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Danelle Cutting: There’s still time to give local gifts

By Danelle Cutting

Rowan Cooperative Extension

The holidays are here and if you have not had a chance to do all your shopping, let me suggest going to the local farmers’ market or some of the local farms. I am sure most of my readers are thinking, “What is at the market this time of year?” Well, let me tell you that there are some great buys at the market right now, as well as some festive activities.

This weekend will be a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping and visit with Santa and his alpacas. No, I do not mean reindeer. These alpacas are special and only make a visit around Christmas. Throughout the year, they are raised by the brother-sister team Chase and Yorke Reynolds, of Two Pigs Farm, who are also vendors at the Salisbury Farmers’ Market. So be sure to bring your family to visit Santa and his second favorite four-legged friends, the alpacas, this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

While you are there, a great gift is to make a local gift basket. Filling a basket with baked goods, handmade soaps, warm socks, and a delicious pie for someone can always put them in the holiday spirit. If making a basket is not your thing, many of the vendors provide gift certificates that can be redeemed throughout the market. You can also make additional accommodations with the farmer/artisan themselves! There are even some farmers who have some delicious local greens, fresh meats such as duck, pork and beef as well, to stock your fridge. Helping local farms and artisans this holiday season can help them continue their way of life.

There are only two Saturdays left before the market closes for the year, so if you want to attend the Salisbury Farmers’ Market, be sure to put it on your calendar. If you cannot attend the farmers’ market, you can still be supportive by buying local. There are many farms and artisans throughout North Carolina.

There are excellent cheese makers from the coast all the way to the mountains. And, who doesn’t enjoy meat and cheese with crackers? If you have not gotten your Christmas tree or wreath, there are local farms that have handmade wreaths, and you can pick and cut your own tree. Being freshly cut will help them last longer.

North Carolina and Rowan County are home to some excellent painters, potters, carpenters and numerous other crafters that make excellent gifts.

Everyone enjoys a unique gift, and buying local gives them just that. With so much great food and crafts at your back door, why would you go anywhere else?

If you would like more information on buying local, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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