Governor Kicks-off “Buy Local Challenge” Week July 21-29 with cookout featuring local products, local recipes, local chefs
Governor Martin O’Malley and First Lady Katie O’Malley today hosted the fifth annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House and officially kicked-off Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week, which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day. Governor O’Malley designated July 21-29 as “Buy Local Challenge Week” to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products.
“Buying local supports our farmers and our agricultural heritage, it supports local jobs and local economies, and it helps us create a greener, more sustainable Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Katie and I challenge our fellow Marylanders to purchase locally grown products for their favorite dishes and to try some new local products.”
“It is easier to buy local than ever before and we want residents to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “Today, there are more than 130 farmers’ markets in Maryland, and community supported agriculture farms are thriving.
In May, Governor O’Malley invited teams of chefs and at least one farmer, waterman or producer to submit recipes featuring locally grown, raised or harvested ingredients. Seventeen were selected for the cookout based on their creativity, availability of ingredients, geographic representation, and maximum use of local ingredients. All recipe submissions were compiled and published in the 2012 Buy Local Cookout Recipes, which includes wine paring recommendations from the Maryland Wineries Association. The cookbook is available online here.
Attendees included farmers; food distributors, restaurants and institutions; chefs and “buy local” advocates.
To learn more about Maryland’s Buy Local Week Challenge and sign up to take the pledge to eat local, click here. New this year, the Buy Local Challenge mobile web site enables participants to take the pledge while on the go and is an easy way to share the challenge with friends. Find local Maryland products, locate a farmers market and more online here.