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You want to support local farmers, fishermen, vintners, and specialty-food producers, but you feel like you don’t have the time. Luckily, becoming a locavore is as easy as taking a couple minutes to surf some key websites. They’ll tell you where to go, what to get, and when to get it. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping and snacking on the finest foods Maryland has to offer.
Maryland’s Best (www.marylandsbest.net)
Click on the “Find Me Local” to locate everything from farmers markets and specialty vendors to pick-your-own farms across the state. There’s also a searchable database of recipes by Maryland chefs and producers, including succulent offerings like roast loin of venison, butternut squash soup, and sweet potato pecan pie.
Buy Local Challenge (www.buy-local-challenge.com)
Whether you decide to take the challenge or not, you can still use this website to find farms, wineries, farm stands, and locally stocked grocers and farmers markets in every county. Once you’ve gotten all the regional goodies on your checklist, head back here for recipe suggestions.
Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org)
This national website offers a trove of tasty tips. Just type in where you live and what you’re looking for, and it will direct you to nearby CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), specific purveyors, and places that offer locally sourced goods.
Maryland Wineries Association (www.marylandwine.com)
Whether you’re looking for a bold Cabernet Franc, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or even a Free State sangria, this is the dot-com destination for you. Identify what wines you’d like to try, locate the vineyards that produce them, or plan a trip down one of the state’s five wine trails.
So. Maryland, So Good (www.somarylandsogood.com)
Discover the bounty—from products and activities to restaurants and services—of southern Maryland via this website’s easy-to-search databases. While you’re there, make sure to download the “Farmers’ Market Guide” and the “Season Calendar,” which tell you what’s fresh and where to get it. There’s even a kids’ corner where you can print out games to keep the little ones occupied during the car ride to pick apples or veggies.
Maryland Christmas Tree Association (www.marylandchristmastrees.org)
Celebrate the holidays this year by giving back to the community you live in—purchase a locally grown tree! Whether you prefer a blue spruce or a Fraser fir, you’re sure to find the perfect Yuletide decoration in a Free State field.