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Category: Buy Local Challenge

A celebration of farms and food in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the ‘Challenge’

A celebration of farms and food in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the ‘Challenge’

The first ever ‘Buy Local Challenge 10th Anniversary Celebration – Southern Maryland Style’ event, was held this past Monday evening July 31st, at Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Southern Prince George’s County, which the Watson family kindly donated for the evening of the the event. The farm festival featured 30 local farmers, producers, artisans, and vendors who pitched ‘farmers market style’ booths and tents on the farm lawn and offered product tastings and sales of their delicious wares. Sampling…

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What do Southern Maryland Meats, Distilled Spirits, and Alpacas all have in common?  

What do Southern Maryland Meats, Distilled Spirits, and Alpacas all have in common?  

…They will all be together Monday, July 31, 2017! Join SMADC, farmers, and local farm and craft vendors for a celebration of Maryland’s farms and food at the Buy Local Challenge 10th Anniversary Celebration Event – Southern Maryland Style. The event is open to the public as part of our efforts to continue to promote the regions’ farms, and provide outreach to the community about Maryland farms. The event will feature tastings of local farm products, a locally sourced Southern Maryland style buffet…

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Happy New Year! Annual Report Published

Happy New Year! Annual Report Published

Happy New Year! January marks a good time to look back and reflect and look forward to the future. SMADC recently published its FY’16 End of Year Report (linked below). Some FY’16 highlights include: Maryland FarmLINK launched a new website (FarmLINK 2.0) with increased features for users 581 new members signed-up for the FarmLINK website/Weekly Roundup; 55 Maryland FarmLINK “Weekly Roundup” newsletters were sent to 1,900 subscribers 8 new farmer profiles launched Tomorrow’s Harvest website The Southern Maryland Meat Processing Facility is…

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Setting the stage for a flourishing future by Christine Bergmark

Setting the stage for a flourishing future by Christine Bergmark

By: Christine Bergmark, Executive Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission Looking back over 15 years of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, I am filled with pride. We, the farmers, consumers, visionaries, staff and volunteers, have accomplished so much. Sixteen years ago, few could have envisioned Southern Maryland agriculture without tobacco. But the new crops, new markets, farm innovations, and consumer demand that followed gave hope with each fresh planting season that agriculture was and would continue to be vibrant…

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Buy Local Challenge Week continues to grow customers!

Buy Local Challenge Week continues to grow customers!

Seven years ago, it started as a way to create markets for Southern Maryland farmers who had transitioned out of tobacco and into food/drink production. Quickly it morphed into a statewide Buy Local Challenge Week. As it matures, the event is serving as a celebration of accomplishments in the resourcing of locally produced food in Maryland. This year, perhaps the biggest celebration was at the Governor’s residence in Annapolis where Governor Hogan welcomed hundreds of happy grazers of offerings from…

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Walking-the-walk for Buy Local Challenge Week!

Walking-the-walk for Buy Local Challenge Week!

When Buy Local Challenge Week began 7 years ago, it was a challenge to find enough locally sourced food to feed yourself. No more. Aside from a few condiments, consumers can find a well-rounded diet. A locavore in Maryland can find a wide selection of meats and dairy year around. We can find a broad selection of seasonally grown fruits and vegetables, though it is next to impossible find locally sourced strawberries in the winter months! To extend variety and supply…

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START Farmers’ Network visits Monnett Farms!

START Farmers’ Network visits Monnett Farms!

When Benson and Jamie Tiralla moved onto Benson’s family farm in 2007, the land had laid idle for a decade and a half.  Like most farms in the region, Monnett Farms had been a tobacco farm, though some livestock had been raised as well. Monnett Farms was in need of a new farming strategy. Both Benson and Jamie were working off the farm at the time. However, they began raising some livestock as a hobby and to supply their family’s…

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Governor’s Buy-Local-Cookout is a highlight of the Challenge week

Governor’s Buy-Local-Cookout is a highlight of the Challenge week

This has got to be my favorite time of the year! My garden is in peak performance mode, my favorite fruit (blueberries) are still in abundance and I get to participate in the Buy-Local-Challenge week. There are lots of stories throughout Maryland about participation in the event including one  from the City of Frederick  and another from the Carroll Hospital Center, one of thirteen hospitals in the state to participate in the Challenge. In addition, WBALTV presented a great story about…

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Do you really know what you are eating? July is the month to take control!

Do you really know what you are eating? July is the month to take control!

As a teen, I was an occasional viewer of the Star Trek television series created by Gene Roddenberry. I was intrigued by the moral/philosophical issues posed in many of the shows, but was not that interested in future technology. And I was disturbed by a scene where they made a meal with machines and not real food. That image of ingesting food produced from a computer just violated my agrarian sensibilities, even if it looked like real food! As an adult,…

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Maryland’s big ag experiment seems to be working – up to a point

Maryland’s big ag experiment seems to be working – up to a point

What happens when a region loses its “money crop?” Maryland was one of 46 states to win the “Master Settlement Agreement” with the major tobacco companies in 1998. At issue was the cost of health care borne by the states due to smoking. In Maryland, a Cigarette Restitution Fund was established to “implement strategies to reduce the burden of tobacco related disease . . . with a specific emphasis on tobacco use prevention and cessation and cancer prevention, early detection, and…

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