Small business Saturday may be in the past, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of time to shop small this holiday season! What does it mean to shop small?
Putting your holiday dollars towards local small businesses in your community. Area farmers tailgate markets are the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Over the weeks leading up to the holidays, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will highlight a range of gift ideas to be found at markets. But there are only so many that can be cited, so be sure to visit tailgate markets yourself and see what you can discover! And, don’t worry — there’s also still plenty of local food available for your regular weekly grocery shopping.
Holiday decorations: Purchasing a Christmas trees from a local farmer is a great way to support farms diversification and preservation of land and wildlife habitats. Corner’s Knob Farm will have trees at Asheville City Market this next month.
Crafts vendors: Crafts vendor offerings vary from market to market, but include gift ideas such as pottery. Give beautiful handmade plates and cups for all the local food your loved ones eat all year long.
Agritourism opportunities: Gifts don’t have to be physical items. Ask farms at markets if they have agritourism opportunities you can purchase tickets to such as hands-on workshops, farm tours, or other activities.
Value-added/ shelf-stable foods: For the food lovers in your life, ingredients they can use in recipes go a long way. Dried beans from Ten Mile Farm at Asheville City Market, popcorn on the cob from Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market), and sauces like pepper sauces from Jah Works Farm (Asheville City Market) are just a few ideas!
Gift certificates: Farmers market tokens or gift certificates make great stocking stuffers. Give your loved ones the gift of choosing their own local present this year.
Farmers markets shift this time of year to holiday schedules, closings, moving inside, changing hours, and in some cases changing names or adding more gift-oriented vendors. To find out about your neighborhood farmers market, visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide, or you can check out each market’s website, newsletter, or social media pages for updates. You can always find produce farmers and other food vendors to fulfill your grocery needs in addition to keeping an eye out for great gifts.
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.
(Written by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.)