News & Events

Maryland Watermelon Season!

Maryland Watermelon Season!
It’s watermelon season! To pick the juiciest, sweetest melon, look for firm melons that smell sweet on the ends. A single yellow splotch is a sign of ripeness, but avoid melons with many splotches. Local watermelons tend to be sweeter and fresher than imports. Watermelon stored in a refrigerat...

Take the Buy Local Challenge from July 20 - 28

Take the Buy Local Challenge from July 20 - 28
This summer, show your commitment to Maryland and eating local by taking the Buy Local Challenge! The Buy Local Challenge is a pledge to support Maryland farms by eating at least one locally grown item a day for a week, July 20 – 28, 2019. The Buy Local Pledge: “I pledge to eat at least ...

The 2019 Maryland's Best Ice Cream Trail

The 2019 Maryland's Best Ice Cream Trail
Maryland has nine dairy farms that offer fresh, delicious on-farm ice cream. Together, they make up the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail. Visit each creamery and get your trail passport stamped before September 23rd and you may be named Maryland’s 2019 Ice Cream Trail Blazer! 2019 MD’s Best...

Maryland Peach Season!

Maryland Peach Season!
Maryland is known for quality peaches, and harvesting is underway! To pick the best peaches, look for fruits that are deeply colored and firm, but slightly soft to the touch. Store them in a fridge and eat within a week for maximum freshness. In 2017 alone there were 831 acres of peaches harvested i...

Maryland Nurseries & Garden Centers

Maryland Nurseries & Garden Centers
Before landscaping and planting your spring gardens this year, be sure to check out a Maryland nursery or garden center. By choosing to purchase your annual bedding plants, perennials, shrubs and trees from Maryland producers, you will not only be supporting our State’s farmers, but also your ...

Sign up for a Maryland CSA

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 C...

Maryland’s Best Expo on 1/23

Maryland’s Best Expo on 1/23
The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s annual Maryland’s Best Expo will be held on January 23, 2019 from 10am – 2pm at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the Banquet Room in Annapolis, MD.The meeting is designed for Maryland growers, producers, and processors int...

Get Fresh & Fragrant, Buy a Local Christmas Tree

Get Fresh & Fragrant, Buy a Local Christmas Tree
This year be sure to visit a Maryland Christmas tree farm with your family. Not only do real trees look and smell beautiful, they are also a renewable, recyclable resource that keep unwanted waste out of our landfills and are good for the environment. Buying locally grown trees, including choose-and...

Fresh, Local Maryland Turkeys

Fresh, Local Maryland Turkeys
For the freshest, best tasting turkey this Thanksgiving, order a locally raised Maryland turkey. Don’t forget to place your orders early, as many Maryland farms will sell out. The high demand for these birds is evidence to the superior flavor in a fresh, local turkey. To find a farm with turkeys n...

PICK LOCAL STRAWBERRIES

PICK LOCAL STRAWBERRIES
Strawberry season is in full swing. 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 ...

Maryland's Best Seafood seeks Blue Catfish recipes!

Maryland's Best Seafood seeks Blue Catfish recipes!
Maryland’s Best Seafood—a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture—is soliciting blue catfish recipes for inclusion in its upcoming Maryland Seafood Cookbook. The program is promoting the consumption of this tasty invasive species in an effort to mitigate its impact on other Chesa...

2018 Maryland's Best Expo

2018 Maryland's Best Expo
The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s annual Maryland’s Best Expo will be held on January 24, 2018 from 10am – 2pm at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the Banquet Room in Annapolis, MD.The meeting is designed for Maryland growers, producers, and processors interested ...

Maryland True Blue Crabs

Maryland True Blue Crabs
Only a small number of restaurants in Maryland reliably make their crab cakes from local crabmeat and the state does not require restaurants to identify the specific source of the meat. It’s time to stand behind our crab cakes and crab meat and proudly support this local luxury. True Blue, a promo...

Winter Farmers Market Guide

Winter Farmers Market Guide
Even though the winter weather has arrived, farmers’ market season isn’t over yet!  More than 15 Maryland farmers’ markets will remain open for business throughout the winter months. Visit a winter market near you to pick up local winter produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, wines and much more! Sev...

Maryland's Best Restaurant Promotion

Maryland's Best Restaurant Promotion
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has launched the Maryland’s Best Restaurant Promotion to identify restaurants, their chefs, and their distribution partners who are supportive in sourcing, purchasing, preparing and promoting Maryland products and ingredients on their menus. Maryland Farmers ...

Enjoy Maryland Watermelons!

Enjoy Maryland Watermelons!
August is the perfect time to enjoy delicious local watermelons. This sweet treat is not only great tasting, but also has many health benefits including being the lycopene leader in fresh produce. Maryland watermelons are vine-ripened and grown by about 50 farm families. Look for Maryland watermelon...

Take the Buy Local Challenge from July 23 - 31

Take the Buy Local Challenge from July 23 - 31
This month, show your commitment to Maryland and eating local by taking the Buy Local Challenge. The Buy Local Challenge is a pledge to support Maryland farms by eating at least one locally grown item a day for a week, July 23 – 31, 2016. The Buy Local Pledge: “I pledge to eat at least...

Addressing Food Waste

Addressing Food Waste
Many Maryland farmers and food companies make preventing waste a regular part of their business. One of the great tools available in the state is Maryland Food Bank’s Farm To Food Bank Program. This program engages a network of farms across the state in a partnership to provide hungry Marylanders ...

2016 Maryland Buyer-Grower Expo Directory

2016 Maryland Buyer-Grower Expo Directory
The Maryland Buyer-Grower Expo Directory contains all of the preregistered exhibitors and attendees from the 2016 Expo. Exhibitors include growers, processors, and watermen with products ranging from fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, oysters, specialty products, and more. Buyers include wholesale b...

2016 Maryland Farmers Market Conference

2016 Maryland Farmers Market Conference
REGISTER NOW! March 15, 2016 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm $30 per person Maryland Department of Agriculture 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401 Come and learn all about the best marketing tips for your Maryland farmers market, the new and exciting opportunities for markets in Maryland, a...

You & Your Farmer - Selfie Contest

You & Your Farmer - Selfie Contest
Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages you to take “selfies” with your favorite farmer and tweet or post them on Facebook using #GetYourFRESHon! MDA’s Maryland’s Best program will use some of the hashtagged photos in its promotions of farmers markets and Maryland agriculture around t...

Small Farm Conference 11/6 & 11/7

Small Farm Conference 11/6 & 11/7
Be sure to sign up for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Small Farm Conference on November 6th & 7th in Princess Anne. The purpose of this two-day educational event is to provide a venue for farmers, landowners and supporters of agriculture to come together to network and learn ...

Celebrate Maryland Farmers' Market Week

Celebrate Maryland Farmers' Market Week
Celebrate Maryland Farmers’ Market Week, Aug 2nd – 8th, by visiting a farmers’ market near you! Purchase fresh and delicious local products, get to know your area farmers, and enjoy some of the Farmers’ Market Week Festivities with family and friends! To find a farmers market...

Sweet Maryland Strawberries

Sweet Maryland Strawberries
Spring is here and so are Sweet Maryland Strawberries. Support our family farmers and local economy by purchasing Maryland 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 t...

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Publications

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Publications
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a growing business model for farms in Maryland and nationally.  In a typical CSA, members pledge to help cover the anticipated costs of the farm’s production for part of or the entire season.  And in return the members receive a portion of the farm’s cr...

Maryland Dairy Farmers

Maryland Dairy Farmers
Maryland dairy farms are producing some great cheese, ice cream, yogurt and other value-added products these days. Part of a national trend toward small artisanal production, our producers are a diversified group with delightful tastes awaiting you. Dairy farmers selling cheese, ice cream and other ...

Enjoy Locally Raised Meats

Enjoy Locally Raised Meats
From beef and pork to poultry, lamb, bison and more, Maryland farmers have a wide variety of meats available for consumers who want to buy locally-raised products. You can enjoy locally raised meats year around, while supporting the state’s farmers and economy. The video below is a soundbook pro...

Maryland Grain Farmers

Maryland Grain Farmers
Maryland’s grain farmers manage about a million acres in the state. Much of the corn, soybean, wheat and barley production in the state goes to support Maryland’s top ag sector, poultry production on the Eastern Shore. According to the USDA NASS 2013 Statistics, grain farmers produce abo...

2014 Maryland Buy Local Cookout Recipes

2014 Maryland Buy Local Cookout Recipes
Check out the recipes selected for Governor O’Malley’s 7th Annual Buy Local Cookout, which celebrated Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week, July 19-27, and encouraged all Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown, made or harvested product each day. Recipes for the event, submitted ...

Take the Buy Local Challenge

Take the Buy Local Challenge
This month help support Maryland’s family farmers and enjoy fresh local food by taking the Buy Local Challenge. All you have to do to take the challenge is commit to eating local during Buy Local Week (July 19th – July 27th, 2014).  Buying from local farms promotes cleaner air and water and...

Maryland Wine Week: June 13th through 23rd

Maryland Wine Week: June 13th through 23rd
Maryland Wine Week is a celebration of Maryland wine, hard cider and mead produced by our 65+ wineries throughout Maryland. You like good things. Good food. Good company. Good wine… Maryland Wine Week is our chance to support the businesses that produce and pour local wine and spread the word abou...

Redesigned Maryland's Best Web Site

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has redesigned the Maryland’s Best web site. New features include a smartphone friendly site, advanced mapping features, ability to save favorite locations and much more. If you are a company that is already listed on Maryland’s Best and would like ...

Maryland Farmer's Markets

Maryland Farmer's Markets
The 2014 Maryland Farmers’ Market listings of locations and hours for each of the state’s markets is now available through the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) website. This year, some 150 markets will be open with at least one in every county and Baltimore City. Several of the early mar...

Governor O'Malley's Buy Local Cookout

Governor O'Malley's Buy Local Cookout
The 2014 Buy Local Cookout will take place Thursday, July 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Government House in Annapolis. This is the seventh annual Buy Local Cookout that Governor and Mrs. O’Malley will host. Attendance at this event is invitation only. The Benefit of Buying Local ...

Sweet Maryland Strawberries

Sweet Maryland Strawberries
Spring is here and so are Sweet Maryland Strawberries. Support our family farmers and local economy by purchasing Maryland 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 t...

Maryland Wine Week

Live local, eat local, drink local! We’re celebrating Maryland’s wineries June 14-24th. There are more than 400 different wines to choose from in the state. Award winning wines. Wines connected to Maryland soils. Wines with attitude and those with a gentle nature. Participating Wine Se...

We're Talking Turkey!

The holiday season is coming up fast, so be sure to order your local, farm-fresh turkey before it’s too late. Buying a turkey from a local farmer offers a fresh and flavorful alternative to the all too common frozen fare. Not only will your family enjoy delicious local turkey, but you will al...

Choose MD Apples

It is hard to find a simple pleasure sweeter than a Maryland apple in the early autumn. A $7.2 million business, apple farmers in Maryland produce some of the best varieties in the world! Varieties from the Crispin and the Ginger Gold to the Stayman and the MacIntosh. All sweet and with a lot of cha...

Enjoy Maryland Watermelons

August is the perfect time to enjoy delicious local watermelons. This sweet treat is not only great tasting, but also has many health benefits including being the lycopene leader in fresh produce. With its sandy soils and hot &amp rainy summers, Maryland provides the optimum growing conditions ...

Chefs Go Fresh Ride

Chefs Go Fresh Ride 2012-07-16 http://www.georgetowner.com/articles/2012/may/16/georgetown-media-group-maryland-department-agriculture-and-robert-weidmaier-host-2nd-annual-chefs-go-fresh/ ...

Maryland Grain Farmers

Maryland’s grain farmers are a significant part of our state’s agriculture. According to the latest Ag Census 460,000 acres were devoted to corn production and 386,000 acres to soybeans. Together with wheat and barley, those crops make up more than 20 percent of the farm income in Maryla...

Maryland Real Christmas Trees

This December, make sure to buy a fresh, real Maryland Christmas tree. By buying a real Maryland Christmas tree, you will not only be supporting our Maryland farmers, but you will also be making the overall best “green” choice for the environment and local economy. While they’re gr...

Buy Local for the Holidays

This year, for gift giving, consider your Maryland agricultural options. A bottle of wine, a local artisan cheese, plants. Or thinking ahead, why not give the gift of a CSA membership! Imagine 2012 as a year filled with gift giving as your loved one picks up his or her weekly share from a Maryland f...

We're Talking Turkey

The holiday season is coming up fast, so be sure to order your local, farm-fresh turkey before it’s too late. Buying a turkey from a local farmer offers a fresh and flavorful alternative to the all too common frozen fare. Not only will your family enjoy delicious local turkey, but you will als...

Time to look for Maryland Apples

It is hard to find a simple pleasure sweeter than a Maryland apple in the early autumn. A $7.2 million business, apple farmers in Maryland produce some of the best varieties in the world! Varieties from the Crispin and the Ginger Gold to the Stayman and the MacIntosh. All sweet and with a lot of cha...

Maryland Farm to School

Celebrate Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week, Sept. 12th to the16th as part of the Maryland Farm to School program. School cafeterias around the state are participating with Maryland grown fruits and vegetables such as peaches, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes and more! Look for Maryland grown f...

Celebrate Farmers Markets

August 7-13 is National Farmers Markets Week. Think of it as a time to make sure you are buying local and eating fresh from the bounty of Maryland farms! The number of Maryland farmers markets has grown from 72 in 2007 to 125 in 2011. Support farmers markets and you are: 
 supporting...

Delicious in August. Watermelons!

Maryland farmers harvest 2,295 acres of 
 watermelons according to USDA’s Ag Census. In addition to many farms 
 around the state (273 farms) who grow watermelons in smaller quantities 
 for farm-stands and farmers markets, the State is also home to one of the
 nation’s ...

Buy Local Challenge

July in Maryland brings with it fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, greens of every sort and watermelons towards the end of the month! It’s a time to look for local and find it at farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants and farm stands. In the midst of all this local goodness comes the B...

Farmers Market Survey


 MDA is conducting a Farmers Market Survey, sponsored by a grant from the Federal‑State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) of USDA. This 3‑part survey is the first of its kind at the state level in Maryland and is intended to capture information on the economic activity at markets, consu...

Maryland Wine Week!


 Are you an avid ‘locapour’? Or, are you stuck on those stodgy California and French wines? It’s time to celebrate part of Maryland’s Best during Maryland Wine Week, June 3-12. Local wine is sustainable, keeps green space green and is good tasting! Click here to view a s...

June is Maryland's Dairy Month

Whether it’s ice cream, artisanal cheese, frozen yogurt or a cool glass of milk, Maryland residents are encouraged to purchase local dairy products to celebrate National Dairy Month. Dairy is the third largest agricultural commodity in Maryland and there are more than 520 dairy farms across th...

Strawberry time in Maryland!

It’s time to start looking for local Maryland strawberries! These sweet beauties beat the biggest West Coast berry any day. Maryland strawberry grower Russ Shlagel explains that the ripening process of strawberries truly makes local much better than their cousins put on trucks and shipped a th...

Local Recipes Wanted


 Governor Martin O’Malley invites teams made up of a chef and one or more farmer, waterman, or producer to submit original recipes using local
 ingredients for Maryland 4th annual “Buy Local Cookout,” to be held at Government House in Annapolis on Thursday...

Dishing up Maryland

A new book from Harford County food writer Lucie Snodgrass with photos by Edwin Remsberg, will be released in March. This book features many Maryland’s Best farmers and chefs and their wonderful recipes filled with local food. Part of the proceeds from sales of this book will benefit MDA&#8217...