As many winter holidays approach (with some already here—Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Bodhi Day and a joyful Advent to all who celebrate!), you might be looking for the perfect gift for those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives. Look no further.
Yes, this is another gift guide. But hear us out! Modern Farmer has rounded up just a few gift ideas, and each one comes directly from a local farm or producer. You can give a great present while supporting a farmer, all with a few clicks. Now, isn’t that the spirit of the season?
For the Cheese Lover
The only thing better than cheese is…well, more cheese. Why not send a gift basket filled with fresh Wisconsin cheeses? Basket options include those from specific farms and cheese shops, including Red Barn Family Farms and Decatur Dairy, and come in a range of sizes. We’re partial to the Char-cutie-River Board basket, which comes packed with three different cheddars as well as jam, crackers and marinated mushrooms.
Of course, for the true cheese lover, sitting back and enjoying a nice slice is only half the fun. Why not give them a chance to make their own cheese? Many dairy farms offer the opportunity to join them on site for a class in cheese making, including Three Shepherds Cheese in Vermont and Pennsylvania’s Flint Hill Farm. From briney fetas to gooey mozzarellas, there’s so much to appreciate about cheese when you make it yourself.
For the Seafood Lover
Do you know a landlubber who can’t get enough seafood? You’re in luck. With deliveries straight from the shores, you can send anyone a gift of fresh seafood, and without the trouble of catching it themselves.
For live lobster, Your Lobster Pot ships fresh-caught Atlantic lobsters from Nova Scotia. Throw in a head of garlic and a pound of butter and you’ve officially given the tastiest gift ever. Wild For Salmon offers everything from salmon burgers to filets, or you could go with its sampler gift box for a taste of everything.
And for the gift that keeps on giving, how about some Community Supported Agriculture? Emily’s Oysters are available year-round, and when you join the CSA, you get regular boxes of oysters ready for pick-up or delivered to your door.
For the DIY Lover
If you want something done right, you might as well roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Why not start with a cooking class, right in the barn? With all of these great ingredients, cooking classes are a true farm-to-table experience. The Farm Cooking School in New Jersey offers classes for a variety of palates and skill levels. Learn to make your own pasta or enroll a teen in its baking series and sit back as the fresh cookies come your way. The Kitchen at Middleground Farms also offers classes and private lessons, perfect for a small group. You can hone in on a particular skill, such as making silky sauces or perfect plant-based meals.
And what if you want to grow your own ingredients, too? There’s a kit for that. North Spore offers grow-your-own mushroom kits, where folks can see their own pink oyster or lion’s mane mushrooms grow before their eyes.
For the Spice Lover
Photo courtesy of Burlap & Barrel.
Of course, a meal is pretty bland without the right spices. Burlap & Barrel sources spices from small farms around the world, so you can try wild mountain cumin from Afghanistan or cured sumac from Turkey without leaving your kitchen. It has also released recent collaborations with American farms, such as Jimmy Nardello pepper flakes and dried green garlic scapes from Norwich Meadows Farm.
For an Extra Touch
Photo courtesy of White Oak Pastures.
A gift isn’t really done until it’s wrapped with a bow, right? These extras will tie your presents together and put them over the top.
Oak Hill Farms makes delicious honey blends and pours candles with its own homegrown soy wax. Why not get a basket with a bit of both and give someone a spa day? Or, if you’re stocking up on meat for the holidays, embrace that nose-to-tail ethos. At White Oak Pastures, you can add a leather wallet or a candle made from tallow to your order of steaks.
And if you’re already in the giving spirit, there are plenty of farming organizations and nonprofits that would love your support. Grow Good in California works with residents from the Salvation Army, Black Urban Growers supports farm and food advocacy and Farmworker Justice fights for agricultural workers rights, to name just a few.