Celebrating a "green" life on Maryland's Upper Eastern Shore

Discover Kent County!

With so much going on in 2013, an incredible amount of attention is focused on Kent County with events commemorating the War of 1812. The Kent County Office of Tourism Development maintains a terrific website that gives you history, events, information about our towns and lodging - complete with an availability calendar!

If you visit during the first weekend of the month you can catch historic downtown Chestertown's First Friday festivities, with downtown open til 8 p.m. for shopping, dining and evening ambiance. It doesn't get any more local than this!

The Chestertown Farmers & Artisans Market in downtown's Fountain Park on Saturday mornings

Small Towns, Small Businesses – Keeping it Local!

Sunday, August 8 -
Dog Days of Summer returns to the
West Annapolis 2nd Sunday Neighborhood Green Market
Featuring Chesapeake Cats and Dogs Rescue
A Dog Parade with Ribbons Doggie Goody Bags Splash Pools & More!
Click on the Upcoming Fairs & Markets link for info!
Feature Article

Small Towns, Small Businesses – Keeping it Local!

Maybe it’s the 4th of July that’s got me thinking about small towns. Goodness knows there’s a lot going on! Over on the Eastern Shore Rock Hall has festivities beginning July 2, with their famous parade taking place on July 3 this year. Catch “Homegrown and Green” on the air on WCTR 1530 AM Fridays at 11:30 – you can even listen live online through their website!

And this is a good opportunity to talk a little bit about WCTR – one of those truly local, homegrown enterprises.

AM 1530 WCTR originally went on the air in 1962 as a 250 watt daytime radio station, and it has faithfully been serving its local communities ever since. Now broadcasting at 1,000 watts, the WCTR studio, transmitter and 187-foot tower are located on "Signal Hill", one of the highest areas in Kent or Queen Anne's county, operating as a truly local, community-oriented broadcaster, providing local news, local weather, local sports, local information, local talk, and much, much more. WCTR is also one of the strongest community supporters around, generously providing non-profit organizations with opportunities to promote their events. Station Manager Ken Collins is the President of the Kent County Chamber of Commerce – talk about volunteer hours!

In fact, you can hear several local business people doing spots now for Downtown Chestertown Association’s Old Fashioned Downtown “Independents Day” Celebration (no, I’m not misspelling it – the focus is on locally-owned, independent businesses) and it’s great to see so many businesses stepping up. Music by Jack the Penguin Acoustic is sponsored by Chesapeake Bank & Trust, with FREE cotton candy, Sno-Cones, popcorn, lemonade, balloons and flags sponsored by PNC Bank, The Chestertown Spy, Primitive Finds, Houston’s Dockside Emporium, ELB Inc., and the Historical Society of Kent County respectively. There are $1 corn dogs and 50 cent sodas in Fountain Park, along with drawings for meals and merchandise in Fountain Park and throughout downtown – all compliments of our local businesses.

Later this month on the radio we’ll be talking to Patti Lynch who, with her husband Bill, operates Galena’s Kitchen – a fabulous neighborhood eatery with breakfasts, lunches (and now weekend dinners) that are homegrown through and through. Simple, tasty, welcoming – it’s what keeps people coming back. They’ve been there almost two years, coming from New Jersey and Bill’s long career in high end restaurants and resorts, after hankering for a slower, friendlier life. They got just what they wanted. We’re glad they’re here. Rumor has it that Bill will be a Guest Chef at one of our upcoming Farm Dinners on the Shore – can’t wait for that!

Which puts me in mind of Wayne and Marcella Lockwood, and their children Jacqueline and James, owners of Lockbriar Farms. A Chestertown staple and favorite U-Pick location for people in a tri-state area, the Lockwoods hosted our last Farm-to-Table dinner series, and we couldn’t have been more fortunate to have them. For the Lockwoods, hosting our Dinners was all about getting people out to the farm – picking berries and peaches and just experiencing the land and understanding what goes into growing the food that comes to their tables. Between their farm stand and the multiple farmers markets at which they sell, it’s the contact with the people that makes the long days worthwhile. Pictured on the left: Wayne, James (John and Liz Seidel of the Washington College Center for Environment and Society, the beneficiary of the Lockbriar Dinner series), Marcella and Jacqueline.
Come to think of it, mixed berry shortcake sounds like just the ticket for the 4th of July. Maybe you’ll come picking your own on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.