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Tag: local food

Selling local products through food hubs: new Maryland report

Selling local products through food hubs: new Maryland report

This blog is the second in a two-part series on selling farm products through outside distribution channels like food hubs (read the first blog here). The Wallace Center recently released a new report on Maryland Food Hubs. The Wallace Center partnered with SMADC on the report, looking at research SMADC has undertaken in the past few years on Maryland food hubs (existing and emerging), and the knowledge the Wallace Center has built around food hub and food system work at…

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Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 2, Mix’n’Match and Food Forests

Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 2, Mix’n’Match and Food Forests

As part of the weekly blog post series, Maryland FarmLINK occasionally features an interview with a local farmer or local food advocate.  If we want to create a different food system, where regionally-based agricultural systems can thrive, my hope is that we value more models like Chesapeake’s Bounty. This interview is with Will Kreamer, owner and operator of Chesapeake’s Bounty in St. Leonard and North Beach. Highlighting the health, environmental, and economic benefits of local food, the Bounty sells a wide range…

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Feeding the Foodshed

Feeding the Foodshed

It’s August and it’s hot, and this year in particular there has been a lot of rain. Yet many of our local farmers, from vegetable and fruit producers to meat and dairy farms, are working hard to bring enough to market. Last week was National Farmers Market week, and Maryland farmers showed up to share the fruits of their labor with the locals. And locals showed up to purchase it! The bounty, spread out in vast array this time of…

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Food hub workshop yields a bountiful crop of ideas

Food hub workshop yields a bountiful crop of ideas

Next to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Wallace Center, Winrock International knows more about food hubs than any other organization in the country. One program of the Center is the National Good Food Network which regularly holds webinars about food hubs. The USDA often supports the Wallace Center in its research and workshops on food hubs.   Understandably, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission was thrilled to co-sponsor a workshop held at The Vineyards at Dodon last week with the Wallace Center…

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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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Food security and food safety with locally sourced food

Food security and food safety with locally sourced food

USDA defines food security for a household as “access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” However, food security not only has food access and affordability components, it can be jeopardized by natural and man-made disasters. . . Americans are known for certain cultural traits such as independence, hard-work, inventiveness, and perseverance. The homesteading movement and beginning farmer movement harken back to the notion of being independent and feeding ourselves and our own…

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Can Maryland be food self-sufficient?

Can Maryland be food self-sufficient?

As recently as 70 years ago, Maryland was virtually food self-sufficient, with local farmers providing nearly all the food staples. Since then, modern agriculture practices, food business models, and improved transportation systems have reduced food prices and provided a much wider variety of fruits and vegetables and processed goods in supermarkets. Trade agreements allowed tariff free imports to lower prices and increase variety even more. For a number of reasons, Maryland farms (and East Coast farms in general) have not been…

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New local food processing and marketing options – food incubators

New local food processing and marketing options – food incubators

Many of us were surprised that the growth in the number of farmers markets was appearing to flatten out in the U.S. And in its report to Congress, the USDA reported that between 2007 and 2012 the number of farms with direct-to-consumer sales increased 5.5 percent, but with no increase in direct-to-consumer sales. However, the report speculated that local food might be moving through other marketing channels, like grocery stores or institutions, the value of which is not measured by the Census of Agriculture. I believe…

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Saving family farms in Maryland – level access to markets

Saving family farms in Maryland – level access to markets

This blog is the last in a series on saving family farms in Maryland. In the first blog, I highlighted the need for beginning farmers. In the second and third blogs, I addressed access to land and infrastructure needs. In this blog, I discuss how to create a level access to markets. The local food movement has given us hope that we can maintain family farms in Maryland. For decades, I have heard of farmers telling their children that there is…

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We will have “made it” when there are locally sourced bakeries!

We will have “made it” when there are locally sourced bakeries!

I LOVE bread. I am not very good in the kitchen, but years ago, I had grown weary of store-bought bread with a list of chemicals I did not recognize and I resolved to make my own. For a number of years (I won’t say how many), I tortured the family with my attempts at yeast breads that were barely edible. Then about two years ago, two transformative events occurred. First, my wife found a recipe that I could follow successfully,…

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