Category: Sean Clougherty

Trend report sees more connecting to gardening

Whether novice or seasoned veteran, gardening has been increasing in popularity. Last year, average households spent about $100 more on gardening than the previous year, according to the annual trends report from industry group Garden Media. “People are awakening to Mother Nature to find balance and peace and are awakening to our responsibility to help save the Earth,” the report said. This awakening is drawing people outside, to reconnect to plants and gardening, and drawing plants inside, as house plants, terrariums and other greenery gets more attention through biophilic design. Last year the National Gardeners Association reported 30 percent of households purchased a house plant and searches for indoor plants on Pinterest increased 90 percent. Millenials spurred by desires to improve wellbeing, were responsible for a third of houseplant buys. “They have become ‘plant parents’ with a sense of purpose and new connection to nature,” the report said. Another way these budding gardeners are connecting to the earth is through the moon. So-called moon-phase gardening or lunar planting is not a new concept; it follows the old adage of planting certain crops by either the waxing or waning moon cycle. Plant annuals and vegetables producing above ground crops when the moon is waxing, from new to full. Plant flowering bulbs, perennials, biennials and vegetables producing below ground crops when the moon is waning, from the day after it’s full...

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Konopelski: As seen on TV

As a former performer on the Broadway stage, it’s not that far-fetched for local chef Steve Konopelski to take a dramatic approach to his baking projects. Whether it’s in front of the camera for a Food Network special or in his Denton bed and breakfast, Turnbridge Point, his confectionary creations continually keep people on the edge of their seats. Konopelski opened Turnbridge Point with husband Ron Griffith in 2015, after renovating one of Denton’s majestic Victorian-era homes built in 1868 on the Choptank River. Its five guest rooms are named after former owners of the house and its expanded commercial kitchen houses Konopelski’s baking business and periodical cooking classes he offers. When he’s not entertaining guests there, he’s doing it on television, starring in two recent baking competitions on The Food Network. In 2015 he was a finalist on The Holiday Baking Championship. For the the final challenge, he made his traditional vanilla cake with the theme carol singing, featuring fresh fruit, fondant and lyrics along the side, making some of the lyrics bigger than the others. “I love carol singing and I know when you go, there is always someone singing the loudest and others singing quieter,” he told The Star Democrat in 2015. “I think it represents someone unique.” This year, he was back on screen for the Haunted Gingerbread Showdown — and this time he won...

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For Scott, home bakery has been a piece of cake

When Jeanne Scott hits the kitchen for a day of baking, her focus is certainly getting the measurements right and the filling the orders but behind all that are the memories of hers and her children’s childhood that drive her. “For me it always begins with home — as a kid in the kitchen with my Mom, as a mom in the kitchen baking and cooking for my own family,” Scott said. Long before Scott took her Mill Stream Farm small batch baking business full time she was baking for family breakfasts and school fundraisers and “every year I...

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Stay a cut above with strawberries in your diet

While several niche berries have gotten recent acclaim as superfoods, the old standards such as strawberries remain a powerful player in health and wellness. From diabetes to heart disease, strawberries’ health benefits are nothing to pass by. Its heart shape offers a glimpse into just some of its health power. They contain anthocyanins that a Harvard research study has shown to cut heart attack risk in young and middle-age women by 32 percent. Strawberries’ high polyphenol content could also aid against cardiovascular disease and reduce blood pressure, experts say. The fruit’s fiber and potassium also support heart health. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2 percent of American adults meet the daily 4,700-milligram recommendation for potassium. Strawberries a great source, however, experts note if you are already perscribed Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly used for heart disease, potassium levels may increase in the blood from that and high potassium foods should then be consumed in moderation. Anthocyanin, along with two other antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol, can help reduce harmful blood clots from forming. Strawberries are low on the glycemic index which, with its high fiber content, helps regulate blood sugar, making it a good choice for diabetics. “Researchers discovered in 2011 that eating about 37 strawberries a day can significantly reduce the complications of diabetes, such as kidney disease and neuropathy,” writes...

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