Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Potomac Snakehead Tournament: This Weekend

In previous posts, Invasivore > Vegetarian and Eating Invasives, we've discussed the many benefits of eating invasive species and are thrilled to see that the trend is catching on. A group of local outdoorsmen will be gathering for a large-scale (pun intended) snakehead fishing tournament this weekend.

Beginning at 5:00pm on Saturday June 2nd, teams of anglers and bow-fisherman are gathering for talks about the species then setting out to remove as many invasive snakehead fish from portions of the Potomac as possible within the 18.5 fishing hours of the Second Annual Potomac Snakehead Tournament. The teams will fish/hunt through the night and weigh in their fish at 1:00pm on Sunday where the team with the most snakehead meat, and individual with the largest single fish, will be awarded cash prizes.

For those of you who - like me - may not be entering the contest but are interested in the mission, you may want to plan your trip to the tournament location, Smallwood State Park, around the guest speakers and the "Invasive Species Tasting" prepared by Alewife Baltimore's Executive Chef Chad Wells who has pioneered the mission to get invasives on Baltimore menus. See you there!

June 2, 2012: 5:00 p.m. Pre-Tournament Conference

Speakers -  Joseph W. Love, Ph.D. Tidal Bass Manager, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Joshua J. Newhard, Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

June 3, 2012: 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Invasive Species Tasting and Flying Dog Beer Sampling - Snakehead Tasting (Prepared by Chad Wells, Executive Chef, Alewife, Baltimore, MD); Blue Catfish Tasting (Provided by ProFish prepared by the Whackfactor Outdoors Pro-Staff); Flying Dog Beer Sampling (Ben Savage, VP Marketing and Brand Development, Flying Dog Brewery, will share some amazing beers)
2:45 p.m. Closing Remarks From: Steve Vilnit, Fisheries Marketing Director, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Find the full schedule of events here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ReFRESHing News for Farmers Markets and Shoppers

This morning, Tim Carman for the The Washington Post reported great news from a new W.K. Kellogg Foundation Survey: Three quarters of Americans say they would support a national program that would double Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP or Food Stamp) benefits at farmers markets. And that's not all!

  • 70 percent of respondents said they have purchased fresh produce from a farmers market or stand in the past year 
  • 68 percent of those surveyed say they eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables than they did five years ago
  • 63 percent of respondents say they know a lot or a little about where their fresh fruits and vegetables come from.
  • 89 percent say their source for fresh fruits and vegetables is within walking distance or is a short drive away.
  • 45 percent say they acquired fresh fruits and/or vegetables from their own garden within the past year.
  • 93 percent say they think it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” to “make sure all Americans have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
  • 64 percent say it’s “very important” that produce be grown in an “environmentally friendly way.
  • 64 percent say it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” that produce be organic.
  • 83 percent of those surveyed strongly or partly agree that “Washington, D.C., should shift its support more toward smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and away from large farm businesses." 

Check out what is going on in Maryland with regards to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and USDA here and here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eco-Goats Back on the Road

In this photo, one of the Eco-Goats, Little Richard, is chowing down on problem vegetation in a Woodland Conservation Bank in Prince Georges County, just outside of Upper Marlboro. The weed pictured, Mile-A-Minute (Persicaria perfoliata, previously Polygonum perfoliatum) is also being eaten by tiny weevils (Rhinoncomimus latipes) because the folks at Straughan Environmental are seriously awesome. Talk about Integrated Pest Management!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Mother Earth!

Just a quick shout-out to the mother who makes it all possible: Mother Earth! The miracles of nature are the truest gifts. Every flower and fruit that blooms in the "native soil" at the Public Health Garden is an example of a miracle to those of us involved in cultivating and improving that piece of land. Check out the all the beauty that has bloomed there on our Flickr stream.