These great gift ideas support families and local economies while helping you find that perfect gift for everyone on your list

As the holidays approach, people flock to the malls–after being inundated with gift ideas from huge corporations and vast marketing budgets–to express their love, or perhaps obligation, in gift giving. Whether seeking a gift for their loved ones or the office gift exchange, it’s tough to find something that expresses the holiday sentiment without getting something that will end up in someone’s yard sale in a few years, tucked away in an attic, or thrown away. As many of us become aware of the planetary and ecological consequences of overconsumption, we strive to reflect conscientious choices in our gift giving as well.

I’ve always avoided generic gifts for loved ones, instead opting for handmade or artisan produced goodies—especially consumables! The tools of the internet make it even easier to support small famers and artisans as you complete your holiday shopping list.

Here are 10 awesome ideas for gifts for everyone on your list that will support the environment and bring vibrancy back to local economies while you get the credit for finding the perfect gift. Happy shopping!

  1. Like beauty and versatility? Consider one of these Alpaca wool blankets, sweaters socks, and scarves from a small Alpaca farm in Maryland. They have gorgeous, tunic sweaters, colorful blankets, scarves and hats, socks, gloves and more. At Villa De Alpacas, the alpacas all have first and middle names and the farmers know each animal individually. All the items are soft and luxurious. This farm is a continuously running farm by the same farming family for over 200 years. The best way to support land preservation is by keeping ecological farms economically viable.villa-de-alpacas
  2. Say Cheese—Do you love cheese or a cheese lover? These amazing classes give you hands on experience in learning to make your own delicious cheeses from the experts. At Three Shepherds Cheese, they offer classes year round and all over. Take a trip, take a class, learn a lifelong skill.
  3. Wool pillows and bedding, yarn, handmade baskets, candles. Cards made by Shannon’s children shows that Sap Bush Hollow Farm really has something for everyone AND the thank you cards you will need.hand-tied-comforters-300x224
  4. Skin creams for all skin types from Raw Paleo Melissa. These skin creams feature nutrient rich tallow from small farms. Handmade, in small batches, each line is either scent free or lightly scented.

    Gift ideas for natural healing skin creams

    Gift ideas for natural healing skin creams

  5. Delectable seafood from a family that spends half the year fishing in Alaska. Wild for Salmon offers full filet portions to gift baskets with everything, this is a perfect gift for many on your list.wfs sampler
  6. Soaps and skin creams from Herbal Poetry. These amazing soaps are luxurious. The soap maker uses organic herbs that are grown in her own garden, and also honey from her beehives. She uses the old European method of creating hot processed soap without any synthetic chemicals.

    Gift ideas for the soap lover on your list: natural soaps from a small producer in Maryland

    Gift ideas for natural soaps from a small producer in Maryland

  7. More Alpaca knit items for every day and winter wear from Alpacas of Montana. If it’s made in Montana, chances are, they know how to keep you warm!alpacas_of_montana
  8. And who doesn’t love honey—the sweetness and versatility. As local honey farms start to appear all over the landscape, it is fun to give honey rather than the ubiquitous fruitcake. Go ahead, bee the change.
  9. If you have a pork lover on your list, consider a special order of heritage Mangalitsa pork or some of their amazing cured pork from Baker’s Green Acres. They are famous for their specialty Mangalitsa pork products.
  10. This traditional multi-generational family farm in Georgia offers a huge selection of farm goodies and accessories. If you’re not sure where to start at White Oak Pastures, starting with the gift package, samplers or leather goodies gives a good scope of what they have to offer.leather-white-oak-pastures

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Find more local producers on sites that connect you to local producers, like 1000EcoFarms.com Their mission is:

“create vibrant local networks to support the pillars of our communities – our farms. By supporting these farms, we cultivate the local ecology, grow the local economy and nourish our precious eco systems. We see a world where the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker are each honored and respected for their specialty and expertise. None of them would be possible without the farmer. 1000EcoFarms` brings the farmer and their products back to the center of the community.”

We can get behind that! Whether you choose one of these recommended products, or you have your own ideas, we certainly hope that you will consider your local farmers and producers and those who build their crafts from what they produce. When you support a local producer, remember, your choice helps create vibrancy in the community, helps feed a family, and in these instances, keeps farms in production. Thank you for shopping conscientiously this season!

 

Liz Reitzig

Food is the Foundation of Liberty. Nourishing Liberty is where we plant seeds for ideas to grow and flourish A place to be inspired by each other, to join together in peaceful activism, to build community.

Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.

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