A Green Wedding on a Cherry Blossom Pink Day

It is not very often that you attend a wedding where the bride and groom grew, raised and fermented almost everything on the menu. That was the case at Brook and Brandon’s wedding on a glorious, cherry-blossom-sprinkled April afternoon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The setting was the Crow Farm & Winery, a family-run cattle farm (and former dairy) that was recently converted into a farmstay B & B.

 

 

 

The couple planned the event in a few months, but they had been toiling together for years on the farm. Their hard work paid off handsomely for their wedding. The grapes they planted and harvested became the first vintage of the new winery, a crisp, delicious 2011 Vidal Blanc. The chickens and black angus cows they raised became the gourmet meal prepared by local Chef Robbie Jester. The vegetables served came from the neighboring CSA. The eggs used in the boutonnières and the decorations came from their hens. The bride baked the wedding cake. Her father baked the bread.

Leslie Raimond recounts the day poetically ….

Mother Nature smiled and blessed us all with softly sunny light and gentle breezes. The guests gathered on the lawn and took their places. Looking far down the rows of vines we could see the bride on the arm of her father and her attendants start their procession through the green rows; the little girls with their crowns of grapes and their baskets of pink petals; the bridesmaids with dresses the color of the bloom on plums; the fiddle and guitar strumming; the petals swirling; the bride’s hair flying in the breeze.  Brook joins Brandon who is standing with Marc the “Minister”. There are smiles. Now, there is a long moment of silence. The flower girls are solemn and play their roles perfectly. The sounds are birds, leaves rustling, a champagne cork popping in the distance. No one speaks. Now, it’s time for vows. Just between the bride and groom… in Quaker tradition, there is no higher authority… just the inner light. Now, the ceremonial kiss. They are married!

We all sign the Wedding Certificate, that Quaker tradition which has been so useful in tracing our own ancestors. The feast is beginning. A huge white tent has stage, dance floor and tables set for 150 revelers -white linen, sparkling glasses. The wine flows and the toasts, respectful and loving, are made. Delicious chicken mole, avocado salad, fine bread. The music playing throughout has been compiled by Chad and is a wonderful mix of delightful, but unobtrusive sounds. Now it’s time for the band to strike up! Yee-haw! Let’s square dance. A caller urges the dancers on. We swirl and swing, and slide and circle.  It’s wonderful! A break for the cutting of the cake – layers of chocolate made by Brook, and created to look like slices of birch-bark trees. Brilliant. More dancing … Checkie and Chad adorable as they circle in and swing high. It’s time to leave. As Vince and I pull out of the lane in the now black velvet night I catch a glimpse of a little girl in a blue satin dress, alone, lit bright by a spot light, gathering pink blossoms in the swirling wind of the approaching storm.

 

Photos of the rehearsal dinner and wedding day by Leslie Prince Raimond

Event Coordination, Francesca Raimond  – FIR Productions Green Events

Melissa Barrick Photography

Bouquets and boutonnières by Lydia Gerres

Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding Reception by Chef Robbie Jester

Decor and Decorations by Brook Schumann and Ashley Herr

Fish Around the World with Morgan

My brother Morgan loves to fish. He mastered the art of fishing at an early age. I’ve long heard tales of him outcasting all the seasoned fishermen beside him on the little bridge on Still Pond Creek where he fished, when he was 4 years old.

Morgan, age 4, fishing for perch. Handpainted tiles by Joan Gardiner

His love of the sea and the fish within has occupied many of his days on both coasts of the states. He now lives in San Francisco and fishes daily, along the shore or far out in the ocean. Favorite perches include the Farallon Islands, 17 miles from Golden Gate for ling cod and rock cod, Duxbury Reef for king salmon and Ocean Beach for perch grubbing.

 

I came across an engaging multimedia article about Kirk Lombard, a Bay Area urban angler who fishes in every nook and cranny he can find in the City by the Bay. The joy of the hunt and returning home to dine on the fresh catch reminded me of many meals with my brother. Turns out they are good fishing buddies.

Morgan fishing at Tolchester Beach on the Chesapeake Bay.

A few more fish related stories surfaced this week, two from Jakes in Jamaica. The Times reported that guests at the bohemian resort in southern Jamaica favor a sustainable meal, fish-to-table, that they catch themselves with Captain Dennis Abrahams.

In order to advance marine sustainability, Breds at Treasure Beach partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help maintain the Galleon Bay Fishing Sanctuary, a coastal area near Jakes where no fishing is allowed. The sanctuary helps replenish the fish stock and protect the delicate eco-structure of mangroves, coral reefs, sea turtles and marine life.

Jason Henzell, Susan Smith, chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean board of trustees, and Dennis Abrahams team up for the Galleon Bay Fishing Sanctuary, a Breds project.

 

Come fall, Breds hosts a Hook N’ Line Fishing Tournament (October 13 – 15, 2012) in waters outside of the Fishing Sanctuary. Maybe my brother will be a contender in this year’s tournament, and bring home the gold snapper, or whatever is biting that day.

 

Morgan Raimond: Metalsmith, Gardener and Urban Fisherman

Jake’s Resort – Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Breds Treasure Beach Foundation

The Nature Conservancy

 

 

 

Prairie Prince Rocks & Paints For Little Kids Rock Benefit

People use many words to describe The Tubes drummer and painter Prairie Prince: talented, peripatetic, generous, supportive and super busy, but they most often describe him simply as nice. Because of this inherent trait it comes as no surprise that he is donating his musical and artistic talents to a worthy cause near and dear to him, Little Kids Rock. This national nonprofit provides free lessons and instruments to underprivileged children in public schools and has served more than 160,000 students at over 1,200 schools in 25 cities.

In between touring with The Tubes and Todd Rundgren and various other music projects, Prince hand-painted a Fender guitar with the face of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix ablaze on it. Artist Stanley Mouse painted 2 “flying eyeball” guitars, which Prince clear-coated and assembled. Photographer Danny O’Connor snapped a few shots in Prince’s studio, painting, spraying and prepping the guitars for the auction block.

Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne headlines a Benefit Concert on Sunday, May 6 at George’s Night Club in San Raphael, Ca. Prairie Prince and his band will backup two Little Kids Rock bands. The Mayor of San Rafael has even proclaimed May 6, 2012 as Little Kids Rock Day.

Also on the auction block are guitars signed by Mark Knopfler, Carlos Santana, the Doobie Brothers and Chrissie Hynde.

Follow the event on Prairie Prince’s Facebook Page.