AlpacaFiber-e1479847985979

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26 and in Tennessee, many of those businesses focus on products found on the farm.

A year-round interest in local products means plenty of options for holiday gifts from the farm. When you purchase from a farmer, you create an economic ripple that encourages and strengthens rural communities.

Gift baskets with artisan cheeses, meats, sauces and jellies, local wines, handmade chocolates and other festivity-friendly foods are easy to find. Baskets are a great choice for family, friends who like to entertain and business associates.

A few local sources of local agriculture products great for gift baskets are the Amish Market At The Nolensville Feed Mill, 7280 Nolensville Road, Nolensville, TN, 37135; and Wagner Berry Farm, 4923 Ollie Chunn Road, Spring Hill, TN, 37174.

Goat’s milk, honey and beeswax-based beauty products, like soaps, lotions and balms are readily available at farmers markets and retail stores that specialize in artisan farm offerings, as well as farm operations such as Queen Bee Farm, 3649 Trousdale Lane, Columbia, TN, 38401.

Some gifts need to be really special. Farmers like Karl and Jan Heinrich of Long Hollow Suri Alpacas have increased production on their farm to meet demand for items that are local and luxurious. The Heinrichs, who process the alpaca wool right on their Gallatin farm, take their business from the field to the fashion runways of New York. Shoppers in their farm store can choose gifts to warm the heart and hands, ranging from cozy gloves and wraps to beautiful yarns and couture dresses.

Wool and associated products also are available at Mistletoe Farm Alpacas, 4212 Crowder Road, Franklin, TN, 37064 and Willow Creek Alpacas, 6861 Arno Allisona Road, College Grove, TN, 37046.

Find farm-related businesses across the state through the Taste of Tennessee Online Store at www.PickTnProducts.org. Shoppers can click on links and connect to a business or producer site. The products are then purchased directly from the producer. Many customers form relationships with local farmers through Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions, available through such operations as Tap Root Farm, 4099 Clovercroft Road, Franklin, TN, 37067.

Pick Tennessee Products is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s program to connect consumers to farms, farmers and farm products. Now in its 30th year, Pick Tennessee lists more than 2,500 Tennessee farmers and farm direct businesses with almost 10,000 products.

Pick Tennessee even lists restaurants that use locally-sourced food, such as Grays on Main, 332 Main Street, Franklin, TN, 37064, Harvest at Homestead and Homestead Manor Farm, 4683 Columbia Pike, Thompson’s Station, TN, 37179, and Saffire, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN, 37064.

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