Category Archives: Howard County

Weekend Event Overload

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The third weekend in May. Here in Maryland you can drown in events this weekend.

Some of my personal favorites this weekend. I’m not doing any of the traditional ones like the Preakness or Wine in the Woods or the Hot Air Balloon Festival, but I certainly don’t lack for places to go.

For me, a highlight I am doing. Sunday. In Ellicott City.

Rocks, Rivers and Railroads

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Led by my good friend Ned Tillman, author of Saving the Places We Love.

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Tomorrow I am torn between heading over to Belmont to see what the surveyors found under the ground on the site, at the regularly scheduled third Saturday at Belmont free event, 10 am. Howard County Conservancy web site has details. While you are on the web site, you can take advantage of the last weekend for discounted tickets to Wine in the Garden/Beer in the Barn, the annual fundraiser for the Conservancy. We’ll be there too, but that event is a few weeks away.

The other thing I want to do tomorrow? Check out the newly improved Glenwood Community Farmers Market. I missed opening day last weekend while I was working a Conservancy event, but I really want to get the herbs and flowers for my garden from Greenway Farms.

I also intend to head over to Mt. Ida for the Howard County Historical Society’s “Deja Vu and Nearly New” Sale. This is held Saturday and Sunday.

A new event, out by me. Over at the Living Farm Heritage Museum, across from the Fairgrounds. They have a Car Show Sunday.

The Howard County Tourism site has a good calendar, and so does TotallyHoCo. You can always find something to do using these two resources. Have a great weekend.

Tea ‘N Scones

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For Mother’s Day. This Saturday. A trip through the gardens surrounding the Conservancy Farm, with all the gardeners to show off their handiwork.

It may not be a proper cuppa, but still. This event, in its third year, keeps getting bigger.

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The flowers are in full bloom all over the gardens. Master gardeners will be there, helping you with your questions and selling some plants. The community gardeners will be there, talking about what we grow, and how.

Those clubs that maintain all the other lovely gardens surrounding the historic farm will also be there.

Come with mom. With friends. With your friend’s mom.

Here’s all the sites that are open.

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You can preregister online here.

I am baking scones. Two kinds. I am also hosting up at the community gardens. Talking mostly about our food bank plots.

The event starts at 10 am. If you are lucky you can watch the baby killdeer chase after momma and poppa.

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They hatched Tuesday and are now running all over the place.

See you maybe?

Jennys Is Open

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One of my favorite milestones in springtime. The opening of Jenny’s Market off Rte. 32 just north of us. Today the market opened. I borrowed a picture from their Facebook page. It shows every reason why I love them. They are a family business. One that cares about us, and that we care about.

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For me, this picture below from last May is the main reason they are a favorite place to shop.

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I can’t grow these items. No local farmers do, either. For me, having access to bananas, avocados, mangos, and citrus, without having to drive 20 miles round trip is a huge plus.

Today I picked up a couple of avocados and bananas. Some new red potatoes. It was just fun to go visit on opening day.

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They also have hanging baskets and seedlings. And, watermelon from Florida. I might be tempted to stop in for a watermelon this week. I have feta. I have mint. I can get limes at Jennys. Time to make one of these.

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Commitment

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For those of us who volunteer. Not just for a few hours. For the long haul. Those of us who dedicate dozens of hours, if not hundreds, in some cases.

Yesterday I saw three different groups at work. One, doing gardening. One, readying a food bank site. And one, helping influence our next generations, at an Extreme Weather conference for 9th graders.

I got to the Conservancy at 8AM. There were about a dozen of us supporting the 3rd annual weather conference. For 9th graders from four local high schools. I greeted a bus from Long Reach and then watched the Office of Emergency Management bring in their Command Center.

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While we were setting up, a half dozen volunteers arrived for the regularly scheduled Wednesday morning drop in gardening session. They were working on the herb gardens outside the historic farm buildings on the site.

We, at the time, all 12 of us volunteers, were getting ready to host the various stations that the students would visit. I got to moderate the Tree Maintenance station, manned by Bartlett Tree Service.

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They were giving a demonstration on how they take care of trees, those damaged by the weather, and those that are healthy, to protect them from high winds and other weather events.

Marty Adams and Victor Nakashima captured the interest of the students, with their stories, their information, and that climbing ability of Victor.

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They were impressed with the bucket truck, as well.

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Lots of fun questions. From fear of heights, to animal attacks, to foul weather gear, to what is an arborist, the students were engaged and interested.

After six hours there, I headed over to the Food Bank garden site. Where three volunteers were still planting spring plants in the newly tilled plots. They had been there since 10 am, when my husband came out to till the plots. The other volunteers, part of a core group that donates dozens of hours to food bank plot maintenance and harvest, were still hard at work.

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Today as I popped out to Sharps for a few things, I found that a food bank volunteer had been there picking out warm weather seedlings. Next week they will be planted. Our first harvest will be the end of May.

One day. Two dozen volunteers. I am so impressed with the commitment of my fellow Howard Countians, who donate their time tirelessly, doing what they love to do.

I’m working on recruiting Marty to be a subject matter expert at our May BioBlitz at Belmont. He would be such an asset with his knowledge of plants, trees and insects.

Have you made a commitment? Do you give some time or effort in areas that interest you?

Weather and Wool

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Tomorrow I am volunteering for the third extreme weather event held for Howard County High School Students. It should prove to be another fantastic event and I hope to get many pictures of the participants learning from all the amazing companies that give their time to expand the knowledge of our students.

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As usual, the Howard County Conservancy field trip managers have put together an exciting array of activities, demonstrations and speakers to present for this day long event.

A few days later, I intend to immerse myself into the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this Saturday and Sunday out at the Howard County Fairgrounds. I have never been around to take in the festival. One of the largest and best sheep and wool festivals in the USA and Canada.

Many farms in the area participate in this event. Like Breezy Willow , Catoctin Creek and Shepherds Manor Creamery.

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Medomak Retreat Center has a booth. I so want to spend a week there at one of their “summer camps” for adults.

Landreth Seeds will be there. I hope to find something rare from them.

And, Greenbridge Pottery. Another local favorite when it comes to looking for unique gifts.

That’s all I recognize in this year’s catalogue but I probably missed a few more local farms and vendors. This festival is huge so if you want to go, be prepared for very large crowds.

I do intend to check out the lamb cooking demonstration, and maybe make the Sunday Brunch. See you there?

Blue Bird Visits

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We tilled our community garden today. Time to get more vegetables in the ground. Tilling turns up bugs. That attracts the blue birds.

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First, they check everything out by perching on adjacent poles. This is the male. The female was too flighty to stay still long enough for me to photograph her. I didn’t have my good lens on the camera either, so no close ups.

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I also caught him on the ground grabbing whatever little critters he could.

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He had lots of territory that he could check out. When we left the two of them were flitting around and looking for more.

Tomorrow is the Earth Day celebration at the Howard County Conservancy. I will be up there with many of our gardeners. Finishing the early plantings. Buying some plants from the Master Gardener plant sale. Doing some basic maintenance on our pathways.

If you attend, even if you miss the 8 am bird walk, you are bound to see the blue birds. The hawks. The killdeer. And much more.

Rites of Spring

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Opening Day at Sharps Farm.

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They even have a new sign. The road wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is. There was a field trip there when I arrived. Ran into four people right off the bat that I know from gardening and farming. The greenhouse is the place to start.

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There were strawberries out front. And lots of plugs and pots inside.

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Plugs are 65 cents each, five cents less once you reach 24. Many pots as well.

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I came home with 36 plugs and a dozen pots. Mostly tomatoes. A few zucchini. Plus a new one. Mini-white cucumbers.

Many heirlooms. Like Goliath. Black Prince. Purple Cherokee. Yellow Brandywine. Sugar Lump. Box Car Willie. Pineapple.

A few standbys. Like yellow plum, plum dandy, supersweet 100s, sungold and Carolina gold.

The farm is open Tuesdays through Saturday, 9-6, and Sundays noon til 4. They also sell row cover and hoops at very good prices for those who want to protect plants from bugs or frost.

As I said, it is definitely spring when Sharps opens.

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