This week--July 21-28--is the Maryland Buy Local Challenge, brought to you by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission. Why? Because buying local is good for you, good for the local economy and good for the planet!
In addition to providing food that’s fresh and nutritional, buying from local farms promotes cleaner air and water and reduces our carbon footprint on the planet. In Maryland, if every household purchased just $12 worth of farm products for eight weeks (basically the summer season), over $200 million would be put back into the pockets of our farmers. Imagine if every household in the entire USA made a similar commitment.
And it's easy! You can buy local produce--grown and picked fresh on farms in Southern Maryland at our farmers markets held three days a week at O'Donnell Lake in St. Charles: on Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; on Fridays, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and on Saturday mornings, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A Few Reasons to Buy Local
You’ll Get Exceptional Taste and Freshness
Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances. Local farmers can offer varieties bred for flavor rather than for long shelf life.
You’ll Support Independent/Family Farms and a Stronger Local Economy
There's never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbors. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer. Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your own community.
You’ll Enhance Your Family’s Health and Safety
Locally grown food retains more nutrients and is less likely to cause foodborne illnesses than food that is shipped from far away. Buying local enables you to choose farmers who may avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified seed.
You’ll Help Protect the Environment
Green areas that farms provide help to recharge our aquifers and cleanse the air. Buying from a local farm cuts down on the distance food travels, reducing the consumption of oil and carbon emissions nationwide.
When you buy local, you help to ensure that the benefits of our farms survive for many years to come. Find out more at http://www.buy-local-challenge.com