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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Our Daily Bread

In Baltimore, a Catholic Charity run hot meal program serving 700 meals daily. Plus an employment center. For the past ten years, the Lewis family of Clarksville has sponsored a fun polo match day to raise money for the center. To date, they had already raised over $450,000. This year’s event was the tenth and “final” match day, as they are retiring as hosts.

We were fortunate to win a tailgate pass at the silent auction last May, at the annual Wine in the Garden HC Conservancy fund raiser. The Lewis family had donated the pass.

I wish we had taken the opportunity to attend this amazing day in years past, as it was truly a special experience. One that almost transcends time.

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It’s fun to watch the players on their mounts, but it’s also fun to watch the spectators.

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We got to divot stomp. We met some really nice people. Got up close and personal with beautiful horses.

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Thanks to the Doetsch family who provides their field for the event. They live just across Rte. 32 from the Lewis family, who live on Ten Oaks Rd. The original site of the matches, before they outgrew the fields just off the Ten Oaks/Brighton Dam circle.

We took friends with us to tailgate.

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We wandered around to see the horses.

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We stomped divots at the break between matches.

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We brought local foods and wine to enjoy while watching.

I do hope they find some support to keep the traditional going. Thanks to Mary Agnes Lewis and her family for their long standing support of Our Daily Bread. As I understand, she has been volunteering in some form or another for more than 30 years.

She is truly a wonderful Howard Countian.

Twilight Hiking for the Family

Out on the Howard County Conservancy trails at Mt. Pleasant. Friday night, 5-7 pm.

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This is the description from the web site.

“Walk through the meadow and along the stream to the woodland campfire ring. Listen to the birds singing at dusk. Gather around the crackling fire and hear legend-stories about the Equinox, sing old-time songs, roast marshmallows, and enjoy s’mores. Hike back in time to watch the sun set over horizon –exactly due west – and hear other interesting astronomical facts about the Fall Equinox.”

You can look for milkweed.

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Or maybe check out all the walnuts that have fallen from the trees along the trail.

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Pre-register if you can, so we know how much food to buy and how many volunteers we may need.

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Loving the fact that we are well into my favorite season around here.

Addicted To Kiwiberries

Every fall when these little berries show up in our fruit share, I marvel at just how good they are.

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Kiwiberries from Kiwiberry Organics, in PA. What amazes me on their web site is the nutritional information for these berries.

Besides their high quantities of vitamins and minerals, they just taste great.

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I like just snacking on them or putting them in salads, but I have been tempted to make jam from them. Or to create a berry nectar to freeze and use all winter. The problem I have is keeping enough of them around to do those things.

According to the web site, you can find them at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I have never seen them.

We get them three or four times in our CSA fruit share. In fact, we are getting them again this Tuesday.

They supposedly like the weather around here and the farm in PA grows the largest amount in the world, according to their information. I do know we could buy plants and try to grow them ourselves. I may just do that next year. They would be a welcome addition to my garden.

Never A Dull Moment

After all, where else can you find the Air Force Thunderbirds practicing in your back yard? Besides at their home base, that is.

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This was the second pass over the house that I saw. The first one, I didn’t have the camera. They are performing this weekend at Andrews Air Force Base.

I gather they come up here to get out of the National and Dulles air space. We are a bit west of the BWI air space too. This is the second evening they have been here. I heard them last night but didn’t know until later when I checked Facebook that it was the Thunderbirds.

I also got a good shot of the final formation as they were heading back to the base.

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I’m not sure how many people can stand in their yard and watch this. Just another night in West Howard County.

Agritourism

Some of my favorite fall activities on the local farm scene.

The farms in this area have created many opportunities for people to enjoy the properties, pick some fruit, go on hayrides or get lost in a corn maze.

You can’t go wrong picking these events. There’s something to do most weekends.

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Right now.

Clark’s is always open. They even have dinosaurs, I hear, to go along with the Enchanted Forest attractions in the pine tree trails. So many things to do there, and really close to town.

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Larriland is open for pick your own, has a straw maze for the little ones, and has hayrides to the pumpkin patch.

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Gaver Farm just west of Mt. Airy is already open with their corn maze.

Starting next week.

Mullinix Maze opens next Friday the 25th with their huge corn maze, out by Western Regional Park.

Farm Heritage Days at the Farm Museum across from the Fairgrounds is next weekend.

Sharp’s Farm opens next weekend, too.

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In October.

TLV Tree Farm in Glenelg has something different every weekend out at the farm.

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Baugher’s in Westminster has their fall festival events every weekend in October, as well.

Good to see so many choices to get out, pick apples or pumpkins, go on hayrides, check out a petting zoo, or two, or three.

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Support our local farms, who offer much more than the farmer’s markets. These agritourism events help their bottom line, and keep them healthy to be there every year, giving us fresh fruit and vegetables.

Opportunities and Adjustments

Fall is coming. I wore a jacket this morning when I headed up to the post office and to Jenny’s to get a few things. The tomato plants are dying off. The garden is pretty much over and done with, except for the garden salsa pepper plant that keeps on giving.

The farmer’s markets will wind down in the next 4-6 weeks. Most Community Supported Agriculture programs are coming to the end of the season.

It’s time for me to adjust what I get, in order to keep fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese coming into the house.

For those looking to find a source once the markets close down, I have found my two choices work well for us. They appeal to me because I can tailor them. Adjust the sizes.

Friends and Farms is year round seasonal. They have a few promotions going right now. Like a sample “Quick and Easy” basket, as well as the choice to buy a sample of any of their other options.

We have been getting the protein and dairy option, since I love my CSA with its “off the beaten path” weird veggies. I don’t want the same eight items rotated through the house. I like the diversity. But, protein and dairy gives us the right portions and allows us to get our veggies elsewhere.

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Local meats. Made here in Maryland. If you notice the absence of dairy, it’s because I don’t drink milk, so I chose the option of a “surprise me” vegetable as a substitute. We do get cheese once a month on this plan.

As for Lancaster Farm Fresh, they continue to refine their product to make it as flexible as they can. For fall, two vegetable share sizes. Options for meat, cheese, eggs, bread, chicken and fruit.

I like getting fresh fruit and vegetables before the holidays. Like our Thanksgiving basket.

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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes. This was a medium share. Perfect for a couple that likes vegetables, or a family with little ones. Now, that nine pound squash? If I had children or grandchildren, it would have made a huge amount of baby food. As it was, I used it in a number of ways.

This fall, I am returning to a large basket, and adding cheese, bread and fruit.

Now that I know I can get chicken and other meats from Carroll Farm to Table when I need something, I don’t need the meat share from the CSA. Right now, the CSA and Friends and Farms keep us in just about the correct amount of protein to make 5-6 meals a week.

We have adjusted here though. We were getting more ground beef than I am used to cooking. I’ve been creative. I’ve been traditional. I made meat loaf. I made lasagna. I use the crock pot at least once a week. But, we still aren’t huge ground beef eaters, so I will be eliminating one source of that.

The freezer is full. The CSA and Friends and Farms adjusted for fall. I am ready for the change in seasons.

Topping The Tower

We had to do this today. I headed off to Kendall’s to find the biggest flag I could get.

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We both worked in DC in 2001. Him at L’Enfant Plaza. Me at the Navy Yard. Watching the smoke from the Pentagon. Not able to communicate because the phone lines were swamped. We got home hours apart, and wondered if things would ever be the same.

No planes in the skies, except for fighter jets scrambling over our homes, as we lived less than 25 miles from downtown DC.

We won’t ever forget. It was only fitting today to top the tower we built, with the biggest flag we could find.

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Getting there step by step. Foot by foot. Now, to add antennas, cables and finish the ground rods.

But today, just a simple gesture. Remembering our colleagues who lost their lives 14 years ago.

#neverforget