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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Help Calvert Honor Eating Local, from Farm to Table

You have until Sept. 20 to nominate three for awards

Calvert County is taking local to a higher level with its new annual Sustainable Agricultural Awards Program. Emphasizing the once-rural-county’s continuing pride in its agricultural heritage — and to preserve that heritage — the Calvert County Board Commissioners seeks nominations for three new awards. Two will recognize businesses that make it their priority to support local producers; one will recognize a local farmer who makes good on the promise of sustainable farming practices.

But you’ll have to help. You’re needed to seek out and nominate county businesses that keep it local.

For the Green Grocer of the Year, nominate retailers who buy, sell, present, advertise and promote local seasonal products in abundant variety.

For the Buy Local Restaurant of the Year, nominate restaurants that buy, feature and advertise seasonal local products in great variety on menus and in special recipes.

For the Sustainable Farmer of the Year, nominate local farms run under Soil Conservation Plans with best management practices and reduced pesticide use to produce crops sold directly to consumers. Even better if the farmland has been preserved.

So ask yourself if your grocer stocks local, seasonal produce that comes from right down the road rather than across the country — or ocean? Does your favorite eatery purchase fruits, vegetable and meat from a Calvert producer — and is this flaunted on the menu? Or do you buy direct from a local farmer, from a roadside farm stand or through a CSA?

Make your nominations now; Sept. 20 is the deadline. 

Find nomination forms at the Department of Planning & Zoning, 150 Main Street, Room 304, Prince Frederick; or at www.co.cal.md.us/News/NewsHighlight7.asp.

Nominees will be judged by a selection committee with representatives from Calvert Eats Local, the Calvert County Agriculture Commission and the University of Maryland Extension. Awards will be presented at a Board of County Commissioners meeting in October, 2010.

Information: Denise Cherry: 410-535-1600 x 2340.