The gift giving mindset this time of year gives us an excellent opportunity to promote local producers. Sometimes shoppers need reminding that farmers markets are wonderful sources of high quality unique gifts. Help them out by posting a Gift Guide on your blog. And have fun with it!
Last year, I wrote a Gift Guide for Fall Line Farms, an online farmers market in Richmond Virginia. I thought about the top reasons that motivate people to buy local food (Flavor, Nutrition, Environment, Community) and came up with the locavore categories below.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
For each of these "localvores" I listed local gifts they would love to receive. Fall Line Farms owner Molly Harris and I had a blast brainstorming the present ideas. Take a look at our lists at the link below to spark your own ideas. The post was popular and was shared over 75 times on Facebook.