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The Annapolis Sailboat Show ­celebrates its half-century

      Like many great ideas, the Annapolis Sailboat Show was born in a bar. Legend holds that someone — exactly who is lost in history — jumped into a conversation at the bar of the Annapolis Yacht Club with a prophetic suggestion: Why don’t we just have them come to see the boats already in the water?       Jerry Wood saw opportunity. 

You can do it on your own, but we have goat help

     The vegetable garden is waning especially as the nights get colder. It’s time to start cleaning it up to prepare for next spring.

This viney tuber is ready in your ­garden or at farmers markets

     The morning glory family, Convolvulaceae, gives us the wonderful sweet potato. Sweet potato plants grow as a vine that is content to creep along the ground. Maryland has a great climate for growing sweet potatoes, which need about four months of nice warm weather.
Herbs for teas, flowers for crafts, weeds for compost
      A welcome respite from the garden is around the corner. Until then, there are lots of chores to prepare for fall and winter. Harvesting what you’ve grown will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labors when the winter winds blow.
In return, your kitchen garden will flourish
     This time of year is a great time to add native perennials — or any perennial. Native perennials have the added value of providing pollen and nectar for our native bees.      Why are bees so important? If you enjoy big juicy tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and pumpkins, then you’ll get higher yields and even an increase in fruit size by encouraging native bee populations. I’m referring to bees, not wasps, as important pollinators.
Planning for spring starts now
       Money is one of the best fertilizers you can give a garden. You can get some for your garden from Calvert Garden Club. The condition? You’ve got to be a county non-profit seeking to help protect our natural resources and encourage conservation.       That’s the theme of this year’s grant cycle, when garden plans compete for awards up to $1,500. 
September may be your last chance
      Drying herbs creates savory seasonings, teas, aromatic potpourri and delightful herbal wreaths. We’re entering the late-harvest season, when both the intense heat that September can bring and the acute crispness of the night air tell us that the first frost is not too far away.       Follow these basic guidelines to capture the most flavor and fragrance.

You can have salad days in fall as well as spring

     With August comes your second chance to grow fresh lettuce for your salads. Growing a variety of lettuces makes a wonderful blend of slightly different tastes and textures.      Lettuce seeds don’t germinate well above 85 degrees. Start new seeds indoors in midsummer or in the shade, where it’s cooler, to transplant outdoors. If you haven’t started seeds, you can buy starts at many garden centers.

And right now, lots of ­tomatoes to love

     No matter how you say tomato, they are wonderful this year, extremely productive and flavorful. I went a little crazy when I started 30 different types this spring. Now there are so many varieties to choose from that it is mind-boggling.

You can eat the fruit and the flower

     My neighbors run away when they see me coming with armloads of zucchini. Yes, zucchini grows fast. But it is also a wonderful vegetable. Not only are the zucchini edible, so are the flowers.      In the Blue Zone of Ikaria, Greece, zucchini is used in a variety of ways. As much as I like to cook, in the summer I like to make easy uncomplicated dishes. I believe the hot weather in Ikaria also encourages people to do the same.