By Max McGee

BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — “Maryland Buy Local Week” is underway, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses across the state are serving up some sweet ways to celebrate.

Broom’s Bloom is one of Maryland’s dairy farms on the state’s Ice Cream Trail offering fresh on the farm ice cream, a sweet way to encourage people to visit and buy local.

“There’s a lot of fun in the creativity of the ice cream,” owner Kate Dallam said. “It’s actually very hard to make a bad ice cream. I’ve probably done it over the last 15 years, but whatever you add to ice cream, it turns out pretty good.”

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From vanilla and chocolate to Dirt and Sweet Corn, the place sells a ton — about 600 boxes a week during this time of year.

When WJZ arrived, college sophomore Bradley was already there getting the place ready to go.

“There’s eight or nine different dairy farms in the state of Maryland that have ice cream stores,” Bradley said.

The milking cows on the property are huge, and so is the task of milking them. Dallam’s staff milking them around 4:30 a.m. and does it three times per day.

Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries contribute more than $16 billion to the state’s economy and account for more than 68,000 jobs. Dallam said COVID-19 hasn’t been all that bad to the farming industry.

“The pandemic has been very good to showcase local farms, local food sources and resources and how we can depend on them when larger food sources are not as dependable,” she said.

Despite the Buy Local Cookout, a popular event showcasing farm-fresh goods, being canceled this year, people can still visit places like Brooms Bloom and other local farms.

To keep the spirit of the cookout alive, the Department of Agriculture will be sharing a recipe from past cookbooks on Twitter and Facebook every day throughout the week.

Maryland Buy Local Week runs through the 26th. Brooms Bloom is closed Monday but is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

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