The Buy Local Challenge
is a personal commitment to support farms by eating local. "Yes, I pledge to eat at least one thing from a local farm every day during Buy Local Week!" July 19th - July 27th, 2014.
Buy Local is a maxim that resonates in Maryland, especially when you consider all of Maryland's signature things to see, do and eat. Experience the best of our state with a 'buy local' approach that allows you to enjoy Maryland's authentic treasures.
Try dining on Chesapeake Bay seafood and produce form a farmers' market, selecting Maryland wine and beer, acquiring the work of local artists (from the bay to the Appalachians), and travel along the state's four Civil War trails, six wine trails, and even an ice-cream trail with seven dairy farms.
When you buy from locally owned businesses you're also promoting environmental sustainability and economic growth within the 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:
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail – The trail opened in April with four wineries (counties indicated): Distillery Lane Ciderworks (Frederick), Knob Hall Winery (Washington), Orchid Cellar Winery (Frederick) and Red Heifer Winery (Washington). Three more wineries are expected to open on the trail, according to the Maryland Wineries Association.
Artist Studio Tour of Garrett County – This annual event, July 27, is an opportunity to meet artists at their studios and view their work: pottery, wood-work, fused glass, jewelry, handmade paper, recycled wood art, paintings and photography. Tour includes artist demonstrations. For more information and a brochure, call or e-mail 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 Frostburg Main Street Program.
The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick (Frederick County) – The Gift Gallery in the main lobby offers the work of local artists who are 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 runs arts classes and presents more than 50 exhibits each year in eight galleries. Events also include lectures, films, workshops and art trips.
Farm Tour & Harvest Sale (Montgomery County) – Visitors along the tour can become familiar with the local products available at 13 farms in the county, July 26-27,2014. Farms in this annual event – including orchards, an animal sanctuary, alpaca farm and a vineyard – are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The county also has nearly two-dozen farmers’ markets.
National Colonial Farm, Accokeek (Prince George’s County) – Located in Piscataway Park along the Potomac River – directly across from George Washington’s Mount Vernon – the farm provides a glimpse of life for an ordinary family on a tobacco plantation in the 1770s. The Ecosystem – a monthly series that features the farm's certified-organic, seasonal produce grown, available for purchase.
Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar – Held every Sunday morning below the Jones Fall Expressway at Holiday and Saratoga streets in downtown Baltimore, this is Maryland’s largest producers-only market. It has 46 farms and producers, and 44 concession operators. The bazaar portion offers crafts, jewelry, clothing, handbags, rugs, pottery and stained glass.
Clark’s Elioak Farm, Ellicott City (Howard County) – The annual Feastival, July 22, kicks off the county’s Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks (July 21 – Aug. 4, 2014) with food from local farms and restaurants and the screening of several short films about the benefits of eating locally produced food. (A $5 donation helps families in need buy food at farmers’ markets.) Clark’s Farm – operated by seven generations of the Clark family in Howard and Anne Arundel counties – offers farm-raised beef, pork, chicken and lamb, along with produce and cut-your-own flowers and herbs.
Waterman’s Heritage Tours, Annapolis (Anne Arundel County) – Working the water. It’s a time-honored way of life on the Chesapeake Bay. If you’ve wanted to know more, to get an inside look, to meet the people and go on an adventure, this is the place to begin. There are tours that take place throughout the Chesapeake Bay and on the land, as well as speakers and presentations about the world of the Chesapeake waterman.
Maker’s Market at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Solomons (Calvert County) – Held the first Saturday of every month through the summer and into December, 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. Studio classes for a range of arts disciplines are available at the arts center.
Patuxent Wine Trail (Calvert, St. Mary’s and Prince George’s counties) – A collection of eight wineries are part of this Maryland wine trail – the only one that runs in a true linear direction, up and down the Southern Maryland peninsula. Vineyards have emerged here where tobacco once was the dominant crop. The wineries (by county) follow:
Calvert County: Cove Point Winery, Lusby; Fridays Creek Winery, Owings; Running Hare Vineyard, Prince Frederick; and Solomons Island Winery, Lusby.
St. Mary’s County: Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery, St. Leonard; Port of Leonardtown Winery, Leonardtown; and Slack Winery, Ridge.
Prince George’s County: Romano Vineyard and Winery, Brandywine.
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.
Chesapeake Wine Trail – A collection of 11 wineries across the Eastern Shore region offers opportunities to explore scenic countryside near the bay and along the way to the beach. Here are the wineries by area with counties noted:
Upper Shore: Dove Valley Winery (Cecil); Mark Cascia Vineyards (Queen Anne’s); Crow Farm and Vineyard (Kent); Tilmon’s Island Winery (Queen Anne’s County); Terrapin Station Winery (Cecil County)
Mid-Shore: Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery (Dorchester County); Little Ashby Vineyards (Talbot County); St. Michaels Winery (Talbot County)
Lower Shore: Bordeleau Vineyards and Winery (Somerset); Costa Ventosa Winery and Vineyard (Worcester); Great Shoals Winery (Somerset County)
Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off, Cambridge (Dorchester County) – This free-admission street festival, held in the revitalized waterfront district, runs July 12, 2014, 5 to 10 p.m. Festival includes a crab-picking contest with professionals from area crab houses. Tickets to the Crab Cook-Off allow visitors to sample crab dishes prepared by local chefs.
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury (Wicomico County) – Affiliated with Salisbury University, the museum interprets wildfowl art – a traditional art form associated with Eastern Shore maritime communities. It also preserves the legacy of Crisfield natives Lemuel and Stephen Ward, who for more than 50 years, created waterfowl decoys. The brothers were influential in the evolution of decorative bird carvings.
View more Insiders Guides to Maryland.