According to the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, purchasing local produce is a great idea because:
- you get fresher and healthier products
- you get better tasting food
- you support an economy near your home, rather than thousands of miles away
- you support Southern Maryland's rich agricultural heritage and natural beauty
Buying local produce is simple. Consumers can choose from farmers markets, CSAs, restaurants, roadside stands and pick your own operations. Local school systems also have the opportunity to feature local produce in school cafeterias through the farms to school program.
When you buy local, you help ensure that the benefits of our farms survive for many years to come. Every year the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) sponsors the "Buy Local Challenge" where consumers pledge to eat at least one thing from a local farmer every day during Buy Local Week which is the last week in July. For more information about the challenge, visit www.buy-local-challenge.com
According to the Buy Local Challenge website, buying local is good for you, good for the local economy and good for the planet. In addition to providing food that's fresh and nutritional, buying from local farms promotes cleaner air and water and reduces our carbon footprint on the planet. If every household in Maryland purchased just $12 worth of farm products for eight weeks (basically the summer season), over $200 million would be put back into the pockets of our farmers.
So Maryland, So Good
So Maryland, So Good is a campaign sponsored by SMADC and is designed to help consumers identify truly Southern Maryland products and buy accordingly. By building a direct link between buyers and growers of the five Southern Maryland counties and promoting the advantages of buying local, this program hopes to help keep farming vibrant and vital in Southern Maryland. Visit www.somarylandsogood.com for more information.
Maryland's BestMaryland's Best is your source to find the best local products from Maryland farmers. From produce, seafood and speciality foods to grains, nursery items and ag-recreational activities, find everything you need and more. Visit www.marylandsbest.net for more information.
Calvert County farmers markets feature fresh, seasonal, locally-grown produce, baked goods, flowers and more. Visit one of these markets for the season's best!
To participate in the Prince Frederick, Barstow, or Solomons Farmers Markets please complete and return an application (.pdf), and review the Farmers Market Rules and Regulations (.pdf). To participate in the North Beach Farmers Market, please contact the North Beach Town Hall at 301-855-6681 or firstname.lastname@example.org All interested applicants are encouraged to review the Processing and Selling Value Added Food Products in Maryland guidelines (.pdf).
Calvert County Farmers Market Barstow Calvert County Fairgrounds
140 Calvert Fair Drive
Barstow, Maryland 20610
Directions: Route 4 to Hallowing Point Road (Route 231) to Fairgrounds on left.
Hours: Seasonally May to November every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Calvert County Farmers Market Prince Frederick Calvert Memorial Hospital Parking Lot (adjacent to Route 4)
130 Hospital Road
Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678
Directions: Route 4 to Calvert Memorial Hospital Parking Lot D.
Hours: Seasonally May to November every Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m.
Calvert County Farmers Market Solomons Riverwalk Parking Lot
North of Solomons Pavilion
Solomons, Maryland 20688
Directions: Route 4 to Solomons to riverwalk area parking lot on right.
Hours: Seasonally May to November every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.
North Beach Friday Night Farmers Market 5th Street and Bay Avenue and 7th Street and Bay Avenue
North Beach, Maryland 20714
Directions: Route 4 to North Beach to Market approximately one mile after Route 260 traffic signal.
Hours: Seasonally May to October every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spirtually, the community's farm with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food prdouction. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvest due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
The following Calvert County farm provide CSAs:
Calvert County roadside stands and farm stores are brimming with fresh-picked produce, meats and more. Visit one of the following farms for a great selection of tasty vegetables, delicious fruits, meats, eggs and more.
Additionally, many producers sell their products directly from their farms. Information on these farms is available under Farm Products.
One simple way for consumers to support local farming is by patronizing area restaurants and caterers that feature local farm products. Restaurateurs are turning to local agriculture for the freshest, ripest produce on the market since the best ingredients make the best dishes. The following Calvert County restaurants and caterers feature local produce: