farmers markets

Friday night Farmer’s Market at North Beach.

Southern Maryland – When it comes to buy local, the concept is alive and well in Southern Maryland. From literally one end of Southern Maryland to another, there is a plethora of produce waiting for your dinner table.

Some farmer’s markets have evolved from humble beginnings to all-out social events, such as the Friday Night Farmer’s Market at North Beach. Of the market’s original vendors, only Michael A. Cox and Joe Swann remain. The new market has an almost festival-like atmosphere, where every Friday night shoppers can not only stock up on produce, but can now sample local wines and Calvert Brewery’s newest brews. There are also local meats and seafood for purchase along with handcrafted items from local vendors.

Any given Friday there is a throng from 6 – 9 p.m.

In the Charles County Courthouse parking lot in La Plata, farmer’s produce, canned goods and fresh coffee can be found on Wednesdays and Saturdays. While the social atmosphere may not be as festive as North Beach, which truly is an exception to most farmer’s markets, the La Plata market has consistently featured quality produce for good value.

farmers marketsAt the Charlotte Hall Library in St. Mary’s County, the Amish market features everything from house plants and fresh cut flowers to produce in abundance. Local honey and seasonal vegetables are available there from March to November. This is just one of many Amish and Mennonite markets. They are strewn all along the backroads of St. Mary’s and Charles counties, along Route 6 heading toward La Plata; on Thompson’s Corner Road at the intersection of Route 236 and Woodburn Hill Farm Road; at southbound Route 235 just before Friendship School Road; and along Route 5 through Loveville, across from Loveville Pottery & Traditions and a little further south at Zimmerman’s, which features everything from produce to handcrafted lawn chairs. Woods Produce on Route 5 just north of Helen features apples in the fall and produce in the summer.

There is also an abundance of non-Amish produce stands as well, such as Bowles Farms on Route 234 in Clements; Keepin’ it Local at routes 5 and 242 in Morganza; Goddard’s Farm in the Leonardtown Center parking lot; Russell Farms in Clements; and you can keep on going. At Route 5 and Flat Iron Road in Great Mills, John Sivak’s roadside stand on Route 235 in St. Mary’s City; all the way down to Scotland where Trossbach Produce has been selling their wares on Route 5 as long as I’ve been going down there, some 40 years at least.

In Charles County, some of the best local produce offerings often come with a tour of the farm, such as Middleton Farm Middleton Farm at 13250 Cedar Hill Place in Waldorf, not far from Cedar Hill Farm at 5190 Leonardtown Road in Waldorf. There are literally dozens of stands offering produce in La Plata, Newburg, Nanjemoy, Hughesville, Waldorf, White Plains, Faulkner, Welcome and Bryans Road.

In Calvert County, you can go upscale or roadside—your choice.
Chesapeake Bounty in St. Leonard can offer you everything from fresh produce to crabs in summer and oysters in winter, and have expanded to include a store in North Beach. Spider Hall Farm along Route 231 in Prince Frederick has plenty to offer also, in addition to produce. Roadside stands can be found on Route 2/4 from Prince Frederick to Dunkirk, on Broomes Island Road and Route 765.

When it comes to buy local, there aren’t too many places to match Southern Maryland. Eat local, eat healthy. Live long and prosper.

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com