Tote Bags

The Harvester Artwork Tote Bags have been popular… Great for shopping at road side stands or visits to the beach. Thank you for your support.

Cook those oysters

The skipjack became the State Boat of Maryland in 1985 and they are the last working boats under sail in the United States. In winter, fleets of skipjacks used to dredge oysters from the floor of the Chesapeake Bay. The decline of skipjacks is a mirror to the decline of oysters available to the marketplace, but oysters are still popular. According to the captain of the Wilma Lee, at one point in the past there were 1,000 skipjacks working the Bay – now there are currently 20 skipjacks operating and only 5 of them are still engaged in commercial activity. Modern fishing boats use various techniques to harvest oysters, such as mechanical patent tonging and power dredging, and there are now oyster farms around the Bay. The decline of the native oyster population can be attributed to several factors, including historic over-harvesting, disease and habitat loss. Oysters can legally be harvested recreationally (3+ inches, 100 per day, October 1 through March 31, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: Sunrise through 12:00pm) and commercially. In 2020, MD Dept of Natural Resources in coordination with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science convened a restructured Oyster Advisory Commission to end overfishing and increase abundance.

Oysters clean the Bay, so perhaps it is best that there are less people eating them. But if you do, no matter how you get your oysters, at the local bar, market or yourself, it is now highly recommended to cook those oysters.

Why? CDC estimates that about 80,000 people get vibriosis—and 100 people die from it—in the United States every year. Most of these illnesses happen from May through October when water temperatures are warmer. However, you can get sick from eating raw or undercooked oysters during any month of the year, and raw oysters from typically colder waters also can cause vibriosis.

For shucked oysters, either:

  • Boil for at least 3 minutes,
  • Fry in oil for at least 3 minutes at 375°F,
  • Broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes, or
  • Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes.

Enjoy! See 19 Oyster Recipes That Rival Eating Them Raw

Venison Tikka Masala

As we get closer to the upcoming deer season I often pull out what’s left from last season to experiment with meals.

This Indian seasoning is a combination I have been planning on for quite some time but never used until a couple of days ago. We had a packet of Tikka Masala spice in the cabinet, waiting patiently for me or my wife to tear open and take a chance on an interesting dinner.

I had some lamb from the local Hollywood farm and my own venison back straps defrosting in the refrigerator but wasn’t sure how I was going to prepare them. I chose my wife’s “slow cooker” for cooking both at the same time. It did not take the full time of four hours, as I kept a wary eye on them to be sure not to over-cook.

The Tikka Masala sauce required cream and water, and I used half and half… and keep adding ingredients to the pan until I was satisfied with the consistency. The frenched lamb ribs where so much fun to eat I finished them before I could add lamb to the sauce… they were like lamb popsicles. The venison was cooked nicely and I added the pieces with cut artichoke hearts to the Tikka Masala. As shown below, we added greens and dressing on the side. This was so good! I still have some venison steak and ground venison in the freezer from last season and will be sure to make this again.

Annapolis Waterworks Trail

On Tuesday July 27th my dog Tucker and I walked this trail for the first time. Altogether it was about 1 1/2 hours from the Housley Road trail head (near Best Buy) to the dam and back. This was an early and shady walk! Very fun. We encountered multiple walkers, runners and dog/owner teams along the way.

Here is an excerpt from the City of Annapolis web page for the Waterworks Park: The City of Annapolis and MORE created hundreds of acres of hiking and biking trails at and around Waterworks Park. You can ride or hike in to find 11 miles of trails! The Housley Loop is the most accessible loop. Public access and parking on Housley Road on the shoulder near the Stone Point Apartments. Look for the trailhead to your right in the woods on the left side of the stormwater drain. To note: the Defense Highway Connector trail connects the Housley Loop to the Defense Highway Parking Lot and Solar Park Loop. (Please do not park in the Defense Highway parking lot to access the trail as that lot is for permit holders only.) There is no fee to ride or hike these trails, but you have to get there on foot or by bicycle. Annapolis Waterworks Trail on Trailforks.

Gallery Night at Falling Branch Brewery

Press Release date July 21, 2021
ANNAPOLIS, MD (Harvester Artwork) – Annapolis artist Mike Robinson of Harvester Artwork & the blog Maryland Outdoor Life will have watercolor prints on display during the month of August at Falling Branch Brewery in rural Harford County, Maryland. Come join the opening August 4 at Gallery Night with live music by Noah Pierre! Can’t make it that night? Come out for their weekend events and check out the art.

Gallery Night – Local Artists Showcase

Public event by Falling Branch Brewery
Duration: 3 hr

Gallery Night features live music and four local artists with their work on display in the taproom and available for purchase. Each will be at the event to discuss their art, and it will stay on display for the entirety of that month (unless sold). Event time is 5-8pm.
Food trucks will be onsite serving food until 7pm.
Alicia Dudley (Painting)
Jason Ritterstein (Photography)
Mike Robinson (Painting)
Saz Ross (Pen & Ink Illustration)

Falling Branch Brewery is a small farmhouse brewery located in rural Harford County, Maryland.
825 Highland Rd, Street, MD 21154
Wed: 12-9pm
Thurs: 12-9pm
Fri: 12-9pm
Sat: 12pm-9pm
Sun: 12pm-8pm

Maryland Outdoor Life
Healthy living and the outdoors in Maryland

Harvester Artwork
Celebrating farm life and the outdoors
Mike Robinson


Starting at minute 19:43 in this video, Falling Branch Brewery is featured on MPT Maryland Farm & Harvest Episode 613

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Patriotic Pedal

If you are going to ride 17 miles on your mountain bike through the city of Baltimore, it is probably best to have a buddy rider… and even better, a bunch of buddies. On July 4th, a small group of us, a fraction of what we call the Towson State Old Boys, rode a huge loop around the harbor and back. Our fearless leader that day was Jamie Hunt, a rugger with 2nd row credentials from various rugby clubs, but what mattered to all of us was our shared history with Towson State Rugby Football Club.

Our pack started our journey at the Canton Waterfront Park, along side a random jogging club… there always seems to be a different biking or running club getting ready for a morning group outing whenever we meet up for our own event at this park. We are not alone in our quest for the best day of our lives… or at least a good reason to get off the couch on a Sunday morning.

Biking around the harbor is always a pleasant experience. No matter what you may think of Baltimore City as a whole, the harbor area is like the Baltimore of your dreams – what Baltimore could be like without any of the crime issues, etc. often associated with the city. Engaging with the harbor along side of us is always a diverse collection of humanity: walking, sitting and enjoying the beauty of Maryland’s largest city.

The sun was out, the air was cool and day was young – we headed out to a new version of an old haunt, a ride from the Canton park to Fort McHenry and back, which today included a trek though Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Distillery in Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood and the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Hanover St./MD Rt 2. Today was special, it was July 4th, and we were headed for the original site of the Rockets Red Glare and why we set off fireworks on this very important day.

Why would you need mountain bikes when biking through the city? How about curbs, gravel, parks, random construction, and you name it… I love my off-road bike for on-road adventures.

Mike Smith tracked our course… over 17 miles of good times on a new route through our old favorite mid-size, mid-Atlantic city. The other hooligans in tow were John O’Neill, Jimmy Vitale and myself.

For those who have never done this ride: Just do it! It is one of the best things to do in the City that Reads.

From the Art Gallery:

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