A Serious Warning from Horn Point Lab: Director Mike Roman Talks of Climate and Sea Levels

Yesterday afternoon, the President of the United States travelled to the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in Washington to sign a number of executive orders to gut his predecessor’s hallmark Clean Power Plan and nullifying many of this country’s climate change efforts, reviving its coal industry, and, as the New York Times pointed out this morning, “effectively cede American leadership in the international campaign to curb the dangerous heating of the planet.”

There could be no better backdrop to the Spy’s recent interview with Michael Roman, director of the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Laboratory,  who, in no uncertain terms, warns of the grave consequences of these anti-science actions and policies, which will have profound consequences for the entire Chesapeake Bay ecological system.

From this very candid and forthright interview with Mike, we learn first hand from one of the most respected research centers in the world of the devastating impact that would take place with President Trump’s new initiatives to seriously dilute, if not completely withdraw, America’s pledge to honor the historic 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than one quarter below 2005 levels by 2025. 

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about the Horn Point Laboratory and its mission please go here.

 

Welcome to the 21st Century Mid-Shore ​Health Care with Dr. Marc Zubrow

Approximately a year ago or so, there was a good bit of anxiety on the Mid-Shore about the plans of the region’s two major hospitals in Chestertown and Easton. In Chestertown, there was a growing fear that UM Regional Shore Health would eventually eliminate the existing hospital and replace it with an urgent/emergency care center. While in Easton there were increased concerns that Shore Health would abandon its plans for a new hospital.

Those community apprehensions turned out to be fortunately unfounded thanks to a combination of the politicians interceding to create a state study group on rural hospitals and a more stable economic climate which allowed for the advancement of a new hospital near the Easton Airport.

But one of the major takeaways of these two episodes was how profoundly attached communities are with their local hospitals. For a variety of reasons, including interest in patient comfort, proximity, and in some cases, mere nostalgia, residents were determined to fight to keep their local facilities alive and functioning.

The other takeaway, perhaps not as well noticed by many, was the increasing awareness that through advanced technology and efficiency, there is an emerging radically new way to provide health care in the 21st-century and is the growth of telemedicine.

The Spy, which has had an ongoing curiosity about the use of technology and how it may impact rural health delivery, was lucky enough to secure an interview with Marc Zubrow, Vice President, Telemedicine and Medical Director, eCare in charge of telemedicine for the entire University of Maryland Medical System. And in our interview, Dr. Zubrow makes a compelling case why this use of remote medical consultation will be dramatically improving patient care and outcomes regardless of location.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about UMMS and telemedicine please go here

Lost and Found by George Merrill

I can’t find my cell phone. I misplace keys. I’ve often thought that glasses, wallets, pens, pencils, books, bills, shopping lists and magazines grow legs and wander off. Or are poltergeists and ghoulies responsible? No, this propensity is not spook-driven or even age-related. Losing things is normal. It’s just that in that regard, I’m particularly normal. I’m always losing things. I recently found bittersweet comfort in Kathryn Schulz’s searching essay called Losing Streak appearing recently in the New Yorker. She suffers from this maddening aberration or . . . is it an aberration?

One visit to the west coast was especially unsettling for Ms. Schulz. She left her car keys on a table following a visit to a coffee house. Leaving home the next day she’d left her house key in the front door. Leaving a café, she realizes on her way home that her long sleeve shirt was still on the back of a chair where she’d placed it. Returning to reclaim it she learns she also left her wallet at the same table. She parked her truck. When she went to get it she couldn’t find it for an hour or so. She assures us that this is a family trait and she’s inherited it. Writer Schulz’s sister is a cognitive scientist at M.I.T. Schulz describes her as “the most scatterbrained person I ever met.”

I cannot recall the passwords for computer sites that I have scrupulously fashioned from personal data that I am sure will make them easy for me to remember. I find Ms. Schulz sympathetic on this point. She likens computer passwords to the socks in a washing machine; when we go to retrieve them, they’re never there.

Being scatterbrained is often cited as the cause for misplacing things, like not paying adequate attention to what we’re about. I rate high on that score. Through my school years I was a notorious daydreamer and a lot of what people call the ‘real world’ slipped by me unnoticed. It’s terribly annoying to lose and misplace things, and I am twice bedeviled because what I’ve just lost is often right there in front of me. Ms. Schulz says there exists a rule that claims what you’ve lost is typically within an eighteen inch radius around you when you first become aware of the loss. For me, the rule has proved spot on.

Psychoanalysts have a field day with patients who misplace or lose things. They immediately want to examine such selective amnesia as they believe it may be informed by darker motives, some as simple as you don’t like what you’ve lost or have a conflicted feeling about it. My experience with that is different; those people whom I dislike or incidents in which I’d been involved that still make me cringe remain only too available to my recollection. I’d count it a blessing if I could just lose them.

I once had my mother’s old typewriter from secretarial school. Over successive moves it was lost. I was sentimentally attached to it and grieved the loss. But in this kind of loss there remained the possibility that, if not within an eighteen-inch radius, someday I might find it somewhere. The hope of reclaiming it never wholly went away and I lived in a vague hope of its return. I think antique shops and early attic stores appeal to this tendency.

But there are losses and there are losses.

Judith Viorst, in her book, Necessary Losses, writes: “For the road to human development is paved with renunciation. Throughout our life we grow by giving up.” It’s a hard saying, but one I know is true; that we lose is not an aberration, at all. It’s because we have things to lose. We were born to die, and whatever we have gained in the interim we will eventually have to surrender. It’s one of life’s realities we resist the most, usually by denial.

I recall vividly after my father’s death. I refused to accept it. He’d returned from the War in Europe in 1945 and suddenly died shortly thereafter. I remember feeling desolate and I began weaving a tale to myself. He was actually working for Army Intelligence, I told myself. In order to engage in a special mission he was ordered to feign his death to carry it out in secret. When he’d successfully accomplished the mission, he’d appear and things would return to what they had been before. I clung to that hope for a long time. I gave it up when I couldn’t fit into his old army jacket anymore.

As a hospice chaplain years ago the following was perhaps the most heartrending story of the many I heard from mourners suffering the loss of a spouse. It would go something like this: “I’d get home, open the door, walk into the kitchen and think of all the things I couldn’t wait to tell him. Then I’d remember he was not there any more.”
Photographs may be all that is left of lost loved on. They are often kept visible to see and also so that they can’t be lost. We don’t find what’s lost in a photograph, but we can take comfort in the stories they recall.

It is given to us as human beings to suffer losses. Is there any redeeming thought in all that? I think Ms. Schulz put it as well as anyone can. Our losses remain “a kind of external conscience, urging us to make better use of our finite days.” How then are we to live? The past is gone, the future uncertain. All we have for certain is now and our task is to live each and every now as consciously and fully as possible.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist. A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio.

Food Friday: The Siren Song of Seeds

Seed packets are tiny perfect jewels of graphic design. On the front there is a romanticized illustration of a freakishly perfect tomato; it is round and looks sun-warmed. So unlike the cardboard tomatoes we have been buying all winter at the grocery store. On the back there are instructions about sowing the seeds after all danger of frost has passed. I can tell you that those frosts are still a danger. I have lost four geraniums to my misguided enthusiasm, and belief that spring is right around the corner. I am ready to hang up the turtlenecks, and get out in the garden.

I have been waiting all winter for this – I admit it. I have been thumbing through seed catalogues and feverishly imagining my new and improved sunny, raised garden bed, fecund and lush and spilling over with cukes, and beans, and sun-warmed tomatoes. I have been thinking about all those tender, fresh, aromatic herbs that I will manage to coax along this year. I have picturthe the extra little flourish and the modest bow I will take when I humbly present our salad greens at the Fourth of July picnic. Envisioning how I will please, delight, and amaze Mr. Friday when I whip out a fresh, homegrown shallot for the salad dressing. I am still considering how I will take revenge on the idiot neighbor who mows his lawn on Sunday mornings – zucchini is the perfect passive/aggressive payback.

So let’s get hopping! These tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cabbage, beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, and radishes will not plant, water or weed themselves!

It’s time for a little elbow grease action – which is much more healthier than hot yoga. But don’t get so enchanted by the beauteousness of the seed packets to take on more than you can chew. Buy a few easy veggies, and a couple of happy flowers. Marigolds or nasturtiums go well in both a vegetable garden, and in the salad bowl.

I have learned over the years with my sandy back yard, and my short attention span, that I am easily distracted and disappointed. Now I keep my exposure to a minimum. I am happiest (and most successful) with a little container garden. I have fresh herbs and I do a couple of tomato plants every year. I am upping our game with a couple of blueberry bushes I have planted in the ground. We now have a blueberry farm. Maybe if I remember to water every day they will have a real shot at making it to the table.

I had a successful little run with lettuce a couple of years ago. We had a few awfully fresh salads. I doubt if it was very cost effective to wrangle my own little Bibb lettuces, but it felt so good to wander outside with the kitchen shears, and judiciously snip a leaf here, another leaf there, and know the salad was good and fresh, and I was leaving modest carbon foot print. Obviously I do not factor in the air pollution generated from multiple trips to the garden center…

If you do not feel not up to the responsibilities of growing your own vegetable garden this season, now that the snow has melted, and the daffodils are popping up every where, please think about supporting your local farmers at farmers’ markets and farm stands and CSAs. They were cool (and essential) long before Brooklyn and all its mustachioed, plaid-sporting, artisan, organic, heirloom, microcosmically hip farmers, soap makers, tanners, butchers, chicken farmers, bakers and baristas. We like homemade and all the virtues associated with it.

It is oh, so very pleasant to wander outside in your jim-jams on a summer morning, pausing to watch the sun rise, while munching meditatively on a dewy green bean that you have just twisted off a vine, before you ever have a cup of coffee or read the newspaper. Instagram cannot replicate that real delight. Honest.

http://www.almanac.com/vegetable-garden-planning-for-beginners

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-make-vinaigrette-1415996135

“From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens:
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind’s eye.”
– Katharine S. White

Mid-Shore Arts: Kevin Garber and His Birds

Kevin Garber’s road to the Eastern Shore, like many artists, was not a direct one. A native of Pennsylvania, Kevin headed west rather than stay on the East Coast to pursue his career in the fine arts, and eventually became a professor of printmaking and drawing at Washington University in St. Louis. And in that capacity, he was part of the famed Island Press, perhaps the most highly respected printmaking workshop in the country.

During that time, Garber was at the forefront of some of the innovative printing techniques that pushed printmaking into the high ranks of contemporary visual arts in the 1980s and 1990s. Working alongside such renowned American artists as Nick Cave, Tom Friedman, Willie Cole, and Ann Hamilton, Kevin devoted most of his energy to the workshop and his students and put on hold his lifelong passion for drawing and painting birds.

But after decades in St. Louis, Kevin, and his wife, Kathy Bosin, made the difficult decision to return to the Mid-Atlantic to be closer to aging parents in 2008. And with that move, Kevin finally returned to his first love of capturing birds on canvas.

The results of that return can now be seen at the Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery in Easton this month. From large scale watercolor monoprints to tiny renderings of birds from around the world, Garber practices his drawing skills and mark-making with these simple shapes to indicate a more complex view of the natural world.

The Spy spent a few minutes with Kevin at the Bullitt House last week to talk about his birds and his return to painting.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. There will be an opening reception on Friday April 7 from 5-8 during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk. The Trippe-Hilderbrandt is located at 23 N Harrison Street. For more information, please go here 

Mid-Shore Education: Chesapeake College’s Clay Railey

Given Clay Railey’s resume, including a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt, a long teaching career at Chesapeake College, and more recently, being provost of Bucks County Community College, it was not a total surprise that he was appointed vice president of academic affairs of the Wye Mills community college in 2016.

But perhaps missing in that background was another experience that could be seen as a real asset for the job of stewarding the college’s educational goals. And that was the not too trivial fact that Dr. Railey had been a Jesuit priest for twenty years before his move into public education. And while the order’s renowned reputation for scholarship and intellectualism may have little day to day impact on Chesapeake College, there can be very little doubt the Railey remains true to the Jesuit mission of “cura personalis,” which is Latin for “care for the whole person.”

From students moving forward with workforce career training to those on a traditional liberal arts academic track, Clay Railey is redesigning Chesapeake College’s approach with that “whole person” in mind.

In our first Spy interview with Clay, he talks about some of those redesign plans and programs that significantly expand Chesapeake College’s special mission of training the Mid-Shore adults for 21st Century jobs and opportunities.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake College please go here

 

Meet Robbie Schaefer, By Far Talbot County’s Most Popular Musician — at Easton Elementary-Moton

Students from four classes at Easton Elementary School gave tribute to musician Robbie Schaefer, who has been introducing them to writing their own music for the last four years. Schaefer, through his program ONEVoice, also gave some of the students an opportunity to do a joint project with children suffering through the Syrian refugee crisis.

The entire program is part of The Avalon Foundation’s Outreach to area school students through the support of the Dock Street Foundation.​​​​The students and Principal Redman had a special message and presentation of a plaque for Schaefer, who is also the creative force behind the successful, alternative music act, Eddie from Ohio. “Dear Robbie,” the plaque reads, “On behalf of the staff and students at Easton Elementary-Moton, I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The work that you have done and the work that you continue to do encourages all of us to help make this world a better place for all, regardless of race, religion or relative location of this Earth.”​​​​​​​​The plaque for Schaefer further reads, “We have been blessed to have you work with our children at Easton Elementary-Moton for several years now.

Each time you come, I see the eyes of our children light up with pride, hope and love—the pride that comes from ‘writing a song with Robbie Schaefer!’—the hope that one day all of our communities will be united and able to speak with One Voice on behalf of all of humanity, and—the love that comes from your positive energy. It is contagious, and we are so fortunate that we get to welcome you home each year. We hope that you enjoy your time here as much as we look forward to having you!”

Last year Schaefer visited a Syrian Refugee camp in Greece and carried a special message from Easton Elementary halfway around the world with him. “It gave the school kids here an opportunity to send a message, to people their own age in another part of the world, that they were thinking of them and worried for them, loved them and hoped they were safe,” said Suzy Moore of The Avalon Foundation’s Outreach Program. On his visit to Greece, Schaefer took two puzzle pieces with him, one of which the students in Easton had colored, and the second was colored by the refugee children. When he came back with the colored pieces from Greece, the students here and children there shared in the message that we are all one. ​​​​​​​​​​Schaefer’s teaching sessions start with him saying, “Songs can come from your imagination, where you make them up, or they can come from something you have experienced in real life.” In the classroom setting, Schaefer meticulously mines the minds of the students to get whatever sounds and lyrics are in their heads, and creates songs complete with verses and choruses that the children make up entirely by themselves. In this way, music, creativity, and the positive effects on the students are magnified. The students’ tunes include characters such as two best friend giraffes, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and subjects like human nature and the importance of realizing that we are all different in our own special ways.​​​​​​​​​​

“Our 5th grade class wanted to let Robbie know how much his commitment to being a good person meant to them, because they will be graduating to Middle School next year and will leave this particular program behind,” said Ms. Heather Orr, teacher at EES- Moton. “He really has a special connection with the children and they love the classroom work they do with him. And then comes the opportunity to perform both in front of their peers and their families on The Avalon Theatre stage. It is an especially rewarding program that has fully blossomed over the last four years.”​​​​The plaque borrowed words from one of Schaefer’s own songs that the children also learned and concluded. “ ‘You were born with endless love inside you; the whole world is calling your name. Everyone’s singing ‘Hallelujah’; everybody rides on the Miracle Train. You are powerful beyond imagination; you are made of indelible light. Who is going to change this world for the better? You just might.’ Well, no truer words have been spoken when it comes to describing you. We are all here to tell you that YOU Are Beautiful, and that you have absolutely changed this world for the better. Thank you for spreading your love every single day!”​​

More information on The Avalon Foundation and its programming, including their Outreach program is available online at avalonfoundation.org or by calling and talking directly to Jess Bellis or Suzy Moore at 410-822-7299.

Got A Attitude by George Merrill

Some years ago my wife and returned from Baltimore after visiting children. The traffic downtown was stop and go. We’d frequently be stalled. We wound up next to a car in which two young people were arguing about something. Finally one turned to the other and yelled loudly enough for us to hear: “You know what your problem is? You got a attitude.”

I think of attitude as a kind of atmospheric mist. We exude it. It surrounds us in the way mists hover over tidewater on fall mornings. Some call it an aura, others a spirit and still others, attitude. Writers call it a voice. It influences how we do things, as we negotiate life’s challenges. The quality of the aura or attitude contributes to creating a tone. Attitudes encourage one mood or another, say, of antagonism or conciliation, sympathy or contempt. Attitudes can hinder or facilitate cooperation. As a result of the incident in Baltimore, my wife and I created a functional buzzword to use when we get testy with one another. Then, one of us is sure to say, “You got a attitude.”

I think of “a attitude” as something distinctively acerbic and hostile. There are, however, all kinds of attitudes. It’s worth noting that for airplane pilots, as well as for many people, having the right attitude is matter of life and death. An ADI, an airplane instrument, or ‘attitude directional indicator,’ communicates to the pilot whether his plane has the proper attitude i.e., its correct position with reference to the horizon. On that score, pilots learn not to trust their instincts where attitude is concerned. If they do, they’ll develop a bad attitude, never know it, and ditch the plane.

Our daughter’s adolescence was prickly. She appeared one day in the living room looking especially defiant. She sported a T-shirt with “I Love My Attitude” prominently inscribed on it. She was making her point with what I would describe as “a attitude.” If only there had been ADI for teens. After a number of near crashes, in a year or so, she lost it; her attitude I mean.

Author and business consultant Steven Corey wrote a book. He noticed the habits of especially effective people. In particular, he identified attitudes, if you will, by which you and I approach our tasks. He calls one attitude, the scarcity mentality, the other, the abundance mentality. They shape personal inclinations and determine the actions that proceed from the mindset.

Covey believes most of us operate from a scarcity mentality. It’s an attitude toward life that insists there is only so much to go around. What you gain will necessarily deprive others. The scarcity mindset believes there will never be enough. Whether it’s money, food, emotions or something else entirely there’s always too little. We look at life from what we lack rather than what we have. It’s an anxious attitude that sees others as adversaries. The mindset breeds a climate of mistrust and it’s difficult to achieve cooperation.

An abundance mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner feeling of personal worth and security. It cultivates the sense that affirms the plenty available, how there’s enough to spare for everybody if we pull together. This attitude results in sharing of resources, prestige, recognition, profits, and decision-making. It opens up new possibilities while taking pleasure in the successes of others.

There are two highly visible world leaders today. They’re intent on addressing current inequities and deprivations – although not exactly the same ones. These men are regarded as rebels by their constituencies and both boldly challenge the status quo of their respective historic institutions. Donald Trump, a political rebel, addresses his tasks from a scarcity mentality. Pope Francis, a spiritual rebel, proceeds from a mentality of abundance. The former betrays “a attitude,” that there’s not enough and winners must grab what they can. The latter’s attitude is one of hope; there’s plenty, but we must learn to share it with others.

Trump’s public declarations are typically ominous and reflect his scarcity mentality. He scolds, warns and reminds us of the failure of our institutions, the catastrophes wrought by the previous administration, our ineffective policies and the inept public officials serving the country before his tenure. There are Muslims behind every tree ready to take what’s ours. In short, his pitch is that it’s a disgraceful country in a dog-eat-dog world but he’ll fix it.

In a striking move that was no less radical than John XXIII’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris, Pope Francis went over the heads of church traditionalists, when be began carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty. It made him a figure of unmatched global popularity. It touched the hearts of many, but offended others.

Pope’s vision of sharing abundance, caring for the earth, and bringing justice the poor, is considered by some Catholics (both lay and cleric) to be a betrayal of the West’s traditional Judeo-Christian values. There are politicians that believe that the pope is “seriously misguided” and is a “socialist.” It’s odd that informed people might regard Francis’ teaching as misguided. It’s the essence of Judeo Christian spirituality – although admittedly not always its practice. From the beginning, compassion and generosity have been a hard sell but thankfully never wholly forgotten.

What are we to make of it?

It’s about attitude. To approach the needs of our world with “a attitude,” polarizes and limits possibilities. We become mostly fearful and defensive. If we can alter our present course and its attitude of scarcity to one of abundance, new possibilities will open up naturally.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist.  A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio.

Food Friday: A Flock of Muffins

Sitting in a corner of the living room is a large cardboard box from Burpee Gardens, which contains elements of my fantasy summer life: two hydrangea plants, two wisteria plants, and two teeny, tiny blueberry bushes. They arrived last week, back when we thought we were hurtling into spring, flip flops and lemonade on the porch. Brrr.

It’s too early to set them outside right now. I hope next week, when I feel pretty sure that the danger of frost has passed, I’ll unpack them. In the meantime I murmur warm assurances to them as I pass by. “Soon! Soon you will all be knee-deep in rich soil, reaching up to the warm sun, burgeoning with fruit and blooms galore!”

The blueberries are the real experiment. I have never tried to grow berries before. I think it is too early to worry about rabbits and deer, but our back yard is a veritable United Nations of birds.

The round of robins enjoy some crazy rain dances in and around the holly bushes. I have watched the many robins sitting on branches that are already heavy with holly berries and rain, unconcerned that they are the only birds outside in a deluge, as they drunkenly nosh on the gleaming red berries. Sometimes I have watched the birds fall to the ground, only to see them then spring straight up in the air to grab at some more berries from the low hanging branches. Awkwardness and determination have never been so adorable.

An echo of scolding mockingbirds also spends time in the holly bushes. Luke the wonder dog does not avail himself of those bushes. He doesn’t like to getting dive-bombed as he patrols on his doggie missions. Although there are some squirrelly boys who like to hang around an nearby oak tree, tempting him with their rodent wiles…

In the back corner of the yard, tucked up in ivy trailing along a brick wall, a jar of nuthatches call out with their raspy, click-click-clicking sound of veiled threats. I’m sure if Luke ever saw how tiny they were he wouldn’t give them a second glance, but they sound like large machinery ratcheting back before a putsch. They might even have their beady little eyes on our blueberry potential.

Along the neighbor’s wall we have seen a few berry-eating birds: thrushes, cedar waxwings, blue jays, woodpeckers, catbirds, bluebirds, and doves. While they wait for me to plant the blueberries they have finished harvesting the dogwood and the juniper berries. No wonder they are impatient for spring to begin.

Mr. Friday likes berries on his bowl of cereal most mornings. I doubt if we will be saving any money by planting our own blueberry bushes, but as part of my summer fantasy, I will wander out into the back yard, with a little basket in hand, and I will pick some blueberries for his breakfast. Just imagine me bathed in Disney-diffused light, with the friendly birds singing sweetly; me with flowing tresses and a trailing gown instead of my usual Andy Warhol-hair and comfy yoga pants glory.

I prefer my blueberries in muffins or pancakes, which are serious weekend food, because, as you know, Gentle Reader, I am not very likely to get up early to bake. But this could be my fantasy summer vacation, where I would be wont to trail around the kitchen in a leisurely, and dream-like, un-rushed fashion; lovingly cracking organic free-range eggs and sifting dry artisanal ingredients. Instead of the real-life workday, when I am grouchy and harried, and gnawing on a frozen bagel and swigging Diet Coke. No, the Fantasy Me will sip fragrant Lapsang souchong tea from a precious antique bone-china cup, while I peruse the Times of London, and I complete the crossword without a single tempting, cheating, go-ahead-and-look-it-up-on-Google thought – in ink.

The heat just roared on again. It’s time to get cracking. Bake some muffins this weekend, and let me know how your spring garden plans are shaping up!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/2868-jordan-marshs-blueberry-muffins

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/05/build-a-better-blueberry-muffin/

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”
-Wendell Berry

Maryland 3.0: Sprouts Starts to Take Over the Eastern Shore

Just so you know….perhaps one of the most significant “foodie” experiments in the country is taking place on the Mid-Shore.

A young couple, primarily trained in nutritional science and fitness, decide to escape the rat race of the Western Shore and relocate to Trappe to start a food delivery business dedicated to high quality prepared meals with locally sourced produce and meat.

The concept was simple. Rather than send clients the raw materials to make a nutritious meal (think Blue Apron), Sprout owners Ryan and Emily Groll would take it to the next level and actually cook the meals for its customers.

Sprout would do all the work. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack, Ryan and Emily identify local farmers within a 200-mile range that produce some of the most exquisite examples of fruit, vegetables, chicken, pork, or beef in the region to produce meals that could be left at your doorstep twice a week.

Fast-forward one year later Sprouts has become an increasingly important provider on the entire Eastern Shore as well is in Annapolis. With Ryan’s mother in Chestertown, the couple continues to seek a local partner to help as a delivery station, which they call a “Sproutlet,” but they hope to cover the entire Mid-Shore within the next two years.

The Spy spent some quality time with Ryan in his portable kitchen in Trappe to discuss the couple’s courage and conviction it took to start a business of this kind and their aspirations over the next few years.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Sprouts please go here