Buy Local Challenge 2012

Burley Oak Brewery and The Good Farm are joined by Baked Dessert Cafe of Berlin in issuing a challenge to area residents to avoid traditional grocery stores and national retailing giants for the month of August. Those accepting the challenge are to instead try to procure as much of what they need from smaller, locally owned independent businesses. This is the second year of the Buy Local Challenge.

The goal of the Buy Local Challenge is to inform people about the benefits of buying locally, and getting people to reconnect in their own community. Community is about relationship. You lose a good bit of that relationship when you stop shopping the mom and pop shops.

For those who are successful, it will be an exercise in discipline to not succumb to the convenience of the larger stores. It may be a learning lesson in what is really necessary and what is not. It will be a learning lesson of what the community offers. It forces us to really examine what the local community has to offer and what there may be a need for in the area.

This year’s month long event includes a recipe contest. The contest was an idea brought about while Christie McDowell and Ric Gresia of the Good Farm attended the Governor’s Buy Local Cookout on the Statehouse lawn on July 21. The State of Maryland holds a recipe contest each spring whereby there is an open call for chef farmer collaboration recipes. The winning entrants are then published in a Maryland Buy Local Cookbook and they are invited to present their winning food at the Buy Local Cookout where the guests are primarily comprised of people who are somehow involved with the local food movement.

The Buy Local Challenge recipe challenge is simple- the theme is local food. Entries are to be made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. The dishes will be presented at The Good Farm’s Eleven Fork dinner on August 18 held at Mariners’ Country Down. The Eleven Fork dinner is a potluck held the third Saturday of every month. The theme of August’s dinner will be The Buy Local Challenge. Contestants are to bring their dish- soup, appetizer, side, main dish, or dessert to the dinner as well as the recipe to the dinner which starts at 6pm. On the recipe contestants are to list which farm, farm stand, market or local business that the ingredients came from. Guest judges will be local restaurant and business owners. Contest prizes will all be local food related.

Local non perishable food products and artisan type products are sought for a Buy Local Challenge table to be set up at the Ocean Pines Farmers’ market on Saturday mornings at Whitehorse Park in North Ocean Pines from 8a- noon during the month of August.