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local good eating

April 30, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything for Beltane for a variety of reasons that I haven’t decided how to write about yet. But since Beltane is a festival of fertility, it seems fitting to honor it by writing about some local small businesses Spouse and I recently discovered.

I’ve been thinking for a while that a way to feel more of Maryland would be to eat more local food.

Although we have farmers markets’ all over Maryland, I haven’t felt a pressing need to figure out where the nearest ones are since Misty Valley Farms keeps a stand very near us, which I visit regularly. I’m also on their mailing list.

At the Hampton mansion, I purchased half a pound of Zeke’s Coffee, which is roasted and ground here in Baltimore.

While driving home from Towson, we saw a roadside sign that said, “Atwater’s Breads – fresh on Friday”. It wasn’t Friday, and we’ve never heard of Atwater’s Bread, but we’ve been missing having a local bakery to buy artisanal breads from since we moved away from Fairport New York in 1993. (I think the place we went to was called Oliver’s; it was definitely located in Bushnell’s Basin, in Pittsford, but a Google search came up with nothing like that.)

Janet Beaumont of Beaumont Pottery gave Spouse an information card about the bread Atwater’s makes; I will be returning there some Friday to try it.

The Beaumont Pottery store also sells local honeys and jams. I bought an 8 ounce jar of honey from Fischer’s Apiary in Rosedale (no website). Spouse and I each tried a 4 ounce jar of fruit spread from Rare Opportunity Farm in Westminster: Spouse got cranberry-raspberry preserves; I got pear lime jam. Both are delicious. Mine was so tasty, I thought about it the rest of the day, and decided I really must have it for breakfast today, which I did, on a waffle. I drank a cup of Zeke’s Natural/Fair Trade Hampton House Blend, also yummy.

+++

I missed lunch, but I can’t eat again until my Novocaine wears completely off. Just now I took a finger swipe of the new honey and ate it. It was really good. Almost immediately, though, my sinuses started to feel congested, my chest and back both started to feel tight, and now I have a headache. I was hoping eating local honey would help me get acclimated to the local pollen sources, not trigger my allergies. Also, I stirred some of this honey into my coffee this morning, but nothing untoward happened. Why now, and not then?

I’ve been buying nonlocal honey from Wegman’s. Currently I’m going through a jar of basswood honey from New York, but I’ve also gotten star thistle honey from (iirc) Florida, and orange blossom honey from California. None of them gave me an allergic reaction. Hmmm.

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