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Year Round Markets

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The end is nigh. The local farmer’s markets are almost finished. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a committed group that creates a year round market in Howard County? You know, a downtown market?

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I love the Silver Spring downtown market on Saturday mornings year round. They close a road to accommodate the vendors. Love Dove, one of our local farms heads down there to sell. According to the FreshFarm website, there are 36 vendors at the market.

I love the fact that local wineries show up on a regular basis. Multiple rotating vendors. I wish we could get a market started around here, maybe in Old Town EC, or down by the lake in Columbia, or Maple Lawn.

I have always been supportive of, and impressed by, the nonprofit group that started Olney. The group that continues to make it better. Luckily for us, they are only 10 miles down the road. This year, they are keeping the market by the hospital, and they are working to purchase tents to use in inclement weather. Their web site.

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For a few years, they moved the market to the Sandy Spring Museum. It wasn’t quite big enough and some vendors were outside, others shoe horned into the building.

I like the Sunday morning market concept. Come have breakfast. Shop a little. Browse a little. Pick up some fresh food and a few staples from local purveyors.

The mother of all Sunday morning markets is DuPont Circle in DC. Honestly. 40-50 vendors. One of my favorites. Next step produce.

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One of the reasons. They are a local farm growing grains. Many grains.

The other market in the mix. Takoma Park. Also Sunday mornings.

Really. We need to figure out how to do this. We have the local farms and vendors. We have some high density areas. It’s not bad to drive 10 miles to Olney but EC is closer.

Planning Ahead?

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Just a couple of really interesting programs are coming up next weekend over at the Howard County Conservancy Mt. Pleasant site. Followed by one of the very popular meteor shower watches on the following Tuesday. Here are the details for those planning their weekends in advance.

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Spotting Wildlife in Winter – Saturday morning the 14th at 10am. For the hikers, photographers, and nature lovers who want to learn how to see more during the winter, Frank Marsden is leading a hike through the fields, woods and along the stream out at Mt. Pleasant. Frank has been taking amazing pictures out at Eden Mill Nature Center in Harford County. He is coming into our woods to show us what to look for, and how to increase our chances of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.

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Then, on Sunday, another very special program. Do you know where Patterson Park is? Have you ever heard of Miracle Pond? Middleton Evans had made over 600 trips to this pond in a wildly overgrown section of the park. His visits, and his amazing photographs, span 15 years. He is giving a presentation in the Gudelsky Center at 4pm on the 15th of November. It should be something special.

Planning to check out the Leonids? Want to do it with some of our talented astronomical experts, like Star Doc (Dr. Joel Goodman) and Dr. Alex Storrs from Towson University? They will be bringing high powered scopes, but on a dark night like the 17th, you should be able to sit back in a lawn chair, bundled up against the cool weather, sipping some hot chocolate while looking for meteors shooting across the skies. This is always a popular event, with many attendees. Sometimes we’ve had over a 100 people out there. They will be there from 10pm until the wee hours of the morning.

This trio of programs should give us a few good reasons to “Get Out There”. Details on the Conservancy web site, under upcoming events.


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Yes, I have to admit, I miss all the great local food scene trivia, and all the comments that we were used to getting from HOWCHOW’s blog. I know he is busy, with a toddler and yet, I still miss those informative posts that gave us so much information about our local restaurants, markets and stores.

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When I started my blog, he helped me. He linked to a number of posts I wrote. I wrote a couple of guest columns for him. He was the “GO TO” place to read about bakeries, butchers, ethnic groceries and so much more.

Maybe if we all ask nice, we can get him to post a simple post, once a week, asking for comments and input about the latest in the Howard County food scene.

It would certainly help us feel like we have something that focuses on us out here in the boonies.

For me, he introduced me to Ananda, and I love it. H Mart. Larriland. Town Grill. And more.

Come back, HOWCHOW, if only for a quick word or so.

After all, you helped us greet Wegmans with that Facebook page.

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There’s so much happening here in Howard County. We are missing a good source for insider information. Not asking for tons of reviews, just a quick “drive by” post that we can comment on. You know you are greatly appreciated out here.

Four More Years?

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It’s hard to believe four years have passed since I first started this blog. I was reminded of it this morning when Facebook showed me my memories. The last three “blogaversary” posts. Looking back at them, I noticed somewhat of an evolution.

The first year in.

I was talking about cooking and gardening and amateur radio, and life out here. Hasn’t changed much, has it? We had just weathered a near miss from Hurricane Sandy, who inconvenienced us while barreling up the coast. One of my goals back then was to become a year round locavore. I think I accomplished that one.

Moving on to that second anniversary.

Talk of blogging parties, and pick your own fruit and vegetables. Still engaged in the local scene. Still loving retirement out here.

Last year, the third one done.

Crediting those inspirational bloggers. Like howchow and Kitchen Scribble. Promoting the events where I still volunteer.

I miss the frequent posts from HOWCHOW. His toddler is keeping him busy. Almost too busy to go places as much as he used to do. We haven’t found anyone as prolific as he was when I started blogging. He helped me grow my following.

Where will my blog be going? Nowhere far away, yet. I still like to write, although not as often as I did in the beginning. I like the current frequency. Almost a balance. No burning need to post daily. I still haven’t accepted advertising, and never will. Those businesses that I talk about here on the blog, don’t give me anything and that’s how I like it.

So, what is ahead for me? Still gardening, cooking, traveling around the area. Reading and writing. Visiting friends. I have started messing around in, while cleaning out all the old papers from our families. Something new and interesting to keep us from getting boring in our old age.

Here’s to many more brilliant sunrises and sunsets. And at least four more years of blogging.

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Talking Turkey

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Yes, it’s time to order that Thanksgiving turkey.

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We have all sorts of options around here. I can order directly from Maple Lawn Farms. If I want to pay by cash or check, and stand in line a very long time. I can get a free range bird for around $2.50 a pound.

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I can pick one up at other sites, like Boarman’s or MOM’s or David’s or Roots or Whole Foods. I will pay more at these places but they do take credit and debit cards.

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Whole Foods will also sell you all the fixings. Easier than DIY, but pricey.

As for other options, there are restaurants open for dinner. Check out Richard Gorelick’s new blog, with a list of places that are open in the area. I did leave a comment that The King’s Contrivance is also open.

Other sources. Friends and Farms, just slightly more expensive than Maple Lawn. Lancaster Farm Fresh, my CSA, is offering organic turkeys but they are closer to $5 a pound. I will probably get mine from Boarman’s like I always do.

I will also head over to Maple Lawn between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To get some drumsticks for the freezer. Maybe a smoked turkey breast this year for our Christmas buffet here. You can pre-order all of these items.

Somehow the holidays are sneaking up on us. Even though the weather is still really nice.

The End of the Season

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Markets are finishing. Larriland is closing this weekend. So is Jenny’s. For me, this final weekend in October marks the end of the fresh food season until spring.

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Unless you can find year round markets, or CSAs, or a regional food source to keep you going.

We are lucky. Our CSA got enough members to extend our season until Christmas. That means fresh vegetables for the next eight weeks.

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What is closing this week? Friday market at Howard County General Hospital. Saturday at Maple Lawn, Ellicott City and Glenwood.

Miller Library, Oakland Mills and East Columbia (closes November 12) will be open into mid November.

As for tips, if you can get to Larriland this weekend, their apples will store for a very long time in the refrigerator. We picked about 20 pounds last October and they keep for months. Pink Lady and Cortland will be available out at the farm.

Farm stands will still be open all winter. Like Carroll Farm to Table. By the way, they want your Jack O’Lanterns. To feed their pigs. Pigs love pumpkins. Drop them off at the stand on Frederick Road at Manor Lane.

Here’s to those great fall veggies, wherever you can find them.

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Nighttime Hiking

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What are you doing this Friday night? How about hiking under an almost full moon, with flashlights?

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Out at my favorite volunteer location, where I spend way too much time having fun (yes, tomorrow I get to chase first graders all over the property on a field trip about owls), this Friday at 7 PM, they are having a flashlight night hike for anyone interested in what is out there in the dark. As an aside, how is that for an epic run on sentence?

What can we see in the dark? What can we hear? If you really want to have a great beginning to your Halloween weekend, go to the web site and guarantee a place. Howard County Conservancy. Mt. Pleasant. Woodstock. If you haven’t been there, you are really missing something. Worth the time to check it out. Your family will love you for it.


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