Two University Farmers’ Market Vendors Rank Among “Baltimore’s Best”

By Malissa Carroll
Web Content Developer

Editor’s Note: Both Mallow Munchies and Max’s Empanadas are featured in the August 2010 edition of Baltimore Magazine. Pick up a copy at a local retailer or visit the magazine’s Web site for more information and to see all of “Baltimore’s Best.”

Great things are happening at the University Farmers’ Market!

You might remember meeting Roy Skeen, the Charm City Farmer who was recently featured on CNN. He’s one of over a dozen vendors participating in the second annual University Farmers’ Market held every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in Plaza Park. Now, two other Farmers’ Market vendors are making headlines of their own.

Baltimore Magazine has named both Mallow Munchies and Max’s Empanadas among “Baltimore’s Best” when it comes to serving customers like you fantastic food and delicious desserts.

Voted Baltimore’s “Best Sweet Snack,” Mallow Munchies serves up a one-of-a-kind twist on the standard rice crispy treat. The marshmallow is made from scratch with all natural ingredients, and with names like CaraMallow Munch, Marble Munch, and Crunch Munch, who wouldn’t want to indulge in one of these tasty treats?

Joining Mallow Munchies among the ranks of “Baltimore’s Best” is Max’s Empanadas, which has been named Baltimore’s “Best Lunch (Casual).” Not only are the savory empanadas available each week at the Farmer’s Market, they can also be found at Max’s Empanadas in Baltimore’s Little Italy, a restaurant located at 313 S. High Street, where customers can enjoy a variety of fresh, authentic Argentine-inspired empanadas, paninis and desserts.

So, what are you waiting for? Stop by the University Farmers’ Market and sample some of the “best” Baltimore has to offer.

Meet Roy Skeen: The Charm City Farmer

Roy Skeen is one of many vendors at the University Farmers’ Market, which is held every Tuesday from 10:30 to 2:30 at the park across the street from the University of Maryland Medical Center. Skeen runs Charm City Farms, which is located in Baltimore City just several miles from UMMC.

Learn more about this affable urban farmer, and say hello to him at the farmers’ market.

“Go Green” and Buy Local at the University Farmers’ Market

By Denise Choiniere, MS, RN
UMMC Sustainability Manager

Meet some local farmers and vendors and help support the local economy by participating in the second annual University Farmers’ Market, a partnership between the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

The University Farmers’ Market will reopen on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in Plaza Park, across from the Medical Center’s main entrance. The market will continue to be held in Plaza Park, between Paca and Greene streets, every Tuesday from May through mid-November from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

At the University Farmers’ Market, you will find local farmers and vendors selling a variety of produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, poultry, seafood, meat, baked goods, herbs and fresh cut flowers.  You can visit our Web site to see a full list of our participating vendors.

In addition, this year’s opening day visitors are in for a real treat as Maryland’s own acclaimed author Lucie Snodgrass will be in attendance to sign copies of her recently published book, Dishing Up Maryland, which contains 150 recipes and features 35 short essays on local individuals and restaurants that strive to purchase local foods and create a variety of entrees that highlight local flavors.

Did you know that, on average, your food travels approximately 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate? By purchasing food from local farmers, you are helping to significantly decrease this number of “food miles” to an average of 60 miles. This decrease significantly cuts down on fuel consumption, greenhouse gases, air pollution and the incidence of related diseases, including asthma, lung disease, lung cancer and heart disease. It also cuts down on the amount of plastics used in packaging and allows farmers to pick their food when it’s ripe, maximizing the nutrient content in the food and providing you with food so fresh, you can actually taste the difference!

We hope you’ll take this step to “go green” and stop by to purchase some delicious foods and desserts and help support local farmers, vendors and the environment at the same time. We look forward to seeing you.

Top 10 Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

By Malissa Carroll
UMMC Green Team Member

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and while the University of Maryland Medical Center will be hosting its own Green on Greene Street Earth Day Celebration, we want to remind you that it isn’t necessary to be a member of a large institution like UMMC to begin making a difference on this important occasion. Below you will find our top 10 family-friendly ways to celebrate this special day:

  1. Launch A Community Green Team. Make the decision to go green as a community. Encourage neighbors to recycle, sponsor community clean-up projects, and promote other initiatives to help your community become more eco-friendly.
  2. Clean Up Your Neighborhood. Gather a group of friends and neighbors to remove waste and debris and help showcase your neighborhood’s natural beauty.
  3. Support Local Farmers’ Markets. Purchase food from a local Farmers’ Market — including ours — and help decrease the fuel consumption, greenhouse gases, air pollution and the likelihood of related diseases, including asthma, lung disease, lung cancer and heart disease associated with food travel.
  4. Go Green at Home. Begin recycling and reducing waste in your own home. Visit our Web site for a complete list of tips for going green at home.
  5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Look for designated recycling bins in public, or take your paper, plastic and glass products home to be recycled. Donate your used items to charity instead of throwing them away. Turn out lights and turn off TVs, radios and computers when you leave a room.
  6. Walk, Bike or Take Public Transportation. Avoid using your car for one day to help save energy and reduce the amount of air pollution in the environment.
  7. Plant A Tree. Improve the health of your local environment by planting a tree. Trees are responsible for improving air quality, aiding in climate control and providing food and shelter for local wildlife.
  8. Build A Wildlife Feeder. Support native species by building feeders in your backyard and throughout the community. The Internet is full of resources promoting this kid-friendly activity.
  9. Visit A Nature Reserve. Go on a hike through a local park or nature reserve. Enjoy the wildlife and learn about sustainable practices that help the local environment flourish.
  10. Consider Composting. Composting will not only lighten your home’s trash load, it will also improve soil quality and help your spring garden thrive.

We hope you and your family will participate in some (if not all) of these activities to help us at the Medical Center celebrate Earth Day and the promise it holds for a greener future for generations to come.

UMMC’s Green Initiatives By the Numbers

By Denise Choiniere, MS, RN
UMMC Sustainability Manager

Thanks to the work of dozens of dedicated staff members, the University of Maryland Medical Center has made great strides in its efforts to go green in recent years. Staff members recognize the importance of incorporating sustainable practices to promote a healthier environment not only for their patients, but for themselves as well, and have stepped forward to help lead the effort across all departments.

The numbers below not only show the great amount of success that has resulted from implementing a variety of green initiatives throughout the Medical Center, but also provide a bit of insight into just how much teamwork and cooperation is required by all departments throughout UMMC to ensure that we remain Maryland’s foremost leader in sustainable health care practices.

2 – Number of months until our weekly University Farmers’ Market opens (May 11)

16 – Number of local vendors participating in the second season of the University Farmers’ Market

17 – Number of trees saved for each ton of paper that is recycled

32 – Number of patient care areas throughout UMMC that are involved in the Medical Center’s green teams

34 – Tons of plastic saved from incineration thanks to green team initiatives in 2009

60 – Percentage of reduced disposable cardboard trays used in the café in one month’s time

75 – Percentage of UMMC cleaners that are green-sealed certified

300 – Number of reusable “to go” bags sold in the café in one month’s time

740 – Pounds of alkaline batteries recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

1,500 – Average number of “food miles” traveled to get food from the farm to the plate when food is not purchased “locally”

3,432 – Cubic feet of medical supplies and equipment donated by UMMC to El Salvador

11,928 – Pounds of blue wrap and plastics recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

20,747 – Pounds of electronics recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

75,800 – Pounds of confidential paper recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

85,000 – Dollars saved by reusing sharps containers in 2009

195,878 – Pounds of cardboard recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

362,520 – Pounds of glass, aluminum, and paper recycled in 2009

1,268,980 – Pounds of construction materials and debris recycled by UMMC employees in 2009

But remember, you do not need to belong to a large institution like UMMC in order to affect change in your environment. Check out our helpful tips for going green that individuals like you can implement at home to help all of us leave as light an ecological footprint as possible for future generations.

UMMC Goes Green on Greene Street

By Denise Choiniere, MS, RN
UMMC Sustainability Manager

Editor’s Note: As UMMC’s sustainability manager, Denise Choiniere focuses on improving environmental quality and reducing the environmental impact of clinical processes and operations. Denise is a leader who serves as an advanced practitioner, educator, consultant, collaborator, and change agent who develops and leads a comprehensive sustainability program at UMMC. She has been with the Medical Center for over 12 years, and because of her work, Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E) now recognizes UMMC as a leader in the statewide movement to adopt more environmentally sound practices.

Prior to coming to the University of Maryland Medical Center, I worked at a hospital in Vermont where we recycled everything. So, when I came to Maryland, you can imagine my surprise at the lack of recycling I saw taking place around me. Eventually, I got tired of throwing away items that could be recycled and decided to make a change.

Now, I’m very proud to announce that the University of Maryland Medical Center is taking great strides to go green. Employees throughout UMMC recognize that sustaining a healthy environment is essential to maintaining both personal and public health and have become committed to promoting healthy patients and communities locally and globally by safeguarding the environment.

There are many “green” success stories happening throughout the hospital. Watch my story below to learn more.