For my first post, I want to give you a peep through the looking glass into the inspiration for creating this blog, as well as unveil the mystery that is moi, the author. As such, we will start where all good stories start… the present [if you thought I was going to say the beginning, you are up for many surprises along this journey].
First things first
My name is Kelly. As a temporary Bostonian and graduate student at The Friedman School of Tufts University, I study Agriculture, Food, and Environment. In what feels like a former life when juxtaposed with my current metropolitan lifestyle, I earned my Bachelors degree in a home among the hills at West Virginia University majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education (Let’s Go Mountaineers!).
While my branches have become widespread with age, my roots run deep as a proud, loud, born-and-raised Marylander. I am a true boh-leiver that God has blessed Birdland special. I think Old Bay runs in my blood, and not from all those times I cut my hands picking crabs. Sno-balls are a food group. I’m outraged when restaurants outside of the DMV disguise crab cakes filled with celery, clearly devoid of jumbo-lump backfin meat, as “just like Maryland’s”. Ew. No. And for the love of Poe, (Edgar Allen and our beloved Raven’s mascot), when told to bring “NATTY” downee ocean, please don’t be angry when I show up with the true king of all shitty beers, the always-worth-the-suffering, “NATTY BOH” rather than Natural Light. (Partially based on a true story). It’s a simple mistake, but like Beyoncé once said, “I ain’t sorry, no, no, hell nah.”
ANYWAYS, as I was saying…
For almost a quarter century, I have called the Old Line State my home. My year in Boston had made me so homesick for ‘America in Miniature’, this summer break, I sought an internship to escape back to Maryland for a little while. I was blessed beyond measure being offered an internship with the State Department of Agriculture in marketing. I’ll explain why I chose to invest my future in ag coming soon, but the position at MDA has helped me apply much of my prior knowledge, as well as learn more about Maryland agriculture, it’s who’s-who’s and what’s-what’s.
The work I’m doing is truly fulfilling and the department’s staff are so passionate about their work and infinitely helpful to those who are passionate about agriculture as well; it’s difficult to leave an atmosphere like that at the end of the day. Sparing specifics, my job entails a lot of work involving Maryland farmers and who they source their products to. Much of my motivation for being interested in food (other than the fact its delicious) has to do with my passion for supporting farmers. I love the taste of food, but even better than that to me is its story; that is, the story from seed, to farm, to fork. Our modern world has made it easy to disconnect from these stories. Connecting the food’s story to it’s experience at a restaurant is such an important part of preserving our food heritage, not only here in Maryland, but everywhere. All of this occurred to me over breakfast this morning while eating the mixed berry crepes at Myth and Moonshine, in Baltimore. I was inspired by some work that I have been involved in recently to discover Maryland by way of its dining establishments that do an exceptional job sourcing from local farms. I want to highlight the symbiotic relationship between the chefs, their restaurants and their dishes, and food producers, be it their fields, barns, or waterways.
There are many places on the WWW that simply list Farm-to-Table Restaurants across Maryland. This is not one of those sites.
This is also not a food critique blog. This is, however, where I will explain how eateries are sourcing their food, from whom they source, and explore the producers making it possible. So whether you are interested in the local foods movement, love Maryland, or are just being a loving and supportive friend of mine, I hope you’ll join me in this journey.
–The Old Line Locavore