Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birds of a feather…must stick together!

IMG_0611 Last night, the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance held their monthly networking meeting at Boordy Vineyard. The meeting featured wine from Boordy, food from Atwater’s, truffles from Chocolaterra and flowers…from Local Color Flowers! It was a great evening to highlight how important it is to buy local.


Buy Local LogoIn addition to networking, guests listened to a panel discussion made up of local farmers including Bobby Prigel of Bellevale Creamery , who has been in the news a lot recently because of his struggle to build a creamery at his farm, Joan Norman of One Straw Farm, and Rob Deford of Boordy Vineyard.   The discussion was moderated by Renee Catacalos, the Publisher and Editor of Edible Chesapeake. While buying local seems to be gaining momentum, the panelists recounted their most recent struggles and how individual consumers and supporters can help.

  1. Lend a Hand: For the Prigels, and others farmers like them, pro bono legal assistance is needed. One suggestion was the creation of a pro bono group, similar to Maryland Lawyers for the Arts, but for farmers, to assist them with local and regional land use and zoning issues. 
  2. Make Yourself Heard: Joan Norman and Robert Deford both had the same message-Make Yourself Heard! Support local restaurants and bars that support local growers. Request that your favorite liquor store carry local wines. Check out Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws. 
  3. Take it a Step Further: In addition to going to the farmers markets to support local growers and artisans, we can all do more to support our local economy. Check out the Buy Local directory for help finding other small, local businesses in Baltimore. Also, use the Local Harvest site to find farms and markets providing sustainable food in your area.

I was also excited to meet some great new people including Kelly from Emory Knoll Farm, Jordan Faye Block from BE and Byron from 2B Enterprises.

If you would like to see what the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance is all about, their next monthly meeting will be held November 2 at BE in Federal Hill at 6pm.


  1. Ellen,

    Thanks for the great synopsis and for your support! And most of all for the flowers. They were lovely.

    It'struly a delght to get to spend time wiih so many great people at once!

    John Shepley, CSBA

  2. Thanks John! The CSBA is a great group to be involved in. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

  3. Ellen -
    ditto what John said!

    Lori Hill