We’re BAAACK– Sorry, all, for taking a few days off but we had a crisis of sorts to deal with. But we are back with some observations on good things happening in our southern Cecil County neck of the woods.
We stopped in to visit Vic and Mary Priapi, proprietors of Priapi Gardens in Cecilton, on Saturday as they were having their fall harvest event. Lots of fun things, all for free, on Route 213 in Cecilton. We say “IN” Cecilton, because a few months ago this treasure of a garden shop and nursery, value-added agriculture, agro-tourism and all around great place was actually outside the town limits of Cecilton.
It took a full blown town election, and a rather unpleasant political campaign, before a majority of Cecilton residents voted to welcome Priapi Gardens to the town so that the Priapi’s could be assured access to water they would need to expand their nursery business. The annexation issue was a microcosm of what is both wrong and right with any discussion of so-called “growth” in this county.
Some folks– including one current county commissioner and one who aspires to the job– did a knee-jerk opposition to any ‘annexation’ regardless of the facts of the Priapis’ case. Others, including the African-American community in Cecilton that has for far too many years been ignored by the county and town power structure– took the time to listen to Vic and Mary’s case and decided that ‘change’ in Cecilton would be a good thing. So for the first time in around 140 years, an annexation was approved by the voters.
Nothing much has changed since the annexation. Vic and Mary are still tending their gardens and organizing great community-building events like the Saturday harvest festival. There were crafts people, lots of Amish families offering food and hand-made items, a great blacksmith from Port Deposit demonstrating his artisanship, 4-H kids, the Farm Museum, and the Methodist congregation from Cecilton/Earleville offering free sodas, cookies and apples to visitors. One of our favorite ag businesses, Dove Valley Vineyards and Winery, was also on site as Janelle Hepbron Griffith explained the grape growing and wine-making operations of this Rising Sun-based award-winning winery and vineyard operation.
Oh, Phyllis Kilby’s “Moo-mobile” ice cream truck was there, too, but our Queen of Ice Cream (or Baroness of the Board of Appeals) did not show up. We think she is nervous about appearing south of the Canal, where real farmers live and work and ‘have her number.’