Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Kitchen Gardener Cook

Marcy Damon, Grassroots Restoration Coordinator & Buy Fresh Buy Local Chesapeake Coordinator-Chesapeake Bay Foundation, had a rewarding experience at our Buy Fresh Buy Local National Conference: “Rita and I had a great time in Va Beach with 75 other BFBLers), our panel presentation, A New Way to Grow: Linking Local Food, Farms, Communities and the Environment was well received and most of the questions were directed to us about the BFBL-environmental connections. As a newbie, I did a lot of listening to other folks who have done phenomenal work with farmers, communities, etc, so it was also inspirational. The hotel chef sourced 90% of the food locally (including skate or cow-nosed ray)- a first for him. He said he really appreciated the educational and networking experience.

Lessons learned from the National FoodRoutes 2010 Gathering ...

The Evolution of Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapters

Watersheds and Food sheds are intricately linked and thrive on a delicate ecological balance. This statement speaks volumes.

BFBL chapters appear to have an evolution (as is natural) which was evident within the lead umbrella-FoodRoutes-which is part of the Tides Center. Our managing umbrella is also looking at their  own evolution and where their initiatives have the greatest impact.

As a BFBL chapter-What is Sustainable? After 5 years fervently pushing to first, be part of the steering committee to form a Buy Fresh Buy Local Chesapeake chapter based completely on volunteers efforts, we discovered we were not sustainable. Each of us had to be dedicated to our income producing eco-affiliated jobs. The tasks of raising money and orchestrating public awareness events were draining us. We needed to evolve.


Farming and healthy food is now overlapping environmental agencies and land stewardship foundations. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Land Stewardship, Piedmont Environmental Council and Sierra Club all are sponsoring or hosting some of our Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters.

Farming and healthy food are now overlapping healthcare (FINALLY!). Some of our Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters have sponsorship from healthcare providers such as INOVA and Kaiser Permanate.

Twenty health care facilities in Maryland and DC are part of over 300 hospitals around the country that have signed Health Care Without Harm’s “Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge,” a commitment to gradually increase the amount of local and sustainably produced foods served to patients, staff, visitors and surrounding communities.

“We are beginning to see a tremendous change in health care institutions in Maryland and throughout the U.S.,” said Louise Mitchell, sustainable foods coordinator at Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E). “It’s not easy to modify systems that are feeding hundreds or thousands of people a day, with a variety of cost, portion and nutritional parameters that have to be met. Our hospital food service professionals and their distributors are tackling this larger challenge and demonstrating leadership by providing healthier food and supporting the local community.”


Planting non native plants is a dis-service to wildlife With that thought in mind I sat outside on a glorious September morning and watched all of the blooms in my front yard. The spiky Lobelia cardinalis wild cardinal flowers were humming with active bees while the petunias, in contrast, were absolutely vacant and silent.

Our Oysters Are Coming. Maryland Announces New Oyster Regulations On May 21, 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley, stakeholders, fishery managers and scientists returned to the Annapolis Maritime Museum to announce the submission of new regulations that will clear the way for implementation of the State’s proposed Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan.

Governor O’Malley announced the State’s plan to expand oyster sanctuaries and aquaculture leasing areas for their ecological and economic benefits at the site of Annapolis’ last shellfish packing business in December.

Speaking of oysters, we had local boys at the conference and here is a gloriously simple recipe from Epicurious to whet your appetite:

Oysters Mignonette

For oysters

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher or other coarse salt
  • 1/2 dozen small oysters, such as Kumamoto or Prince Edward Island, shells scrubbed well and oysters left on the half shell, their liquor reserved and oysters picked over for shell fragments
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 small cluster Champagne table grapes or 2 finely diced seedless red grapes


Make mignonnette:
Stir together vinegar, shallot, pepper, and sugar and let stand 30 minutes.

Prepare oysters:

Preheat broiler.

Spread 3/4 cup salt in an 8- to 10-inch flameproof shallow baking dish or pan. Arrange oysters on their shells in salt, then top each with a piece of butter

Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until butter is melted and sizzling and edges of oysters are beginning to curl, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir parsley into mignonnette. Divide remaining 3/4 cup salt between 2 plates and arrange 3 oysters on each. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon mignonnette over each oyster and sprinkle oysters with grapes. Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy


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