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A Fresh Approach to Eating

Shop Local Christmas

It is time to shop local during the holiday season! I love giving locally for the holidays and making as many gifts as possible! Did you know that when you buy from a local business, local farmer, artisan, or restaurant, over 48 % of the money made from the purchase recirculates back into the local economy, much more than the 14% from a big box store?

When you buy online, unless you buy from a local business, this number is even less, if not at all. Buying local is the one thing that each of us can do to improve our local economy! A gift made locally is usually more creative and personal than any gift you can buy at the fanciest chain store; plus, it is a greener gift because it does not come from overseas.

Purchasing a gift locally can also be a greener choice, especially if it is made where you live. The greenhouse gas emissions involved in getting the gift to us can be significant.

I wanted to share some of my favorite local food artisans and artists/craftspeople with you and give you a chance to win a gift basket of locally grown and made goods from Western Carolina.

Here is a list of Items that You Can Shop Local for Christmas

Smoking J's Jamaican Ginger Hot Sauce
Try Smoking J’s for some unique blends of barbecue and hot sauces!

Smoking J’s Fiery Foods

I discovered Smoking J’s at the local tailgate markets here in Asheville when they shared samples of their sauces and salsa.  I became an immediate fan! Their creative combinations are unique and fun! Joel and Tara Mowrey grow their peppers and make their products, which is why they taste so good!

Making these value-added goods also helps extend their season. Their sauces and salsa range from mild to hot, depending on one’s preference. You can find out more about Smoking J’s here.

Imlardris Farm's raspberry jam makes a beautiful festive jam for the holidays.
Try some jam from Imlardis Farm that makes you feel like heaven on earth!

Imlardis Farm

I first tried Imlardis Farm blueberry jam at one of my favorite local restaurants. The jam tasted just like fresh blueberries and was not weighted down with sugar. Then, when I heard how Walter and his wife, Wendy, left their careers and began working on the farm that his great-grandparents used to farm, I became a fan for life!

I had the opportunity to spend a day with them last year at the Blue Ridge Food Ventures Holiday Food Market, where they sold their jams and preserves and signed a few books. Getting to know both of them was a treat, and I felt I was among local celebrities! Walter and Wendy make several jams, including blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, mixed berry, and apple butter. You can find out more about their farm and products here.

The High Fiber cotton flour sack towel.
A hand-created silk screen design linen from The High Fiber is a gift for everyone’s kitchen!

The High Fiber

You probably figured out by now that one of my favorite places to shop is at the local tailgate markets, and I am not just looking at the local produce! I became acquainted with The High Fiber linens there, too! It has been exciting to see the explosion of creativity and love that Daphne Cohan has given to her linens and other items.

Her husband is an outstanding team member who supports and helps her. This handmade, hand-printed towel would look lovely in your kitchen this holiday season! She has some holiday linens available, but I am obsessed with this red citrus towel! You can purchase some of her wares around Western North Carolina or on their website The High Fiber!

Essential Journeys soy candle
Natural scented candles, lotions, soaps, and other goods await you at Essential Journeys!

Essential Journeys

A Local Holiday Giveaway basket would not be complete without a cranberry candle from Essential Journeys. Essential Journeys is so close to my house, I have literally walked by hundreds of times! It is hard to buy much more local than that!

Kimberly Masters offers various soaps, lip balms, lotions, bath salts, body kinds of butter, and candles made from natural, healthy ingredients. You can find out more about Essential Journeys here!

This season, the hardest decision you may have to make is which gifts to give your loved ones!  You may need one or two of everything!

We Can Shop for Local Christmas

I hope that you can find local businesses where you live that you can support. If not, support a small business outside of your area. Here is a little more about handmade for the holidays.

You may also like my book on local food and health Farm Fresh Nutrition , which you can purchase it online on my website! As an Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist, I feel that buying fresh and local matters to our community, the earth, and our health! You can find out more about me here!

Farm Fresh Nutrition Book Cookbook for sale
Farm Fresh Nutrition is a great resource for eating foods based on the seasons and farmers’ markets.
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