Local for the Holidays!

With the first snow received last week and another slushy dusting on Monday, those of us living in New Hampshire are reminded that even though the calendar says it is still fall, winter has arrived.

With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away and behind that Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about (what else?)  FOOD!  After all, this is the time of year for feasts and merriment.

Are you hosting a family dinner this year?  Why not buy your fresh turkey from a local farm?  You usually have to order ahead of time, but some farms have extra.  Make a few calls.  If you don’t get one this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year.  You know it’s healthier for you and tastes fresher, plus you will be “keeping it local.”

The summer Farmer Markets are being replaced by the Winter Markets.  You can still get some great food including root vegetable, meats, eggs, dairy products and fresh made breads, jams and spreads among other things.  Stop by your local Winter Market and stock up for Thanksgiving and all those holiday parties you’ll be hosting.

While you are at it, pick up some locally produced items for gifts.  They may great office or hostess gifts and are perfect for that last minute neighborly gift.

Speaking of Christmas…

This year some places already have cut Christmas trees on their lots, something you usually don’t see until the day after Thanksgiving.  Let me give you a hint…If these trees have already arrived, they likely were cut a week or more ago, meaning they are not likely to keep their needles until the big day.  (Trust me on this…I worked on a Christmas tree farm for most of my childhood.) Do yourself a favor and look for a local Christmas tree farm, bundle up the family and go cut your own.  Picking and then cutting your own fresh Christmas tree is a time honored tradition that brings the whole family together.  Plus your tree will last longer and smell fresher. (And you will find the prices comparative.)

Not sure where to go or what to get?  Check out these links…and remember when you buy local, it stays local!

http://seacoasteatlocal.org/ – This is a great site that provides names of farms where you can pre-order you Thanksgiving Turkey and also where to find and buy local products.  And check out their blog for great ideas.

http://www.nhmade.com/ – New Hampshire Made Products you can order.

http://www.pickyourownchristmastree.org/NHxmastrees.php – A list of New Hampshire farms that have pick-your-own Christmas Trees.

http://www.nhfma.net/ – A site that has a full directory of both summer and winter farmer’s markets.

http://newhampshirefarms.net/ – A great site that has a bio for many of the farms throughout New Hampshire.

http://www.nhfarmandforestexpo.org/ – Looking for something to do after the Holidays?  Check out this site for the New Hampshire Farm Expo to be held in February at the Radisson in Manchester, NH.

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