Give the Gift of Fresh Cut Flowers
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and there is no more universal love language than flowers. From “I love you” to “I miss you” flowers can be used to say something profound without saying anything at all. When deciding where to purchase flowers this Valentines Day think about purchasing from a Maryland cut flower grower. Why? ““A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but it will smell sweeter if it is locally sourced from Maryland. That’s because locally flowers last up to three times as long as flowers shipped internationally! They have stronger scents and brighter colors. When you purchase locally sourced flowers you are also able to get a better, more diverse variety then those that are shipped internationally which largely make up the top three; roses, chrysanthemums and carnations. When you purchase local flowers you are putting money back into the local economy and investing in your local community and farmers. To learn more about Maryland Cut Flowers: www.marylandgrownflowers.com Here is a list of some Maryland Specialty Cut Flower Growers who will have product available for Valentines Day: APRICITY FLOWERS, HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND What’s Available: Chesapeake Holly, Yew, Tulips, Dried […]
Make the Holidays Local!
Maryland farmers offer some of the freshest holiday trees available, including the popular Fraser fir and Canaan fir as well as the Douglas fir, Concolor fir, Scotch pine, White pine, and Blue spruce. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture for Maryland, there are more than 185 Christmas tree growers in the state with nearly 2,200 acres in production. Nationally, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree growers in the U.S. and the fresh-cut Christmas tree business generates nearly $377 million in sales, according to the latest agriculture census. Not only do real trees look and smell amazing, they are also a renewable and recyclable resource that keep unwanted waste out of our landfills. Artificial trees are often petroleum based, imported from overseas, and do not biodegrade, so they eventually end up laying in landfills forever. In contrast, real Christmas trees can be recycled at the end of the holiday season, often chipped into mulch that returns important nutrients to the earth. While growing, Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen. When growing in an open area, a 3-inch diameter Douglas fir can reduce atmospheric carbon by 23 pounds and intercept 102 gallons of stormwater […]
Maryland’s Best Expo 2023
Maryland’s Best Expo Scheduled for January 10 Opportunity for Maryland Farmers, Seafood Producers, and Processors to Connect with Buyers The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host the Maryland’s Best Expo on Tuesday, January 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Returning for its 19th year, after being canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland’s Best Expo provides an opportunity for Maryland farmers, seafood producers, and processors to connect with buyers from grocery retailers, restaurants, schools, food distributors, and other venues. “This premiere event plays an important role in connecting our Maryland farmers and producers to buyers from around the state,” said MDA Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Over the past two decades, MDA’s Marketing Program, Maryland’s Best, has promoted our state’s agricultural and seafood products, and expanded markets for our farmers and producers. I am incredibly proud of their work and grateful for their efforts.” The 2020 Maryland’s Best Expo attracted more than 300 attendees. Participants included farmers, producers, watermen, aquaculturists, processors, grocery store retailers, restaurants, schools, institutions, distributors, economic development officials, University of Maryland Extension (UME) agents, and regional agricultural marketing officials. Due to popular demand, this […]
Autumn is Apple Time!
The work of Maryland’s apple growers is paying off for you now! It’s Apple Month in Maryland! Varieties that range from Crispin, big golden green globes of sweetness, to the Stayman, with its tart and spicy flesh are ready for the eating. All these types of apples and the growers who produce them have stories to tell. For a complete list of different apple varieties grown in Maryland complete with taste profiles click here. The Stayman, for example, was developed in 1876 in Leavenworth County, Kansas. Maryland even has its Antietam Blush, a project of the University of Maryland. One of Maryland’s apple growers, Robert Black, was honored last year as Apple Grower of the Year by American Fruit Grower magazine. Search our website for Maryland apple orchards and try out the Maryland Apple Promotion Board’s website.
Got Oysters? A Maryland Oyster Guide
Guide to Buying, Cleaning & Shucking Maryland Oysters Maryland oysters are available year-round! Use the videos and links below to learn the best ways to buy, clean and shuck this tasty seafood! How to Buy Oysters Buying Guide- Maryland Oysters How to Clean Oysters Wild oysters may need a quick rinse if they’re muddy, scrubbing with a brush if needed before you shuck, as Chef Gwyn demonstrates! (Using a hose outdoors is a great idea too!) Watch the video linked below. Cleaning Oysters Video How to Shuck Oysters Opening oysters is a snap once you get the hang of it. Make sure to wear a glove or wrap your hand with a towel before beginning. Watch the video linked below to see a proper technique of how to shuck an oyster without losing the juice that gives them their delicious taste! How to Shuck an Oyster Video
Originally from China, snakehead is a voracious predator that feeds on native species of fish and other Chesapeake aquatic wildlife. Fortunately, these invasive species taste delicious! From fried to broiled, in tacos or a poor boy, the versatility of this fish has local chefs excited. If you haven’t tried it yet, order it at your local seafood restaurant or pick some up to cook at home. Check out our Snakehead Recipes
Try Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish
Since they were first introduced into the Chesapeake Bay, the blue catfish population has increased dramatically. This invasive species was first introduced into our waters during the 1970s and is now prolific throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In 2018 there was an estimated 500 million pounds of blue catfish in the bay. Due to lack of awareness among chefs and consumers, local watermen and processors have not been able to use this species at a high enough number to mitigate their impact on other Chesapeake Bay mainstays like blue crab, rockfish, and oysters. Catching and eating blue catfish is one tasty way to reduce the numbers of this invasive fish. Blue catfish caught from the Chesapeake Bay is often compared to rockfish in taste and texture and can be cooked in a variety of different ways such as frying or baking. Try out one of our blue catfish recipes in the link below! Blue Catfish Recipes. Invasive Blue Catfish Information.
Celebrate Spring! Find plants and flowers at Maryland farmstands, farmers markets
Maryland is home to a thriving number of flower growers and ornamental plant producers. Cut flowers brought in $1.9 million into the state’s ag economy in 2017, the last Ag Census. There are many options for beautifying your home. Including local plants in your plans benefits you, your neighbors and the state! Look for plants and flowers at farmstands and farmers markets. For cut flowers, go to here. For nurseries and garden centers, go here. For gardening tips from the University of Maryland, go here.
Sign up for a Maryland CSA
Join a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm and support local farmers while receiving healthful, fresh produce all summer long. CSA members pay an up-front subscription to farmers in return for a share of the season’s harvest, which is usually provided weekly. For convenience, many CSAs deliver to central locations for pickup closer to subscriber’s home or work on a designated day of the week. Search Maryland’s Best web site for a CSA farm near you. Local Harvest – Tips for Potential CSA Members List of CSA farms on Maryland’s Best
Maryland Oyster Season
Maryland oystermen and oyster farmers are pulling up the bounty of our waters this season. Try them shucked in stews and fried. Or, enjoy their raw briny essence. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Statistics Service Census of Aquaculture, Maryland farmers sold $3.5 million in oysters in 2018. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that in 2018 Maryland watermen received $6.7 million in sales of wild caught oysters. To find local oysters to enjoy at home, select this link to our Direct to Consumer Map To find a seafood restaurant with oysters select this link to the Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail In the video below learn how to fry Maryland oysters.
Local oysters, kale, cheese goodness! Enjoy!
The holidays are here! While seasonal celebrations will be smaller this year, it is still a perfect time to include local seafood and farm products on your table. “This is a holiday season unlike any other, and it is more important than ever that we continue to support the men and women who have worked throughout the pandemic to provide fresh, local food products,” said Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder. “There is plenty of local meat, seafood, dairy products and hardy winter vegetables available for your holiday meal. Visit MarylandsBest.net to find local products near you.” “It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, not only because of the holidays, but also for fresh Maryland oysters – which are at their best right now,” said Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “While this has been a tough year for many of us, we can support the men and women in our communities who produce and catch our food while celebrating with our families by choosing locally grown and locally caught items this holiday season.” “Chesapeake cuisine makes Maryland a very special place to be for the holidays,” said Chef John Shields, author of several books on the region’s cuisine. “Think local […]
Keep local beauty in your home
Make your safe space beautiful with Maryland cut flowers. A splash of living color and scents of nature can really lift your mood. To find Maryland cut flower growers, search our web site, or go to Maryland Grown Flowers Web Site Learn about Butterbee Farm in Baltimore County Butterbee Farm Soundbook
Choose Maryland Oysters
One of our most intriguing foods, oysters are like fine wine, its flavor a mirror of its habitat. Move a grapevine, you get a different wine. Oysters are same. Maryland oysters are sweet and delicate A result of merroir, the content and characteristics of the sea in which it grows, the Chesapeake haunts every slurp or savor you have of an oyster taken from its tributaries. Check out the links below to learn more about Maryland oysters and the locations where you can purchase them. Find restaurants serving local oysters here: www.seafood.maryland.gov/oyster-pledge Explore the seafood trail: www.visitmaryland.org/article/crack-shuck-savor-maryland Try some oyster recipes: www.seafood.maryland.gov/category/oysters/ Learn about the Oyster Recovery Partnership: www.oysterrecovery.org/
2019 Maryland’s Best Expo Directory
To download a pdf version of the 2019 Maryland’s Best Food & Beverage Expo Directory, please select the link below. 2019 Maryland’s Best Expo Directory
Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture supplemental nutritional grant and provides checks to low income senior citizens and participants of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Theses checks can be redeemed to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, and cut herbs at local farmers markets. Find the nearest farmer’s market where FNMP checks are accepted!