About this Project
Support Your Local Farmer!
Farm-fresh food, smiling faces, a sunny sky (hopefully!) — what better way to stock up for your week’s meals? The produce, cheeses, breads, eggs, flowers and even meats that you find at Montgomery County’s farmers markets are fresher and travel less distance than similar grocery store products. Often, they’re also produced with fewer chemicals, and some are fully organic, an extra benefit for you and the environment.
Check out these resources:
Farm to Table page: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/agservices/farm-to-table.html
CSA Page: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/agservices/farm-to-table/csa.html
Farmers Market Page: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/agservices/farm-to-table/farmers-market.html
Use the map from the County to find your local farmers market or farm. Montgomery County has an amazing agricultural reserve, so you might be able to buy your produce right from the farm!
- Explore the County’s farmers market map
- Download the County 2017 farm directory
- Tour a Montgomery County farm during the Farm Tour & Harvest Sale.
Another option is to join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture group. For a set seasonal fee, you get a “share” in each week’s harvest. On your assigned date and time, you pick up your bags of fresh, seasonal produce. CSAs are very beneficial to the farmer, because it allows them to collect money at the start of the growing season, whereas they normally have to wait until the end of the year. The early season money provides them more flexibility and financial security.
Whether you buy at a market, farm or through a CSA, you’re supporting local growers, getting healthier, super-fresh food, and reducing the impact from food that often travels more than a thousand miles to reach your table.
Look at the Labels
If you want local and organic food, make sure to talk to the farmer beforehand. Local does not necessarily mean organic. Look for the “organic” sign, and oftentimes at farmers market that label could be on their banner. For production, labeling and requirements of organic food, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website.
Learn which produce has the highest pesticide levels — making organic a better choice — and which produce is safer. There's even an app for that!
Buying your food at a farmer’s market will guarantee that the food is fresh. The food has generally been harvested that morning or the day before. It also ensures that you are buying fruits and veggies that are in season, which increases their nutrients and taste. The food you purchase hasn't had to travel far either. This means that the food hasn't been processed and the freshness makes it not only taste better but retain its nutrients.
According to the National Resource Defense Council, even produce that is domestically grown travels (on average) 1,500 miles before being sold. That's a lot of natural resources that are being used to transport food. Going to a farmer’s market eliminates a lot of the pollution and miles traveled to receive the food. It also greatly reduces the amount of packaging needed.