You don't have to look very far to find great food, wine, and art in Maryland, when you shop locally. There's a satisfaction that comes from buying groceries at your neighborhood farmers market or enjoying a glass of wine from a nearby vineyard, knowing they were produced in your own backyard.
When you buy from locally owned businesses you're also promoting environmental sustainability and economic growth within your community. This is one of the reasons why every year, Marylanders participate in events like the Buy Local Challenge. Below is a sampling of events and attractions reflecting the superb quality of Maryland's authentic treasures:
Artist Studio Tour of Garrett County, July 28-29, is an opportunity to meet 21 artists at seven locations and view their work: pottery, wood-work, fused glass, jewelry, handmade paper, recycled wood art and two-dimensional art (paintings and photography). Tour includes artist demonstrations. For more information, call the Garrett County Arts Council, 301-334-6580.
Mountain City Traditional Arts Center, Frostburg (Allegany County) – A showcase for local Appalachian art, the center has demonstrations, hand-crafted items for sale, artwork on display, classes and workshops, and occasional performances. It was established jointly by the Allegany Arts Council, Folklore & Folklife Programming at Frostburg State University, and the FrostburgFirst Main Street Program.
Rinehart Orchards, Smithsburg (Washington County) – This 400-acre grower of apples and peaches has been in business 81 years, in a county known for its abundance of fruit orchards. Peach season begins in mid-July. Other summer produce includes nectarines, plums, watermelons, cantaloupe, corn and tomatoes.
Frederick Wine Trail – Seven wineries and a combined 120 acres of vineyards along this trail represent more than half of Maryland’s total wine production. (Four of the wineries are located near Mt. Airy.) The trail intersects myriad locations that have historical significance for the Civil War. Here are the wineries: Berrywine Plantations/ Linganore Winecellars, Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, Distillery Lane Ciderworks, Elk Run Vineyards and Winery, Frederick Cellars, Loew Vineyards and Orchid Cellar. Black Ankle Vineyards is also in this area and Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard straddles Frederick and Montgomery counties.
Montgomery County’s annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale, July 28-29 is a way to become familiar with the local products produced at 14 county locations, including farms, orchards, animal sanctuary, alpaca farm and a vineyard. The county also has 21 farmers’ markets.
Romano Vineyard and Winery, Brandywine (Prince George’s County) – Since 1998, the Romano family has kept bees and produced honey under the Golden Leaf Farm label at their property in the southern part of the county. In 2007, the family transformed the farm – where tobacco and soybeans had grown – into a vineyard. They now cultivate six wine-grape varietals and craft wine that comes only from the grapes in their vineyard. Honey is still available in season.
The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick (Frederick County) – The Gift Gallery here features the work of Delaplaine members: jewelry; wood, metal and paper items; paintings; ceramics; and fiber arts. Located in the 100-year-old Mountain City Mill along Carroll Creek, the center offers arts classes and presents more than 50 exhibits each year in eight galleries. Events also include lectures, films, workshops and art trips.
Howard County’s third annual film Feastival, Tuesday evening, July 17 at Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, presents a screening of the documentary American Meat – a look at the industrial meat industry and the sustainable, local-food movement that has emerged in response to it. The evening also includes food samples from county restaurants that will participate in Farm-2-Restaurant Weeks, July 18 – Aug. 6. During that time, more than 20 restaurants offer pre-fixe menus with locally grown products at prices ranging from $10.12 to $40.12.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis (Anne Arundel County) – This multi-disciplinary arts center offers participation in a wide range of programming related to arts education, the visual arts and performing arts. More than 5,000 individuals take art classes each year. The center also has four resident companies: Annapolis Chorale, Annapolis Opera, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. A labyrinth – modeled after the one at the Cathedral of the Chartres in Paris – is available for public meditation.
Piedmont Wine Trail and Carroll Wine Trail – These two trails include a total of 13 wineries. The nine wineries along the Piedmont Trail – in the countryside of Baltimore and Harford counties – are: Basignani Winery, Boordy Vineyards, DeJon Vineyards, Fiore Winery, Harford Vineyard, Legends Vineyard, Mount Felix Vineyard and Winery, Royal Rabbit Vineyards and Woodhall Wine Cellars. The Carroll County wineries are: Cygnus Wine Cellars, Detour Vineyard and Winery, Galloping Goose Vineyard and Serpent Ridge Vineyard.
Maker’s Market at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Solomons (Calvert County) – Held the first Saturday of every month, the market features handmade, homemade and homegrown items. Selection includes crafts, hanging baskets, organic skincare products, produce, cut flowers, baked goods, batik and fleece apparel, soaps and candles, herbal teas, and folk art. Annmarie has an outdoor collection of world-class sculpture.
Southern Maryland Trails: Earth, Art, Imagination – This free, 128-page book is “a guide to all things handmade, home-grown, locally harvested and authentically Southern Maryland.” (Details about the four trails are available online.) The guidebook is one of the programs of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), the organization that established the Buy Local Challenge in Maryland. SMADC also offers a recently released So. Maryland, So Good Farmers’ Market Guide, which has information about 29 markets.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s River Concert Series, St. Mary’s City (St. Mary’s County) – Held outdoors on Friday evenings in July, this free series presents guest performers in classical, jazz and blues genres. The Chesapeake Orchestra under the direction of Jeffrey Silberschlag is the resident orchestra for the series. St. Mary’s College is adjacent to Historic St. Mary’s City, the birthplace of Maryland and one of the best-preserved sites of a British colonial settlement in North America.
Sunset Concert Festival and Farmers’ Market, Waldorf (Charles County) – Friday evening concerts (through August) begin at 7 p.m. in O’Donnell Lake Restaurant Park next to the Hilton Garden Inn. Prior to each concert, a farmers’ market is open from 4 to 7 p.m. The market also opens on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m.
Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely (Caroline County) – This 400-acre native garden and preserve has the region’s largest selection of native plants – more than 600 species of native shrubs, trees, wildflowers, grasses and ferns. The Native Plant Nursery is open weekdays. Soup ‘n Walk, July 21, allows visitors to take a guided walk on the property, have a light meal and get nutritional tips.
Emily’s Produce, Cambridge (Dorchester County) – Patrons can pick their own cut flowers at this family-owned and operated market on Md. Route 16 (Church Creek Road). Summer produce includes sweet corn, tomatoes, blackberries and strawberries. Jams, jellies, relishes, sauces and homemade desserts are also available. Paul Jackson, owner and operator, is a fifth-generation grain farmer.
Toast Our Coast, Delmarva’s Wine & Ale Trail – A new trail of wineries and craft breweries stretches across the Delmarva Peninsula. Locations in Maryland include: Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery in Vienna (Dorchester County); Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Salisbury (Wicomico County); Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin (Worcester County); Costa Ventosa in Whaleyville (Worcester County); Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery in Eden (Somerset County); and Great Shoals Winery in Princess Anne (Somerset County).
Visitors can enjoy the bounty of the Chesapeake at these two annual events: Taste of Cambridge, a street festival held in the revitalized waterfront district of Cambridge, July 14; and the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake (named for a former Maryland governor), July 18 in Crisfield – a coastal community built on oyster shells.
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