CLINTON, Md. – There are two ways to celebrate and support farms and farmers markets in Prince George’s County – Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge and National Farmers Market Week!
The Buy Local Challenge (BLC) takes place annually, the last full week of July, and encourages Maryland residents to support their local farmers and farmers markets. Participants who accept the challenge pledge to eat one item from a farm each day the week of July 21-29.
The BLC event culminates with a celebration sponsored by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), the creators of the BLC, at Greenstreet Gardens on July 30. Several Prince George’s County farms will vend including Alpaca Lane Criations, Gemeny Winery & Vineyards, Janemark Winery & Vineyards, Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards, and Romano Vineyard & Winery. More event and ticket information can be found at buylocalchallenge.com/blc-celebration.
BLC participants are encouraged to take photos and videos and upload their bounty to their social media pages. If they use the hashtag #buylocalchallenge (and #farmpgc if you are featuring product from a farm or farmers market in Prince George’s), they will have the opportunity to win a free “Buy Local” t-shirt from SMADC.
Shelby Watson Hampton, SMADC Director and farmer at Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards, shares, “We’re excited to experience all the local bounty that Maryland has to offer during this year’s Buy Local Challenge! We encourage everyone to purchase and enjoy one product from a Maryland farmer, producer, waterman, or artisan during the week of July 21-29th. We also urge them to continue this practice throughout the year, as farmers, waterman, and small businesses are an important part of the Maryland economy. #BuyLocal and enjoy all the wonderful products #MDsBest has to offer!”
On the heels of the BLC week is National Farmers Market Week, which takes place August 5 – 11, to show the nation how much value markets bring to their communities. Farmers Markets are the sole source of income for 25 percent of market vendors. In addition, in 2016, $20.2 million in SNAP benefits was spent at farmers markets nationwide. There are 16 farmers markets in Prince George’s County this season, many of which either accept SNAP benefits or have vendors that do.
Jim Coleman, Market Manager for the Riverdale Park Farmers Market which operates year-round on Thursdays, 3-7pm, says, “Buy Local Challenge Week is a great time to discover the value, freshness, and flavor of your local farmers market.” Riverdale Park Farmers Market is one of four markets in the County that matches federal nutrition assistance benefits to help customers stretch their dollars.
For a listing of Prince George’s County farms and farmers markets to support and events to patronize during Buy Local Challenge Week and National Farmers Market Week, visit farmpgc.com.
Follow Fresh. Local. Fun. PGC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @FarmPGC. We invite you to join our Fresh. Local. Fun. PGC Farm & Food Community on Facebook, too!