Governor’s Buy Local Cookout 2023
Finalists will Prepare Dishes to Celebrate Buy Local Challenge Week ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 16, 2023) – Governor Wes Moore is inviting chefs to feature local Maryland ingredients in original recipe submissions for the annual Governor’s Buy Local Cookout, to be held at the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s headquarters in Annapolis on July 20. The cookout promotes the statewide Buy Local Challenge Week, during which all Marylanders are encouraged to eat at least one local product each day of the week. “Maryland’s farmers, watermen, and chefs produce an incredible bounty that is second to none,” said Governor Moore. “I invite chefs from across the state to submit their most creative recipes using fresh, local ingredients as I invite all Marylanders to help strengthen the state’s economy and buy local.” Recipes must be submitted by June 2 and must include 50% of Maryland-sourced products with a focus on partnering with at least one Maryland farmer, waterman, or other producer. Chefs are encouraged to submit recipes that showcase ways the average Maryland family can prepare delicious, nutritious meals with locally produced food at home. “Buying local is just one way Marylanders can stay involved in agriculture and their community,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin […]
Enjoy the Ice Cream Trail!
Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail’s 2023 season officially begins on May 26 and will run through September 30. Now in its tenth year, the Ice Cream Trail is designed to promote the state’s dairy industry and has become increasingly popular, drawing participants from across the state and beyond. The 2023 Ice Cream Trail features 9 on-farm creameries across the state that produce and sell their ice cream directly to consumers. The trail stretches more than 290 miles from Washington County in the west to Worcester County in the east. The trail aims to increase the public’s understanding of dairy farming and highlight the important contributions of Maryland’s 325 dairy farms, which, according to the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, accounted for more than $174 million in sales in 2017.
Sweet Maryland Strawberries
Spring is here and so are Sweet Maryland Strawberries. Support our family farmers and local economy by purchasing Maryland strawberries. Find your local Farmers Market, U-pick farm, or farm stand for fresh, local strawberries! When selecting strawberries, be sure to look for a full, red color, bright luster and firm, plump flesh. Strawberries do not ripen after being picked, so be sure to choose fully ripe berries. The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Picking your own fruit is a fun experience for the whole family and a great way to teach kids about where food comes from. The whole family knows they will greatly appreciate farmers who grow and produce the food on our plates. Find a farm or farmers market with Maryland strawberries near you by searching in the “I’m looking for” box above.
Celebrate Spring! Find plants and flowers at Maryland farmstands, farmers markets
The warmer temperatures of spring may have you itching to get out there and plant and guess what the warmer temperatures of April combined with ample amounts of rain are perfect for establishing good root growth and healthy flowers, trees, and shrubs. Some things to look at before you plant: the date for the last frost as this could affect and harm less-frost tolerant plants, sunshine, amount of water, and soil quality. Once you’ve made these observations you’re ready to head off to a local garden center and make your purchases. If you’re having any trouble or have more questions we recommend reaching out to someone at your local University of Maryland Extension Office or asking someone at your local garden center. We recommend shopping local as local garden centers will have a selection that is tailored to your area and will carry plants that will be more successful in your area. Local garden centers also carry more heirloom and diverse selections than other big box stores. Maryland’s green industry had an estimated $1.5 billion impact on the economy in 2019 according to a 2018 survey . To find one of 34 garden centers near […]
Sign up for a Maryland CSA
Maryland Department of Agriculture Encourages Marylanders to Participate in National Community Supported Agriculture Farms Week ANNAPOLIS, MD (Feb. 17, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is encouraging Marylanders to participate in National Community Supported Agriculture Farms Week from February 20- 26. During the week, Marylanders are encouraged to join a community supported agriculture farm, also known as a CSA, to obtain fresh produce and support local farmers. “CSAs present a great opportunity to get fresh, local food—direct from a farmer,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Acting Secretary Kevin Atticks. “This is the perfect time to sign up with a CSA farm so you don’t miss out on any of the season’s fruits and vegetables”. By purchasing local food, consumers keep dollars in Maryland and strengthen its economy. Community supported agriculture members pay a 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 pick up closer to subscribers’ home or work. Still others have special rates if a subscriber helps with the harvest on the farm. According to the most recent agricultural census completed in 2017 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, […]
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
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.
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
Eat more Chesapeake Bay blue catfish! Wild caught by Waterman in the Chesapeake Bay rivers in Maryland, this delicious tasting fish is quickly becoming a Maryland seafood favorite. Blue Catfish are versatile and can be easily prepared by baking, frying, sautéing and more. Show your support for Maryland watermen and order blue catfish from the menu of your favorite seafood restaurant or pick some up from your local grocery store to prepare at home. Try out one of our blue catfish recipes in the link below! Blue Catfish Recipes. Invasive Blue Catfish Information.
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!