One way people can help stimulate the local economies in Southern Maryland is to support local merchants, and fresh local produce and other farm products lead the way. It is this time of year when locally grown and produced farm products are the most abundant.

For those without the necessary ‘green thumb’ to grow their own produce, living in rural Southern Maryland makes it easy to find fresh, local and in-season fruits and vegetables.

The Agricultural Development Commission of the Tri-County Council is poised to, once again, drive that point home. Each year, the Commission holds their annual ‘Buy Local Challenge’ to promote local fresh farm products. The last week in July – in this case July 19-27 – the Buy Local Challenge goes into full swing. The premise behind the challenge is that if people accept the challenge – buy at least one local farm product each day for one week – they might be compelled to continue purchasing local farm products year round.

The effort is part of the Commission’s So Maryland So Good campaign to help local farms convert from older agriculture-based economies to viable modern money producers.

Those wanting to know more about the Buy Local Challenge are encouraged to visit To learn more about the So Maryland So Good efforts, visit Both websites contain a plethora of information about where to find the best local farm products, feature recipes, indicate which retailers are participating in the effort and which restaurants feature locally grown farm products.

According to So Maryland So Good and Buy Local Challenge marketing materials, “Pledge to eat local, eat fresh! You’ll enjoy food that’s bursting with flavor and nutrition, and you’ll help our farm community keep growing!”

In rural Southern Maryland, any effort that raises the fortunes of the local agricultural community also enhances the local economy for everyone.