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Category: Farm to Table

Kimchi to Charcuterie- Savvy marketing by local producers tickles consumers taste buds

Kimchi to Charcuterie- Savvy marketing by local producers tickles consumers taste buds

Every year Maryland Department of Agriculture holds a Buyer Grower Expo in Annapolis, providing a forum for farms and value-added producers to meet new potential buyers. In the last few years that SMADC has been going, we’ve seen the numbers in attendance continually rise- with now over 60 growers, processors,  watermen, and small food businesses attending from Maryland. What was most impressive this year was the sheer variety of products available. Both from the farms that are growing them and from the…

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Pollinating the local economy to grow jobs and prosperity

Pollinating the local economy to grow jobs and prosperity

Consumer demand is changing the U.S. food industry and local economies can take advantage of consumer demand for less processed fresh and local foods. A National Good Food Network webinar last week highlighted some ways to grow the local economy. Rather than simply attracting another region’s businesses and retaining the ones you have, Michael Shuman, author of The Local Economy Solution, suggests that local governments and nonprofits should: (1) Maximize local ownership. (2) Maximize local self-reliance. (3) Spread models of…

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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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Young Farmer Fundraiser draws a crowd!

Young Farmer Fundraiser draws a crowd!

The Calvert County Farm Bureau decided to celebrate this year’s National Agriculture Week by holding a Farm to Table Breakfast to support young farmers last Saturday. They locally sourced most of the food and farm support businesses helped to pay farmers for local products. Perhaps it was Ag Week. Perhaps it was the opportunity to support young farmers or the attraction of locally grown food. Either way, the 300+ attendees were enthusiastic about the food and took time to explore the…

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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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Scaling up to meet the demand for local food in Maryland

Scaling up to meet the demand for local food in Maryland

Recently, you may have seen a number of posts from me about food hubs and the growth potential for local farm-to-table farmers. I guess that others have the same thought in mind. At the Future Harvest CASA conference last week, there was standing-room only for a session entitled “Scaling Up.” Fortunately, the organizers chose two great aggregators and two great farmers (who sell to aggregators) to speak. The session was facilitated by Jon Berger, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Real…

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With disdain for the 10,000-mile diet

With disdain for the 10,000-mile diet

In a recent Farm Forum post on Maryland FarmLINK, I mentioned  a new book “The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet” which dismissed the local food movement as an upper middle class food movement. Of course, the book’s title is intended to counter Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” which advances the notion that folks should try to find local food sources because they are fresher, you get to know the farmer and how he/she is raising the food, and…

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