Take a bite out of summer: buy local
Chowing down on hot corn on the cob, juicy watermelon and hot burgers fresh off the grill are staples of summer. These delicious summer delectables and more could be made even better by purchasing them from your own neighbors right here in Charles County.
Farmers market season is in full swing now, with several markets taking place weekly in locations throughout Charles County. In July, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, melons, peaches, corn, cucumbers, eggplant and more are in season.
Not only do the markets give the chance to buy local, in-season foods, but they also provide the opportunity to put a face to the food: the farmers who grew and raised what will be on your table. Not only will the purchases taste delicious and be fresher than the grocery store, but you’ll purchase them knowing your dollars are going to local farmers and their families rather than a grocery store chain’s profits. According to the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission’s Buy Local Challenge website, if every household in the state purchased just $12 worth of farm products for eight weeks, over $200 million would be put back in the pockets of local farmers.
There are two farmers markets in Charles County. The La Plata Farmers Market, located in the courthouse parking lot, operates on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Waldorf Farmers Market, located at 10440 O’Donnell Place, is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Of course there are the permanent stands that are usually open every day as well up and down main roadways, and a few are tucked away off the beaten path. And don’t forget the various wineries and breweries whose products — like those of other local producers — can be found at various stores around the county.
For the 10th year, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission is holding the Buy Local Challenge from July 22-27. During this week, Maryland residents can take a pledge to eat at least one thing from a Maryland farm every day. The website, www.buylocalchallenge.com, gives one the opportunity to make the pledge and find resources including recipes and meal plans.