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 the Challenge on July 17th.
At home, we are getting lots of food from the garden, but it does not round out our diet. So Tamea (my wife) routinely makes her visits to local stands and markets. Farmers now sell many more locally-sourced products than when the Challenge began seven years ago. A consumer can easily live year-round off of local farm products (with the exception of a few cheats, like coffee and olive oil!)
Monday night I was able to spend the evening dining with the Calvert Eats Local group in Prince Frederick. It was a wonderful meal as usual. We hold a potluck quarterly with locally-sourced food. The July potluck is so easy because of abundant supplies.
But the big event of the Challenge is the Governor’s Buy-Local Cookout. Last night’s was the seventh annual cookout to be hosted at the Governor’s residence and it highlighted healthy recipes made with locally grown foods from throughout the state. Earlier this year, Governor O’Malley encouraged chefs and producers to participate by asking them to submit original recipes that highlight the diversity of local products. Twenty-eight recipes were submitted and sixteen were selected.
As I am posting this blog, I realize that there are only a few days left to the Challenge, but local produce will be abundant for several more months and more farmers markets are now remaining open year-round.
Buying locally-sourced food gives us the chance to know where our food is coming from and to help support our local farming economy!