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Locavores in Howard County

Some­one needs to come up with a bet­ter word than “loca­vores.” But until then, we can use it to describe the move­ment to buy and eat food that is grown locally. This label is dif­fer­ent than “organic” but the idea is that if food is grown nearby and on a smaller scale, it will be bet­ter tast­ing, health­ier, and bet­ter for the envi­ron­ment than if it were pro­duced and shipped from far away.

In Howard County there are lots of ways to eat “local” food. The most direct is to grow your own. This year my fam­ily started a “square foot gar­den.” It is the cutest thing – an 8 x 2 foot raised bed sur­rounded by fence made out of rebar, elec­tri­cal con­duit and plas­tic net­ting. OK, that doesn’t sound cute, but really it is! I have a love/hate rela­tion­ship with the deer that come thru­ough my yard, and so far this sys­tem is hold­ing up well. The plan comes from the book “All New Square Foot Gar­den­ing” by Mel Bartholomew. We fol­lowed the plan for a ver­ti­cal gar­den except instead of using Mel’s mix for soil, we just used bags of LeafGro.

But I digress. Local eat­ing has got­ten a lot eas­ier with Howard County Farm­ers Mar­kets. These gen­er­ally run Wednes­day – Sun­day at var­i­ous loca­tions. Farm­ers mar­kets are a great way to sup­port local farms and get fresh pro­duce and locally made foods like cheeses and breads. Road­side farm stands are also start­ing up. If you want to visit a farm, sev­eral Howard County farms have pick-your-own days. It can’t get any fresher than that.

More restau­rants are high­light­ing locally sourced food on their menus. Here’s a list of restau­rants com­piled by the Howard County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Author­ity. An event cel­e­brat­ing local food and farms is com­ing up on July 19th. The “Film Fea­sit­val” is spon­sored by Clark’s Elioak Farm, the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Exten­sion, Howard County, Howard County Tourism, and the Howard County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Author­ity. The event will have locally grown food from sur­round­ing farms and restau­rants. There will also be a show­ing of “Local Foods, Local Farms”, a film about the ben­e­fits of eat­ing locally grown food. The event is free, but they are request­ing a $5 dona­tion that will go toward Farm­ers’ Mar­ket Coupons for fam­i­lies in need. Here’s the Feast­i­val link if you would like to register.

Lastly, here’s a link back to Green Cen­tral Sta­tion (livegreenhoward.com) that has infor­ma­tion on Com­mu­nity Sup­ported Agri­cul­ture and Organic Gro­cers. More gro­cery stores are high­light­ing local pro­duce when they have it and you can always ask a man­ager to find out if any of the pro­duce is local.

Enjoy the season!

Elissa Rei­neck

June 2011


  1. Allura says:

    Some one needs to come up with a bet ter word than ‘locavores.’”


    You’re wel­come. 🙂

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