Maryland Farmers Markets

Did you know there are roughly 141 farmers markets in Maryland? If you are not sure where to find your local farmers market and information on benefits accepted, the 2016/2017 Maryland Farmers Market Directory is your guide to local produce.

Farmers markets are a great place to talk to the people who grow your food, and learn about how your fruits and vegetables are grown.  Once we are at the market, it becomes our job to safely handle food while purchasing, transporting, and preparing at home.

It is important that everyone going to the farmers’ market plays a role to keep it clean.  A study from University of Maryland shows that people value the cleanliness of a farmers market.  One way to keep the market clean and lower the number of germs being spread is to leave your pets at home.  Pets, such as dogs, snakes, and cats, can carry germs and bacteria that can make our family and our neighbors sick.  This is similar to why we cannot bring our pets inside to our local grocery store when food shopping.

How often will you touch produce at your grocery store or farmers market to make sure it is ripe to buy?  How many other people do you think do the same thing? That means many hands, clean, dirty, and germy, may have touched the produce you just bought.  We recommend that you wash your produce under safe drinkable (potable) water right before eating.  That means you should not bite into that peach or tomato you just bought while at the farmers market.  To be safe, wash your produce whether you purchase it at a farmers market, grocery store…or anywhere.

To keep clean and safe we recommend that you use shopping bags for different food groups.  One bag for produce, another bag for eggs, and another bag for meat...nobody wants meat juice to get on fruit or vegetables that you could eat uncooked.  Lastly, do not forget to wash reusable bags regularly.
  
Four tips to keep your farm-fresh food flavorful and safe:
  1. Leave your pets at home.
  2. Remember to wash produce under safe-drinkable water before eating, no matter where you buy produce.
  3. Use different bags to carry different food groups home.  This is known as preventing cross contamination.
  4. Wash reusable bags often. 

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall