A wealth of good eats and treats for holiday gifts in Nevada County
December 12, 2013
It's that time of year again when giving and thinking about others is on the mind. For those who prefer to shop local and support neighbors, a number of area farm, food and garden-related businesses have ideas for the holidays.
From native foraged foods to the area's finest wines, locavores are sure to find gifts for everyone on their list when they shop from Nevada County's creative entrepreneurs.
Husband and wife team, Matt and Rachel Berry offer a number of wildcrafted foods through their business, Sierra Living Skills.
"Native foods are abundant this winter and my husband Matt and I are selling acorn products, elderberry honey, madrone and manzanita sugar and more.
They make unique gifts and help educate our community about this sustainable food resource," said Rachel Berry, who will be set up at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, part of the Mushroom Expo Dec. 22 during Nevada City's Victorian Christmas.
The Berrys will sell a number of products made from acorns including: roasted oak nut nibs for baked goods, oak nut flour and oak nut oil along with elderberry, manzanita and madrone honey.
Alicia Funk of Living Wild has several wild food gift ideas available at stores in Grass Valley and Nevada City and on her new online shop found at: http://flavorsofthewild.com.
Besides jars of California Bay Spice and Manzanita berry sugar, shop for cattail or grapevine baskets.
"I also have incense cedar smudge and madrone berry necklaces," Funk said. Look for these products at California Organics, Kitkitdizze and HAALo in Nevada City and BriarPatch Co-op.
A popular new business is Huck's Hollow Farm Homemade Goods started by Theresa Huck.
"After I read an article in The New York Times about rat feces in imported spices, I threw out all my spices. And only use Teresa Huck's locally sourced, homemade organic spices. They are truly incredible, as are her homemade crackers," said local resident Moira McLaughlin.
"I sell 25 different spice blends, baking mixes and artisanal crackers. My spices come in cute little jars and look adorable. People have been buying them for gifts. My crackers are hot, hot, hot, and people buy them for gift baskets as well," Huck said.
Her products can be found on her new website at: http://huckshollow farm.com/#!products/c21r.
Greg Weber of Greg's Organics has sundried tomatoes in one-ounce packages for sale at BriarPatch Co-op.
"We have our Papa Wheat's local honey, and we are also now carrying Papa Wheat's Jams, jellies, salsas and BBQ sauces. They can find these items in the garden center at A to Z. We will also gift wrap or decorate a basket for them if they would like," said April Reese.
A local woman makes the strawberry, elderberry, and blackberry preserves along with apple and cherry butter for A to Z Supply. The store also carries roasted garlic salsa and southern peach barbecue sauce.
McClaughry Farms Honey can be found at BriarPatch Co-op and other retailers. BriarPatch also carries Mountain Mustard and Rumano Organic Fresh Wasabi & Horseradish.
Fresh Starts Garden Nursery is offering gift certificates that can be redeemed in the spring, just in time for planting.
"I work out of my property on the western flank of Sugar Loaf Mountain and also have a greenhouse at First Rain Farm," said Randi Pratini, who for four years has been registered organic and is going through the application process to become certified organic.
"I grow and sell vegetable, herb, flower and perennial starts, with a focus of trying to support the Sierra Seed Co-op. Many of my perennials are grown from cuttings of my landscape plants, adapted to our climate," she added.
Good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar always make nice gifts.
"Winter is the most amazing time for just pressed "Olio Nuovo" Olive Oil and Calolea has three varietals available: Mission, Manzanillo and Tuscan," said Monica Keller.
Calolea will participate in Cornish Christmas and Victorian Christmas and will host a Holiday Indulgence party at their Orchard and Tasting room from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
For people who like cheese with their wine, Dedrick's Cheese is open year-round in Placerville and can be contacted at 530-344-8282 or by visiting http://dedrickscheese.com.
Grass Valley Restauranteur Bob Tonnies is offering holiday gift certificates for a Nevada County Free Range Burger at Gold Rush Burgers and BBQ and Mexi-Que Taqueria both on Main Street.
Other local gift ideas include soaps from Frontier Angel Soap or Nightingale Farms.
"Nightengale Farms is selling our goat milk lotions and soaps at Cornish Christmas and Victorian Christmas and at Tess' kitchen store in Grass Valley and at Shaw's Antiques in Nevada City. Our products are made with milk from our family farm and are available in a variety of fragrances or unscented," said Shannon Friedberg.
Skin care products are also available from Olala Farms in North San Juan, Sunlight Botanicals and Flower Essence Society of Nevada City.
For the sweet tooth on your list, look for Sierra Sweets Toffee Co. at Victorian Christmas, SPD, Raley's , Neva Co., Nevada City Winery and BriarPatch Co-op. DeGroot's Desserts, Earth Sweet Pleasures and for raw foodies, Next Level Foods.
Nana's Artisan Bakery will be at Santa's Workshop, 145 Mill St., during Cornish Christmas and 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday afternoon until Christmas. Special orders are welcome by contacting Susan Meagher at 530-272-4514 or SRmeagher@yahoo.com.
Editors note: This is by no means an all-inclusive list of every local gift out there. The story is meant to inspire the community to look locally this holiday season for gifts that reflect the rich, creative spirit of our area. For those who don't see goods listed in this article that should be considered, please visit our Facebook page to tell us about it.
Contact Laura Brown at 913-3067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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