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The Future of the Harvest

On this day before Thanksgiving, as Americans travel to gather and give thanks, we’ll be talking about the food we eat – and why so little of it comes from nearby farms. Spike Gjerde, the prominent Baltimore chef and restaurateur, has a lot to say about the importance of building a sustainable food culture in the Chesapeake region. So do representatives of an alliance called Future Harvest. Dena Leibman, executive director of Future Harvest, joins Midday, as well as Lisa Duff, farmer at Oak Spring Farm and graduate of Future Harvest’s new-farmer training program.

BONUS: Thanksgiving Recipe from Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen:

Chesapeake Oyster Casserole 


3 Sweet potatoes
3 Cups of half and half
4 Eggs
1 Sprig each of rosemary and sage
1 Clove of garlic, crushed
3 Cups of stale bread (half of a large loaf)
12 Farmed Chesapeake oysters, shucked
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Simmer half and half, garlic and herbs in a pot over medium-low heat. Peel and slice sweet potatoes 1/8 inch thick using a knife or mandolin. Place in pot with half and half to start the cooking process, simmer about 5 minutes. Cut the crust off of the bread and tear into one inch chunks. Strain the potatoes, reserving the half and half, and layer in an 8” x 8” buttered casserole dish. Place oysters evenly in casserole over the potatoes. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs into 2 cups of the reserved half and half and then mix with the bread pieces, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover potatoes and oysters with this savory bread pudding and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.