The governor and the first lady hosted the third annual Buy Local Cookout to kick off the Buy Local Week Challenge. The challenge encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day during the week of July 17 -25, 2010.
This year, Governor O'Malley invited teams of a chef and one or more farmer, waterman or producer to submit recipes featuring locally grown, raised or harvested ingredients. Nearly 40 recipes were submitted and you can download them at www.mda.state.md.us/pdf/cookbook.pdf.
Did you know that Maryland has 12,000 farms averaging 170 acres and covering 2 million acres? That is about 1/3 of the total land in Maryland. There are approximately 350,000 people employed in some aspect of agriculture making it the largest commercial industry in the state.
Committing to the Buy Local Challenge is easy. There are 110 farmer's markets throughout the state. Community Supported Agriculture is growing and many restaurants have committed to using locally produced products. When you purchase Maryland grown products, you'll know they are fresh and delicious. Buying local is not only good for you, it is good for the environment, good for our farmers and good for Maryland.
I have pledged to commit to the challenge and I encourage all of our readers to do the same. To sign the pledge, visit