Farmers markets around the region are opening for business – new guide lists area markets that feature Southern Maryland farmers
The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, has launched an online guide to Southern Maryland’s farmers’ markets and other regional markets that host Southern Maryland farmers.
The online edition of SMADC’s annual Farmers’ Market Guide lists 24 markets in the five-county area (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s), and 10 additional markets in Maryland, Washington, D.C and Virginia that feature one or more Southern Maryland farm vendor. Listings provide additional ‘need to know’ details; season openings and closings, hours of operation, location addresses, as well as links to markets’ social media and websites to find out more.
In the COVID-19 environment, farmers’ markets play a critical role in providing fresh, nutritious, locally produced food to consumers. The Maryland department of Agriculture considers farmers markets essential businesses and has asked markets to remain open during the current state of emergency and, wherever possible, make operational changes and adjustments to protect the health of their customers and vendors.
Southern Maryland’s farmers’ markets are open for business and now offering a wide selection of local produce and value-added products including meats and poultry, farm-made pickles and jams, local honey, eggs, bedding plants, cut flowers and dairy products. Many markets also host vendors of locally produced wine, beer and distilled spirits. Check the market websites and Facebook pages for vendor and product details.
SMADC’s online market guide will be updated frequently in the weeks ahead with the latest information as area farmers’ markets open for the season and take steps to enact government guidelines to maintain a safe shopping environment and a robust food supply chain. “We must commend our market managers and vendors for their very creative thinking,” commented Susan McQuilkin, SMADC marketing executive. “Already, some markets have temporarily moved to larger locations and parking lots to ensure adequate social distancing, some are offering online order-ahead and curbside pick-up options, and others have transformed their venues into hugely successful drive-through’s!”