Today is the first day of the Maryland Buy Local challenge! Buy local “week” runs today, July 22, through next Sunday, July 30th.
I haven’t given much thought to this type of campaign in the past–I try to buy local and seasonally often, and just haven’t felt the need to focus on doing so.
This year, though, I’m feeling excited! The past two seasons I often worked at farmer’s markets and buying from local producers felt natural and easy. This year, with an expanded garden in addition to our (local!) One Straw Farm CSA, I both haven’t had as great a need for produce and I’ve also been finding it challenging to get out to markets in the middle of busy weeks and weekends (aren’t they all?). Buy local week is coming at just the right time – all of the summer’s glorious produce is on display and it’s the perfect time to reconnect with local farmers and makers.
This week, I’ll share some of my favorite places to shop locally in the Baltimore area and producers that I love to support. I’ll also be sharing summer recipes so you can put your veggies to work!
This morning, you’ve got a couple of hours to visit the 32nd Street Farmer’s Market in Waverly, open year-round Saturdays 7-12. Check out this awesome July Shopping Guide, produced by the Maryland Farmer’s Market Association, to see what’s in season and plan ahead for what you’d like to buy!
The 32nd Street Farmer’s Market (aka Waverly), is the only year round market in the city, and has some of the Baltimore regions’ best vendors. Start by picking up meats for your grill, or anything really, at Liberty Delight Farms, a sustainable meat farm with a large variety of chicken, lamb, pork, beef, turkey, and sometimes even rabbit! You can also find Charlottetown Farm further in the market–this is some of the most delicious goat cheese around. Charlottetown produces lovely goat’s milk, chevres, crotin, and even goat cheese fudge and cheesecakes if you are lucky enough to grab one. Seriously – I could never have enough of this cheese!
Vendors of fermented goodness, HEX Ferments, sell some of the best sauerkrauts, kimchi, and pickles you’ll ever have – don’t miss picking up their award winning Miso Kimchi (which you can use to make kimchi ramen but also eat with anything). Maryland’s brief cucumber season is also here – if you’re lucky enough to come across their pickles, buy a jar or five and snack on a pickle on a stick! Seriously, don’t pass this up.
One Straw Farm, Gardener’s Gourmet, and the Farm Alliance of Baltimore are awesome farms to pick up beautiful seasonal veggies, and Black Rock Orchard never disappoints with luscious summer peaches. I love Gardener’s Gourmet and the Farm Alliance for unique varieties of herbs, veggies, and fruits – it’s not unusual to find wineberries, red okra, young ginger and turmeric, and numerous heirloom tomatoes at these stands. One Straw Farm always delivers beautiful organic veggie staples – tasty sauce tomatoes, greens, onions, sweet beets and corn, and tasty summer squashes. Pick up some veg for dinner tonight and make a refreshing, chilled Beet Gazpacho, Summer Corn Chowder, or Grilled Broccoli Salad!
End your visit with lunch from Well Crafted Pizza – a very cute food truck that sources local ingredients (and from many of the producers above!) for their pizza toppings.
Happy local shopping! What will you have for dinner tonight?