Beer: The latest cash crop for Maryland farmers

Tom Barse’s 47-acre Stillpoint Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland looks like an average agricultural operation. Its fields are rich with crops, while sheep and horses graze in the pastures. However, Barse’s most lucrative crop is actually beer.

In the summer of 2012, Barse opened the small-scale Milkhouse Brewery on a small hill near his house. Over the next six months, the longtime home brewer produced 80 barrels of beer using hops, wheat, barley, and other products grown on the farm. Just three years into the micro brewing operation, he expects to produce nearly 350 barrels – which are distributed in six counties and Baltimore – and he employs two full-time staff members and four part-timers. His tiny farmhouse brewery now accounts for 90% of his earnings. “It’s much bigger than I thought it would be,” he says. “It just exploded.”

Finish reading this story on the Fortune website now.


Why it’s not easy to be a dad in a mom’s world

Though there’s a seismic shift underway, the world of parenting is still ruled by mothers. So upon introducing myself to a mom in a child-focused environment, I try to quickly and gracefully communicate three things.

One: I am there with my child. “That’s my son Zephyr over there climbing up the slide.”

Two: I am married. “My wife is at Pilates, so I’m getting some quality father-son time in.”

Three: My family is my top priority. “Indie – that’s my wife – and I finally had the opportunity to enjoy our first date night of 2015 this last week. It was nice to be out, but we missed the little guy, so to make it up to him we’re all going to the National Museum of Natural History this weekend.”

Finish reading this story on the Washington Post‘s On Parenting blog now.


Meet Jessica Pociask, your tour guide for crazy destinations

Jessica Pociask always packs three things when she travels: a camera, a pillow and a black-and-tan Bedouin scarf from Jordan, which can be used as a blanket, hat, shirt, skirt or to tie something up. She jokes that it’s all she truly needs as she crisscrosses the globe. Pociask (pronounced POE-zee-ack) has been to more than 80 countries and every continent. Her latest passport was issued in 2011 and is 50 pages long — there are only three blank pages remaining in it.

As a tour operator for her boutique travel company, WANT Expeditions, Pociask, 34, takes her guests to some of the most remote corners of the world to see exotic wildlife. There are trips to see jaguars in Brazil’s Pantanal region, giant pandas in China and mountain chimpanzees in Congo.

The company’s trips are priced as all-inclusive (with the exception of international air fare and visas), usually last about two weeks and accommodate up to 16 guests, although most groups are in the eight-to-10 range. Trips cost anywhere from $3,500 up to a $45,000 Antarctic expedition that includes stops at rarely visited ports of call such as the Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Saint-Paul Island and Amsterdam Islands.

Finish reading this story now on the Washington Post website.


8 New Places To Eat Incredibly Well In The Washington, D.C., Area

Washington, D.C.’s vibrant restaurant scene has been growing at a dizzying pace for the past few years — and it shows no signs of slowing down, as big-name chefs and promising up-and-comers alike have unveiled a flurry of high-profile projects this spring. Here are eight notable new spots to check out in and around the nation’s capital.

1. Peter Chang
After being chased for years by chowhounds from restaurant to restaurant, and then opening eateries in southern Virginia and Atlanta, Peter Chang finally sets up shop in the D.C. area. Diners can feast on the specialties that made the once-elusive Szechuan chef a celebrated figure in contemporary Chinese cooking. Puffy scallion bubble pancakes, dry fried eggplant, mapo tofu and steamed pork buns all make an appearance. The dishes are often spicy, if not volcanic. So heed the chili-pepper icons on the menu, because the chef – thankfully! – doesn’t downgrade intense flavors for American palates. Chang fans have more to look forward to in the coming months, as he is set to open another casual restaurant in Rockville, Maryland, later this year, and there is also talk of a fine-dining restaurant in D.C.’s Navy Yard. 2503 N. Harrison St., Arlington, VA; 

Finish reading this story on the Food Republic website now.


Are You Gonna Eat That? BLT Steak’s Foieffogato

The Dish: Foieffogato

Where to Get It: BLT Steak; 1625 I St. NW; (202) 689-8999;

Price: $13

What It Is: Perhaps the most decadent and unconventional affogato of all time. The ice cream mimics the flavor of buttery movie-style popcorn, while the silky, froth-topped coffee component combines reduced espresso, cream, milk, and caramelized foie gras accented with fresh thyme, allspice, mace, and nutmeg. “You have to find a delicate balance between the ingredients,” says executive chef Will Artley. “You want to taste the foie and have the mouthfeel from it, but it can’t be overwhelming. If it lingers on your palate, it’s not great, especially since you’re not following it with another course.”

Finish reading this story on the Washington City Paper website now.


Finding the right help, at the right time

Sometimes parents need a helping hand. It starts from the moment you see the plus sign appear in the little window on the pregnancy test and never stops. My wife, Indira, and I both wanted a doula be a part of her birthing experience. We felt that having an advocate in the room, who was familiar with the ins and outs of the process and meshed with our personalities would make my wife more comfortable – both emotionally and physically.

We extensively researched all the options available in the area by reading countless online reviews, asking for referrals from friends and acquaintances and getting advice from the team at Wisdom Midwifery at George Washington University Hospital. Eventually, we found a woman who appeared to be the perfect doula.

Finish reading this story on the Washington Post’s On Parenting blog.


How to buy a little slice of a bakery, and get more than crumbs if it’s a hit

Tom Wellings brushes rectangles of pizza dough with olive oil. On the other side of the counter, his wife, Camila Arango, pipes cream between layers of pastry for the classic French dessert Paris-Brest. The air is rich with butter, yeast and just-baked croissants. Trays of pistachio and gianduja macarons and glistening kouign-amann the color of maple syrup fill racks, ready to be shuttled downstairs.

At a pop-up space called Prequel, the pastry chefs are doing a test run of Bluebird Bakery, a boulangerie-patisserie they hope to open late this summer or in early fall. Almost everything is in order. They’ve put down a letter of intent for a first-floor space in the Holm apartment building in Logan Circle, on the corner of 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, which is still under construction. During more than a decade, they’ve honed their techniques while working for high-profile establishments in the city — she for Alain Ducasse’s now-shuttered Adour and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, he for Restaurant EveFabio Trabocchi’s various enterprises and Equinox. The recipes have been developed.

Finish reading this story on the Washington Post website now.


Is Marijuana the Source of a New Runner’s High?

After Jeff Sperber crosses the finish line of a 50-mile ultramarathon, he has a specific post-race routine. Like many runners, first he stretches. Then he eats some protein. About an hour later, though, he deviates from the ordinary program by inhaling a few puffs of marijuana from a handheld vaporizer.

“When you’ve been running for that long, you’ve got swelling muscles and aching joints, and you’re tired,” says the 42-year-old Los Angeles resident, a runner since college who has been doing long races since 2007. “You can take an Advil, which will help the swelling and inflammation, but it’s also very taxing on your liver.”

Sperber is part of a growing number of runners who are coming out of the proverbial closet as marijuana smokers or ingesters of THC (marijuana’s active component) through other means, usually edibles, tinctures or topical ointments. Groups such as Run on Grass, in Denver, Colorado, and Team Hope through Cannabis, in Texas, hope to change attitudes about the typical pot smoker and otherwise inspire conversation about marijuana.

Sperber has had two hip surgeries and a hernia surgery, and he’s currently dealing with stage four arthritis in a toe. Though he has a prescription for pain medication to address his post-run issues, he prefers to not use it whenever possible. “I can’t do that stuff and function as a normal human being,” says Sperber, who also has a legal prescription for medical marijuana.  “As a weed smoker, I can function.”

Finish reading this article on the Runner’s World website now.