Friday, November 03, 2017 | 9:26am
NASHVILLE– The idea of filling stockings and gift bags with locally made artisan gifts is appealing. A present that’s one of a kind, made with wholesome ingredients, with the feel or flavor of home is personal and meaningful. But who has time to travel the countryside looking for goat milk soaps, alpaca scarves, artisan cheeses and beeswax balms?
In Tennessee, you don’t have to. Small Business Saturday is November 25 and many such businesses, including independently-owned retail stores, florists, restaurants, and wineries, offer selections straight from Tennessee farms or fellow small businesses. These mom and pop shops are a great place to find a variety of items made close to home, all in one stop.
Many farms that produce artisan products have retail stores on site and their products may also be found at area farmers markets, food and farm cooperatives, and holiday fairs. Country hams, sausages, sauces and jellies, local wines, handmade chocolates, and other festivity-friendly foods are simple to source. Baskets of local foods are a great choice for a family group, friends who like to entertain, and business associates, and small businesses are often happy to make and ship baskets for you.
The people who receive your locally grown or made gifts are not the only ones who benefit from your thoughtfulness. Such support provided during the holidays to local farmers, food makers, and business owners produces an economic ripple that can help encourage and strengthen entire rural communities.
Pick Tennessee is drawing attention to select local products throughout November during its “30 Days of Thankfulness.” Every day, on the Pick Tennessee Products Instagram account, shoppers will be introduced to a locally made item perfect for gift giving. Another way to find farm and food related businesses across the state is to click here.
Pick Tennessee is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s program to connect consumers to farms, farmers and farm products. Pick Tennessee lists more than 2,500 Tennessee farmers and farm direct businesses with almost 10,000 products.