Water, Land and Ecosystems_VOA Connect Ep 201

VOA – CONNECT

EPISODE # 201

AIR DATE: 11 19 2021

TRANSCRIPT

OPEN ((VO/NAT))

((Banner))

On the Land

((SOT))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner))

I am really driven by the social need of farms. And to utilize the land for the benefit of our neighbors in the form of really good food.

((Animation Transition))

((Banner))

On the Water

((SOT))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

Basically, my best friend was the chef at the Boathouse, 27 years ago. And she told me about this gondola and, you know, me being a painter and all, she’s like, “You know, you might need a side gig at some point.” I really enjoyed it, and, well, I’ve been here for a long time now.

((Animation Transition))

((Banner))

And Underneath

((SOT))

((Fred Foster

Diver))

Being suspended like the whole world’s moving, but you aren’t if you don’t want to. You don’t weigh anything, but you weigh everything.

((Open Animation))

BLOCK A

((PKG)) MOM’S PIE, A FARM FAMILY’S SECRET RECIPE

((TRT: 06:26))

((Topic Banner: Family’s Secret Recipe))

((Reporter: Faiza Elmasry))

((Camera/Editor: Mike Burke))

((Map: Leesburg, Virginia))

((Main characters: 1 female, 2 male))

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

Our bakery is known as Mom’s Apple Pie Company, and we make pies. We make really genuine pies with a lot of fruit and not too much sugar.

((NATS: Avis Renshaw))

Which ones are we picking? The purple ones?

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We are a truly farm-to-table bakery in that we make it all from scratch.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

When we were younger, our farming business did not succeed. It was in the late 70s, and as a means to stay on our feet, we started baking pies with a friend of mine who had started making a few pies on weekends and selling them to our farm market. And she said, “Why don’t we do this together?” And so, we started doing this together. And she lost interest and moved on with her husband and we stayed doing that.

((NATS))

((Steven Cox

Farm & Bakery Co-Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We got really efficient. My wife could make a pie in a matter of seconds, and I could peel a bushel of apples in eight minutes. Actually, within a year or two, we supplied one farm market with 900 real pies in one day. Of course, that took working around the clock.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a farming community and be part of growing food. I met my husband when I was a teenager working at a farm market that he and his brother co-owned. And I very much enjoyed that job, both in the farm market and in the fields, picking produce. So, I’ve liked the concept of this very much also because it’s a steady life.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We bought this farm in 1997, and we’re on the banks of the Potomac right across from Maryland. It’s a somewhat a historic location in that during the Civil War, the Confederate troops marched through the end of our farm across the Potomac to Antietam [National Battlefield].

((NATS: Steven Cox))

There’s some orange pumpkins.

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

At this point in my career, I am really driven by the social need of farms. I try to work to educate people on the importance of farms. I belong to Farm Bureau. I belong to a couple of rural economic groups here in our county in Loudoun. And we are working really hard to let people know how important it is to save properties like this one from being developed and to utilize the land for the benefit of our neighbors in the form of really good food.

((NATS))

((Steven Cox

Farm & Bakery Co-Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

The Community Supported Agriculture, the CSAs, seem to provide a means to capture a certain market of people that still want to cook. Even though the population is, maybe, five times greater in this area than it was then, the number of people that want to cook isn’t.

((NATS))

((Tyson Cox

Farm Manager and Head Baker, Mom’s Apple Pie))

I’m Tyson Cox. I am Avis and Steve’s son. Most of the year, I am the farm manager, and that is mostly with the rotation of crops, prepping fields, planting and organizing what produce we need throughout the year for our CSA.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We didn’t think that he would do that. He wasn’t too happy about doing that as a teenager. It took him away from his friends a lot of times and it was hard work. But ultimately, he ended up deciding that this might be a really great thing for him to do.

He works with his dad, and we have all the commensurate joys and terrors of farm family and an intergenerational business that we are working through. And for the most part we still love each other. It’s sort of interesting.

((NATS))

((Tyson Cox

Farm Manager and Head Baker, Mom’s Apple Pie))

It’s pretty good. It’s got its challenges. You know, sometimes I just want to yell at them. And sometimes I do yell at them. But all in all, it’s, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. (I’m) incredibly lucky for all the sacrifices they’ve made in buying this farm and keeping their family business going.

((NATS))

((Tyson Cox

Farm manager and Head Baker, Mom’s Apple Pie))

As we go into the latter half of the year, October, November and December, I transition from that into, you could say, head baker.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

Even though it’s called Mom’s Apple Pie Company, we do many more than just apple pie flavors. We do blackberries and raspberries and strawberry rhubarb pie, all of which we grow on the farm. We also make quiches that we use our own fresh farm eggs for.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We’re about to harvest all the corn for our corn quiche, which we also incorporate fresh sage and bell peppers and onions that we grow here on the farm.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

This is my daughter Ansa, who’s usually in the office managing all of the important affairs that none of the rest of us want to do. But once in a while, she’s in the kitchen when we need her. And her forte is wrapping. And she’s the one that usually ends up overnight wrapping the pies so that they’re ready to go in the morning when the truck shows up. ((NATS: Tyson Cox))

Try the yellow kind? This is your grandpa’s favorite.

((NATS))

((Tyson Cox

Farm Manager and Head Baker, Mom’s Apple Pie))

I have a 10 month old now and, you know, I guess it’d be really nice to farm with him when he grows up.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

I certainly didn’t expect to be in the business for 40 years, but it ended up marrying nicely with the farming business.

((NATS))

((Tyson Cox

Farm Manager and Head Baker, Mom’s Apple Pie))

It’s authentic. You know, nothing we do is that crazy. It’s a really simple recipe. You know, I think our apple pies got seven ingredients, but it’s using really high-quality butter and making all butter crust and baking them fresh every day. So, a lot of it is just doing something simple very well.

((NATS))

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

We’re all still looking for the secrets of staying happy. Nothing is more important than the relationship that you have with your family.

((NATS: Tyson Cox))

Oh my gosh. It’s so good.

((Avis Renshaw

Farmer and Bakery Owner, Mom’s Apple Pie))

And making sure to retain that at all costs is really important for the business and for the family.

((NATS))

TEASE ((VO/NAT))

Coming up

((Banner))

The Boatman of Central Park

((SOT))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

It’s really kind of a very special job because I get it to see people that are happy, number one. Celebrating romance, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, guys proposing.

BREAK ONE

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK B

((PKG)) CENTRAL PARK GONDOLIER

((TRT: 07:00))

((Topic Banner: A New York Gondolier))

((Reporter/Camera: Aaron Fedor))

((Producer: Kathleen McLaughlin))

((Editor: Kyle Dubiel))

((Map: Manhattan, New York))

((Main character: 1 male))

((NATS/MUSIC))

((NATS: Andrés García-Peña singing))

Beautiful in Central Park…

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

My name is Andrés García-Peña. I am a gondolier in Central Park for 27 years, and I am also an artist, a painter.

((NATS/MUSIC))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

Basically, my best friend was the chef at the Boathouse, 27 years ago. And she told me about this gondola and, you know, me being a painter and all, she’s like, “You know, you might need a side gig at some point.” And when I came to see the boat, I was just, just very impressed by an authentic Venetian gondola in New York City. And I kind of just really wanted to learn how to row it, you know. And back then, the Boathouse was a fraction of what it is today, wasn’t really that busy or whatever. But I really enjoyed it and, well, been here for a long time now.

((NATS/MUSIC))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

It took me a couple of days just to get the boat going straight, you know. It’s a hard thing to do actually. I mean, like anything, you know, practice makes perfect. Most people think it’s just a tourist thing, but it’s not, you know. It’s date night for New Yorkers. But, you know, of course, we do get a lot of tourists. With the pandemic and stuff, we don’t get the international tourists that we used to. You know, over the years, people from all over, all strata of, you know, economy. I mean, we’re right by Fifth Avenue, the richest part of the world, probably. But the gondola ride is not expensive. And, you know, I have kids, you know, on prom night, come in with their girlfriends, doing ­­­the gondola. So, you know, it’s everybody.

((NATS))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

It’s really kind of a very special job because I get it to see people that are happy, number one. Celebrating romance, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, guys proposing. But you know what? One thing that you know you do, you do, you know, experience is that seeing true love, seeing people that are really in love with each other and coming on gondola rides. You know, it’s just good vibes. It’s a good, good thing for me. And I facilitate that, you know, their romance by telling them the history of the park, and the history about kissing under the bridge, and I sing romantic songs to them.

((NATS/MUSIC))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park. He designed this lake with Venetian gondolas in mind.

((Courtesy: The Library of Congress))

1872, when Central Park opened its doors to the public, there was a fleet of gondolas here with authentic Venetian gondoliers, not imposters like me. There were about half a dozen Venetian gondolas here, giving rides. Bethesda Terrace was a very fancy part, where the hoity-toity would come up in their horse and buggies in the late 1800s. There was a restaurant, music underneath the arches there at the Bethesda Terrace.

So, this gondola has been here for…

((NATS: Andrés García-Peña and Ray))

Hey, Ray. Nice to see you, sir. Nice to see you.

Central Park, the best fisherman in Central Park right there. No, no. I’m not pointing at you, Ray. I’m pointing at her.

Yeah, her. She’s amazing.

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

So, this gondola has been here for 37 years. And I would say, it was approximately a 20-year-old gondola when it arrived. So, this is about a 60-year-old gondola.

((NATS/MUSIC))

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

Pretty much everything about this job is feel good. That’s why I think I’ve been doing it this long.

((Courtesy: Andrés García-Peña))

You know, being a painter, I’m in my studio alone.

I thrive for that. That’s what makes me happy and that’s my primary, you know, thing that I love to do. So, it’s nice to have a job where you, basically just positive energy, meeting people that are happy, explaining to them about the most beautiful park in the world.

((NATS/MUSIC))

((NATS: Andrés García-Peña singing))

A perfect day for romance at the Boathouse in Central Park.

((Andrés García-Peña

Gondolier))

So, I’ve been painting obviously a lot longer since than I’ve been a gondolier, been painting pretty much all my life. And when I first started doing the gondola, basically I was doing, I did the gondola my first 14 years. I did it seven days a week, which allowed me to just work and save money, and then basically work for like five, six months, and then I’d be off for six months and not have to worry about money. And so, I’ve always made art, you know, that I like to make and you know,

((Courtesy: Andrés García-Peña))

it’s not, maybe, not commercial, and I don’t care. I’ve always found that, you know, you can make money other ways. I’ve had some like, you know, success with certain series that I did more than others where I was able to make money. But doing the gondola basically allows me to have a great time and then be able to paint what I want and not sell out.

((NATS: Andrés García-Peña singing))

TEASE ((VO/NAT))

Coming up

((Banner))

The Magic of Oysters

((SOT))

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

They had a display where they took some very, very cloudy water that you couldn’t really see through. And they put two oysters in there and they told me to come back in a half an hour. And they told me the water would be crystal clear.

BREAK TWO

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK C

((PKG)) OYSTER CITY

((TRT: 04:42))

((Topic Banner: Oyster City))

((Reporter/Camera/Producer: Zdenko Novacki))

((Camera: Philip Alexiou))

((Map: Pasadena, Maryland))

((Main character: 1 male))

((NATS))

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

All right, we’re just going to the end of my pier, my property. And we’re going to see Oyster City, which is a city and a marina that I built on two big floats.

((NATS))

I wanted to draw attention to oysters and how important they are to the bay.

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

And I thought if I could create awareness. And this absolutely draws an amazing amount of boaters over the weekend. People come by. They take pictures.

And it has oyster facts, and it just tries to educate the public a little bit about the importance of oysters and what they mean to the Chesapeake Bay.

((NATS))

It basically all started at a…

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

I went to a fundraiser for the Chesapeake Bay, and it was actually a big, like oyster roast. And they were chucking oysters. And they had a display where they took some

very, very cloudy water that you couldn’t really see through. And they put two oysters in there and they told me to come back in a half an hour. And they told me the water would be crystal clear because oysters filter 50 gallons [190 l] of water daily. And sure enough, when I came back, that water was crystal clear and I was just, I was, it was very compelling.

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

And I just thought, “Boy, if there was more oysters back in the bay, it could help clean the bay up.” So, I just decided to create a hobby with this and build my own reefs.

((NATS))

What I have here is a actual reef that I designed into a boat lift that you can articulate. You can bring it up, so you can see it clear because the water is very murky in the Chesapeake Bay. So, basically for kids that like to come to my house and see what I’m doing, you can’t really show them an oyster because you can’t see it through the, the water. So, I’ve actually built a reef that I can bring up and so kids can get a better understanding of how oysters grow on a reef.

((NATS))

And these are three reef balls right in here that I had in the setting tank last year. And the microscopic larvae swam. They set and now they’ve been growing. And those are all oysters growing on those reef balls. And I built a water wheel that I incorporated in, that has a pump. And as that spins and it throws water down, it oxygenates this reef.

So, it’s quite a neat little habitat. They’re amazing filtering machines.

((NATS))

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

They actually, oyster reefs create habitat for fish

to spawn and to grow and for protection. They’re also delicious, nutritional, an amazing food source because they have such a benefit to the environment as well as to your eating health. They’re loaded with vitamins and nutrients that you can’t get in most foods.

((NATS))

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

Oysters’ population in the Chesapeake Bay is only historically today at 1% of what it was. And there were enough oysters in the bay, like the turn of the [20th] century, where the bay would be filtered every day. Now, there’s only 1% of that. So, it can take a year before it can get the filtering properties.

((NATS))

((Rick Levin

Co-Owner, Pasadena Boat Works))

All of these oysters here, on this property, which is about a total of 6,000, will go out on the reef within the next few weeks.

((NATS))

And I probably now have a total of 30,000 oysters growing there. I would say right now, with the amount of oysters that I have on that reef, they can filter probably about 150,000 gallons [560 cubic meters] of water daily. I put them in buckets and then I just take my boat out to the reef and then I just scatter them on the reef.

((NATS))

((PKG)) UNDERWATER PARK

((TRT: 03:32))

((Topic Banner: Underwater Museum))

((Reporter: Tahira Kibria))

((Camera: Matthew Ritenour))

((Underwater Camera: Abdul Aziz Khan))

((Adapted by: Zdenko Novacki))

((Map: Rawlings, Virginia))

((Main characters: 3 male))

((NATS))

((Joseph Shields

Diver))

It’s the next best thing to being in space. It’s the weightlessness. It’s the same feeling, I would suppose as astronauts feel, you know, when they’re up there. But we’re down here in this beautiful world and it is also a weightless, beautiful world.

((NATS))

((Fred Foster

Diver))

Just being suspended like the whole world’s moving, but you aren’t if you don’t want to. And you don’t weigh anything, but you weigh everything. The whole thing is kind of there.

((NATS))

((Joseph Shields

Diver))

It’s a perfectly preserved ecosystem here because no fishing, no poaching, nothing. None of that is allowed on the property at all.

((NATS))

((Robert Grose

Owner, Lake Phoenix Scuba Park & Family Campground))

Primarily, it’s a scuba park for training and then to keep your skills up as a diver. We are a campground as well. So, you bring your RV [recreational vehicle] in, your family. And we have 50 amp, 30 amp hookups for your RV, water and a dump station on the way out.

((NATS))

((Robert Grose

Owner, Lake Phoenix Scuba Park & Family Campground))

The helicopter, so we submerged that. That came from the Navy and muchly appreciated. It was fun to sink, but other things we get from donations, a car here or a bus. We prep it to get it ready for the water. So, there’s no harmful chemicals or oils that are left behind.

((NATS))

((Robert Grose

Owner, Lake Phoenix Scuba Park & Family Campground))

My favorite underwater attraction would be the plane. If you go down to about 50 feet [15 m], and then you swim towards that plane, just the size of it as you come up to it, is breathtaking. ((NATS))

((Robert Grose

Owner, Lake Phoenix Scuba Park & Family Campground))

We have people coming from Delaware, Maryland, D.C., sometimes, you know, North Carolina.

((NATS))

((Fred Foster

Diver))

But whatever your favorite food is, every time you eat it there’s a new experience. We had a new experience today. And when we dive later on today, there will be a new experience. The plane’s been there for years. We’ve dove there for years.

((NATS))

((Joseph Shields

Diver))

We’re shouldering almost 90 to 100 pounds [40 to 45 kg] of gear on us before we get in the water. Once we get in the water, all of that becomes neutral and weightless. But to that point, you have to get from point A to point B.

((NATS))

((Fred Foster

Diver))

You gotta get in.

((NATS))

((Joseph Shields

Diver))

We have to learn how to react to the environment as the environment changes. All of a sudden you’re diving, and then all of a sudden some haze comes through, algae comes through. It decreases your visibility, which means that our team skills have to get tighter and closer. That means we have to even get closer.

((NATS))

((Joseph Shields

Diver))

We have to learn how to be able to manage problems and manage failures while we are underwater and still keep each other safe and bring each other home.

((NATS))

((Robert Grose

Owner, Lake Phoenix Scuba Park & Family Campground))

We have been pretty fortunate. People needed a place to go. This is outside. And go scuba diving. You don’t have a minimum distance underneath the water. People dive all year round.

((NATS))

((Fred Foster

Diver))

Diving is great everywhere. There is no bad diving, alright. A dirty waterhole, if you’re under the water, it’s a good day of diving. I’ve messed up some dives, but I never had a bad day diving.

((NATS))

CLOSING BUMPER ((ANIM))

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BREAK THREE

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

SHOW ENDS

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Published on 2021-11-19

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Originally posted as: Water, Land and Ecosystems_VOA Connect Ep 201, made available by Voice of America under the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal license.


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