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Harford County library partners with chef John Shields to host Farm & Bay to Table series

Harford County Public Library is partnering with chef, author and television personality John Shields for an ongoing virtual series, “Farm & Bay to Table.”

This series provides a virtual excursion to Maryland farms, fisheries and local businesses where the focus will be on the abundance and variety of fare that is grown in Maryland’s rich soil and caught off its shores in the Chesapeake Bay, according to a news release.

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Participants will explore Maryland’s robust food industry, embrace creative ways to eat healthier, learn about exciting careers in the food industry and find out how buying local supports the community.

“We are so excited to start this virtual series with John Shields, who is a huge customer favorite at Harford County Public Library,” said Mary Hastler, the library’s CEO. “He is an amazing chef who creates such outstanding dishes that will shine the spotlight on healthy eating and the importance of the agriculture and seafood industries to Maryland’s economy. The July programs will provide visits to interesting locations across the state and will focus on delicious foods that are uniquely Maryland.”

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Shields’ newest project, Our Common Table, supports and creates initiatives and partnerships that engage communities to live, learn and protect the bounty of the Chesapeake region.

“This partnership with Harford County Public Library is exactly what we need today — it encourages our youngest citizens to become stewards of our amazing and abundant Chesapeake region,” Shields said.

Coming up is a “Farm & Bay to Table” program titled, “What a Peachy Life,” on Thursday, July 22, from 7 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. Advanced registration is required at HCPLonline.org, and recipes will be available to attendees prior to the event.

“What a Peachy Life” takes participants on a virtual visit to Black Rock Orchard and the 32nd Street Farmer’s Market with farmer David Hochheimer and will showcase the art of growing peaches and other stone fruit.

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Al Meckel, owner and head baker at Parkville’s legendary Fenwick Bakery, will share how to make the iconic Baltimore peach cake right at home. The program will conclude with Hastler and Shields live from his kitchen where they will make an enchilada dessert that pairs local cherries and peaches. A peachy cocktail made with Maryland liquor will be the nightcap.

For information about future programs, including those on Aug. 12, Sept. 9 and Sept. 30, visit HCPLonline.org.

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