Monday, December 14, 2009

The gift of local food

What's the appeal of giving food as a gift? For one thing, everyone eats. Plus, food is not junk that will clutter the house.

If you're looking to give someone the gift of local food, plenty of options abound. Here are just a few:

-Shitake mushroom logs, which will sprout home-grown mushrooms. These sugar maple logs were sustainably harvested locally and will bear mushrooms for two to five years beginning this coming spring.
-Taste of the Region gift boxes from Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty, which include local pancake mixes, berry preserves, cider molasses, chutneys, mustards, and more.
-High Point Farm gift boxes, which include local cheeses, meats, honey, and more.
-Gift certificates from Garden Gate Delivery, a local food delivery service.
-Cookbooks from Moosewood Restaurant.
-A calendar from Edible Finger Lakes.

Or, you could honor someone's interest in food by making a food-related donation in his or her name. Ithaca's Alternative Gift Fair makes this type of giving easy with their online purchasing option. For example, specific donations help support local charities, such as $40 for one week of Meals on Wheels for a frail older adult or disabled person living in Tompkins County, $10 for seeds, plants and building materials to create neighborhood gardens in Ithaca, $20 for one week of nutritious meals (plus seconds) for one guest at Loaves & Fishes, or $10 for two weeks of fresh, healthy, colorful fruit and veggie snacks including bok choy, beets, blueberries, and pears for a child in New York State.

For more gift ideas, check out last year's Eating Ithaca podcast on this topic and the 14850 Dining gift guide.