Gift Guide for all types of Richmond Localvores
I wrote this piece for Fall Line Farms to promote holiday gifts for local food lovers in Richmond, Virginia.
Do you have friends or family members who are always encouraging you to shop local? Maybe they drag you to farmers markets and restaurant openings, or get you to sign petitions about chickens or try unusual vegetables. Or perhaps they talk … a lot … about seasons and soil fertility. We love these people and celebrate them during this season of giving by sharing gift ideas for four different types of local food lovers.
See yourself in the below? Share this list.
Maybe your friends & family will take the hint!
“You say tomato, I say … Cherokee Purple.”
Above all, this person eats locally for the flavor. They know produce tastes best when picked at its peak. They value heritage breeds and heirloom varieties and can taste the difference. They talk about the first strawberries of spring like most people talk about Mrs. Yoder’s donuts. Their idea of fun is a weekend of farm tours and wine tastings and talking terroir and technique with producers. Whether they’re gourmet chefs, food bloggers or home cooks with a passion for real food, these folks love local food for the flavor it adds to their lives.
HaaShrooms’ Wild Mushroom Foray Gift Certificate: Let mushroom expert Steve Haas lead your group on a fun expedition to find edible mushrooms. They have several options available at locations across the state, country, and around the world! Call 804-564-6886 or email steve at stevehaasmushrooms for more information.
Blanchard’s Brew Master Gift Box: This gift box has everything you need to brew the perfect cup of coffee – A Red Rooster Camino Mill hand grinder, a V60 porcelain pour over cone with filters and two 6 oz bags of fresh roasted Blanchard’s Coffee. Just add hot water and maybe a package of biscotti from Cavanna Pasta.
Dishing Up Virginia cookbook: Patrick Evans-Hylton’s new book, celebrating the best Virginia has to offer.
Slow Food RVA membership: This non-profit champions the local foods of central Virginia and their sources, producers and historical traditions. Fun gatherings inspired by local food!
Local Cheese Plate: Cheese connoisseurs will enjoy a selection of cheeses from Old Church Creamery, Night Sky Farm and Goats R Us. Bring along fresh bread, apples and pears to see their grins get even wider.
Real Richmond Food Tour Gift Certificate: Send your friends on a walking and tasting tour of Richmond’s neighborhood restaurants.
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar gift set from The Olive Oil Taproom: So the olive oil isn’t local, but it sure does pair well with local vegetables!
A bottle of Virginia wine from one of our favorite wine shops.
(J. Emerson Wine Shop, Once Upon a Vine South, Strawberry Street Vineyard and Vino Market have made a commitment to supporting local farmers by hosting Fall Line Farms pickup locations)
Tri Pete’s Sampler Box from Pete’s Mustard: All 3 flavors of Pete’s Horseradish Mustard, complete with its own convenient carrying case.
“Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later”
These folks started eating locally for their health. It might have been a food allergy or autoimmune disease that set them on this path. Or it might be a lifelong quest for better fitness that brought them to local food. Either way, they’ve learned that the shorter the time between farm and table, the more nutrients in their food. They love talking to producers to find out exactly what’s in their food and how it was grown. Whether they’re a Paleo-crosstrainer, a gluten free vegan or a parent of a kid with food allergies, they love local food because it helps them stay healthy.
Whole Living Classes from Forrest Green Farm: These classes bring whole living to modern life, one step at a time. Home food production and family herbalism that anyone can enjoy.
Chemical-Free Cosmetics Basket: Select a variety of items from Herban Avenues, Honey’s Homemade Stuff and Trails End Farm like lip balms, lotions and goats milk soaps.
Cheese Making Kit from Hobby Hill Farm Fresh
Rest Easy Basket: Insomnia Relief Bath Salts (Forrest Green Farm), Buckwheat Hull and Lavender Pillow (Honey’s Homemade Stuff) and Kicked Back Evening Tea (Trail’s End Farm).
Cold & Flu Relief Basket: Elderberry syrup, Peppermint and Rosemary Room Spray, and Family Friendly Cold & Flu Tea from Forrest Green Farm; Cold Care Tea from Herban Avenues, and Cold Relief Tincture from Honey’s Homemade Stuff.
Gluten Free Italian Food Lovers Box: Both Cavanna Pasta and Pizza Tonight have delicious gluten free entrée options. Mix and match pasta and pizza packets for an indulgent but safe meal.
Water Kefir Grain Starter Kit from Heaven’s Edge Farm: Water kefir provides billions of healthy probiotic bacteria that can help unlock many vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Membership in Weston A. Price Foundation: With an active local chapter, this foundation will provide your friend with information and events on traditional diets, nutrition and many food-related health topics. Throw in a copy of Nourishing Traditions and a jar of Farmstead Ferments and you will blow them away.
Carpenter Health and Wellness program: This local health and wellness company has a variety of programs to help people achieve their health, wellness, and lifestyle goals naturally through wellness screening, whole natural food and fitness program education.
Gourmet PB&J Basket: Fill it up with several varieties of Reginald’s Homemade gourmet peanut butter and a couple jars of delicious jam (we have many flavors to choose from). Add a loaf of Bethel Family Farms’ Whole Wheat Bread and you have a fun gift you know will be used.
Small sustainable farms help to conserve soil and clean water as well as preserve open space and genetic diversity. These folks feel connected to the land and many are drawn to gardening, hiking, camping or anything else active that gets them outdoors. Whether they’re an urban homesteader, a river kayaker or a home gardener with prize tomatoes, they have a special appreciation for nature and choose local food to lessen their impact on it.
Registration for the Virginia Biological Farming Conference: this annual conference (in Richmond this year!) is the state’s premier gathering of organic producers and consumers. Attendees learn about gardening and farming from the best.
Wreath from Rain or Shine Greenhouse Gardens: these beautiful wreaths are made from fresh greenery grown on the farm in Hanover County.
Center for Rural Culture Homesteading Class: the CRC offers a series of programs designed to demystify the skills involved in country living.
New Book: Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: A perfect gift for the Richmond gardener and it is fresh off the presses so they probably don’t have it yet.
Garden Lovers Gift Box: Give them a big bag of Lar-Lyn Farms’ Mushroom Compost and a bag of potting soil from Forrest Green Farm. Yes, it is unusual to give people dirt as a gift, but this isn’t just any dirt and serious gardeners aren’t just any people.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens membership: One of the most-visited attractions in the Richmond area, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers year-round beauty with spectacular gardens that will inspire gardeners of any experience-level.
Gardener’s Repair Kit: Sore Muscle Soak Bath Salts (Forrest Green Farm), Rosemary and Eucalyptus Skin Splash (Herban Avenues), All Purpose Salve (Honey’s Homemade Stuff) and Dirty Hands goats milk soap (Trail’s End Farm).
Donation in their name to the James River Association: These guardians of the James River take action to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of the river’s natural resources.
Red Raspberry Lover’s Gift Box: A gold gift box with two types of Agriberry jam made with their raspberries.
Donation to the Partnership for Smarter Growth: This group champions citizen engagement and smarter growth policies and implementation in RVA.
“Shake the hand that feeds you”
Shopping locally supports local families. It also helps build community. These folks see local food as an investment in the future of their community. They value the connections they make with the people who raise their food. You’ll often find them volunteering at community gardens, organizing potlucks or helping a farmer sell her goods at market. Whether they’re a small business owner, a professional volunteer, or just a person with a big heart, they buy from local producers because of the positive impact on their community.
Donation in their name to the Virginia Food System Council: VFSC envisions a sustainable food system contributing to the health, economic vitality and social well-being of all Virginians.
Relaxation Basket: Create a relaxing home spa experience … Honey’s Foot Therapy, Forrest Green Farm’s Unwind Tea Blend, a handmade mug and Michael Pollan’s latest book.
Donation in their name to Shalom Farms or Tricycle Gardens: Two fantastic non-profits in Richmond working to teach people to grow food.
Baker’s Basket: Do they love to take homemade baked goods to meetings? Give them high quality baking ingredients like Elim Springs Farm’s duck eggs, local honey (Brookview Farm, Golden Angels Apiary or Terra Nova Farm), flour from Good Health Herbs, walnuts from Windmill Outback Nursery and a couple jars of jam from Nana’s Homemades.
Baked Good Lovers Treats: Maybe they don’t have time to bake but still want to bring treats to meetings. Choose from the delectable cookies, cakes, pies and breads from Mimi’s Whole Grain, 4&20 Bake Shop, Grammy O’s, Alice’s Pantry Treasures, Hobby Hill Farm Fresh, Heaven’s Edge Farm and Thistledowne Farm.
Big Breakfast Basket: Give them all the ingredients for a big breakfast. Black Hand Coffee, Flower Child’s Holiday Granola, Mimi’s 2-Grain Pancake Mix, Alice’s Yummy Home Style Roll Mix, Thistledowne’s Apple Sauce. If refrigeration isn’t an issue, throw in some bacon, sausage, eggs, and yogurt from Fall Line Farms’ farmers.
Holiday Jam & Candy Gift Box Combo from Hobby Hill Farm Fresh: Beautifully gift boxed and ready to go jam and toffee.
Pet Lover: This gift basket is really for the animals … toss in a few bags of all natural dog treats from Dogtown Lounge and a couple catnip bags from Honey’s for the cats.