Do it for the crabs
Photo from chesapeakebay.net
As a Marylander, I cannot imagine a single summer going by without at least one opportunity to devour a pile of steamed Chesapeake Bay blue crabs; they're a delicacy. And eating blue crabs is really an experience. It's sitting down to table covered with a big sheet of butcher paper; sleeves rolled up; wooden mallet, roll of paper towels, and bucket by one's side. It's the sound of peeling into shell, the scent of sea meets spice, and the exceptional flavor of each sweet little morsel inside. For 10 minutes, its just you and that crab, your devotion punctuated with dips of vinegar and melted butter and gobs of Old Bay Seasoning accumulating on your finger tips. Add ice cold drinks and greasy-fried hush puppies on the side. This is summer in Maryland.
Shortly after we moved into our Maryland home almost a year ago, we learned about BayScaping. That's just a fancy term for landscaping set within the context of and for the benefit of the Chesapeake Bay. The concept is simple: plant native species that reduce the need for chemical pesticides and help prevent erosion, thereby keeping the bad stuff out of the Bay.
While I avoid the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in my garden as it is, it's been a goal of mine to add more native plants. We do, in fact, have plans to tear out the entire front lawn and replace it with perennial flowers, shrubs, and native grasses. We're driven mainly by the desire to have less of a boring lawn to mow, but we also want to do our part for our beloved bay and our favorite crustaceans therein. Our yard is just one little corner of the world, but we can do our part with it, and what we do here does matter downstream. Everything is connected.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed includes portions of six states -- Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware -- and the District of Columbia. So, if you're gardening in one of those places, sign on to Gardeners for the Bay and make an effort to do something in your garden or yard to save this natural treasure. Do it for me. Do it for you. Do it for the crabs.
Blue crabs -- How you can help
Chesapeake Club -- Learn how to "Save the Crabs, Then Eat 'Em"