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July 2014

1990 42' Evans Somerset – Twin Volvo diesels, bus heater, Onan generator, refrigerator, electric stove, anchor winch and electronics. $54,900. 410-647-5444.

Still time to escape in a good book

     With half of summer stretching before you, there’s still time to get lost in a good book.     Armchair travelers stretch our confined worlds with books that take us places we’ll probably never see on our own. Certainly not with the open-eye and open-heart clarity of the ­writers we love best.

Here’s to one more summer of reading

     Call me anything but late to the table — unless I’m reading a good book. So I’ve often carried book to table.     “I’ve spent my life looking over the breakfast table at a book,” my grandmother Florence Martin lamented. “Your grandfather. Your father and his brother. And now you.”     Or as Florence’s daughter-in-law my mother Elsa would say, “Take your nose out of that book!”

Mine makes 15,001

     Five years ago in Wisconsin, Todd Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher. He installed it on a post in his front yard and filled it with books to give away. It was such a hit with his neighbors that he built and gave away several more, each with a sign that read free books.

Sweet fish swim in sweetwater

     Rockfish, bluefish, perch, spot and croaker dominate the summertime fishing news when it comes to recreational species in Maryland. But almost half of all the fishing licenses sold by Maryland Department of Natural Resources are purchased by sweet-water anglers.

The everyday banalities of saving the world

     Günter Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman: Catching Fire) isn’t a man who stands out in a crowd. His shoulders hunch, pulling awkwardly at his ill-fitting jacket. His softening middle hangs over his pants, the product of poor diet and long days at a desk. His weary, weathered face reveals bright blue eyes often peering over the rim of a whiskey glass.

Lesson 3: Jumpstart your garden with compost tea

     Your organic garden will need a jumpstart. Organic gardening relies entirely on the release of nutrients from the decomposition of organic matter and the bodies of the microorganisms that digest the organic matter in the soil. In cold soils, nutrients are not readily available.

Cool high-summer recipes from Maryland’s 2014 Buy Local Cookbook

    Heaven & earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation; were it fully manured and inhabited by industrious people.     Captain John Smith barely exaggerated. So good are the fish and flesh, fruit and vegetables of Chesapeake Country that they need no adornment. Or very little. Salt and pepper, oil and vinegar are complements enough. Add some fire, and you’ve got all you need.

Many local chefs and restaurants are on the bandwagon

     Farm-fresh fruit and vegetables plus fin and shellfish straight from the Bay abound in midsummer Maryland. Farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores all sell local produce.     But will you fare so well when you go out to eat?     Yes — if you know where to look.

How far are you removed from the necessity — and pleasure — of eating local?

    Is Buy Local Week preaching to the choir?         If local foods are already a mainstay of your diet, you don’t need persuasion — though a chance for a basket of local goodies and free ice cream in Western Maryland might lure you to post your locavore photos at www.buy-local-challenge.com.