Maryland offers agricultural gifts that many are not familiar with. I had the pleasure of exploring Maryland as a tourist, as I unintentionally paused. Donning my mask I signed up for two programs at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park. There’s a lot of information on Benjamin Banneker, not commonly shared. A gardener, beekeeper, astronomer, and entrepreneur, Benjamin Banneker was quite a guy. Did you know Benjamin was born Free and was mostly self-educated?
I can’t stop smiling as I write this. A self-educated free man who was a stargazer was a part of the survey team of Pierre L’Enfant. This team surveyed Washington, DC in 1791. Mr. Banneker was considered a friend of Thomas Jefferson. They corresponded frequently about many things.
One of the Programs I attended was a lecture on Mead. It was at this program I learned that Benjamin Banneker was a gardener. Benjamin grew things to enhance his ability to be a good farmer and beekeeper. He would harvest the honey and take it to market. His Mead was produced from his bees – what a terrific entrepreneur!
The first program I attended shared tales of Banneker’s beekeeping. Chase Louden, Anthropology & History Major at UMBC, and McNair Scholar gave a demonstration detailing how Mead was made in the 1700s.
Chase made a batch of Mead. He explained how it was cooked over a fire. The enthusiasm truly showed as Chase shared a few facts about Mead, Mr. Banneker, and the Oella area. It was great to see a young man who realized how awesome Mr. Banneker was.
BANNEKER AND BEES
I had to return the next day to see the pollinator garden and learn about Maryland’s bees. The number of native bees in Maryland has declined. This is a reason we really need to grow for the pollinators. Claire shared how to identify bees in the landscape. She shared information on the native species commonly seen.
Clare had little cubes to capture bees for up-close and personal identification. After identification, each bee was released. They happily went on their way. I can now officially identify a carpenter bee. It has a shiny rear. Clare was quite informative and showed no fear. She shared with me a very important fact about pollinator bees. The bees are not interested in humans. We should “Let the Bee’s Be”! They have a job to do. What a big job it is!!
If you have never been to the Banneker Historical Park, it is worthy of a drive.
Look at the programs offered at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park. It will be worth the drive. Imagine the opportunity to be a local and a tourist!
Remembering the pollinators at the Banneker Historical Park….
Teri, Cottage In The Court
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