Instead of getting a tie or gadget for the father that you are celebrating this weekend, consider spending your gift dollars at the farmers markets; by gifting local from the market, you’ll be supporting a local farmer or maker and fueling the Maryland economy. Here are five great gift ideas to get you started.
Things to Grill: Yes, it’s a male stereotype, but there is something about men and cooking with fire, so why not get dad some local food to throw on that grill? Farmers markets are a great place to purchase pastured meats, including sausages, steaks, and chops. Farms to look for include (but are not limited to) Truck Patch Farm Farms (New Windsor, MD), Shlagel Farms (Waldorf, MD), and Evensong Farm (Sharpsburg, MD). You could also go the vegetarian route and gift dad beautiful produce to throw on the fire, including mushrooms from King Mushroom (Barclay, MD), summer squash, sweet onions, and tender green beans.
Flowers: Farmers markets have more than just food! If dad doesn’t care much about eating and cooking, why not get him a bouquet of flowers? Local stems will last much longer than those you’ll find at a florist or a grocery store and will give dad something to smile about for at least a week. (Pro tip: changing the water completely every 2-3 days will help the flowers last even longer!). Keep your eyes peeled for Locust Point Flowers (Elkton, MD), Ananda Growers (Baltimore, MD), Two Boots Farm (Hampstead, MD), Pahl’s Farm (Granite, MD), or check out the Maryland Cut Flowers Association for a guide to Maryland flower farmers.
Beer, Wine & Spirits: Alcohol in all its guises is an agricultural product, and without farms, there would be no beer, wine, or spirits. Many Maryland farmers markets include vendors selling artisan beers, spirits, and wines made from local grains and grapes. We are particularly fond of Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Maryland’s first farmstead brewery that grows its hops and brews beer right on the farm. Beer not dad’s thing? We’re loving the corn whiskey we just picked up from Louthan Distilling (Baltimore, MD), and can never pass up the apple jack from Tenth Ward Distilling Company (Frederick, MD).
Condiments: Whether it’s pickles or hot sauce, kimchi or sauerkraut, jams or fruit butter, there’s a condiment out there for everyone! Farmers markets are a great place to find a small batch jar of something tasty for dad. Bonus: there are lots of shelf stable options if you need to mail your gift.
Skincare: If your dad is into man grooming, why not encourage him to go the local route and pick him up some handmade soaps, salves, or lotions at the farmers market? We love the bee propolis-infused Helping Hand Salve by Banner Bee (Laytonsville, MD) and the sheep’s milk soaps by Shepherds Manor Creamery (New Windsor, MD), Maryland’s very first sheep milking dairy farm.
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See you at market soon!