Local Foods from Local Folks Make Great Gifts for Loved Ones and Local Businesses
NASHVILLE -- Shoppers who seek out local fare for gifts and their own holiday celebrations are part of a growing national movement to patronize small businesses. One popular resource for Tennesseans is www.picktnproducts.org , a site maintained by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture as a free service to help consumers connect with local farmers and makers of farm-related products.
The Pick Tennessee Products website provides a gateway to locally grown and made products across the state, posting statewide directories of nearly 2,000 individual farmers and farm-direct businesses who list more than 8,000 food and farm products.
Savvy cell phone users can point their phone cameras at a Pick Tennessee Products “quick response,” or “QR” code, that takes them straight to the website home page.
Within the site, the Taste of Tennessee Online Store provides links to a wide variety of farm-direct, artisan and specialty products which can be purchased online. E-shoppers can link to farm websites to purchase and send traditional farm favorites like smokehouse sausage, aged country ham, farm-direct cheeses (including goat and even sheep cheeses) local honey and beeswax products, sorghum syrup, a naturally raised fresh turkey—or even a Christmas goose. The online store section also includes makers of specialty items like handmade artisan chocolates, fruit butters and sauces.
Many of Tennessee’s farmers and artisan food makers do not yet have their own online stores, but are happy to sell and send items when contacted by phone. The farmers and producers of these foods are listed by food category in the Pick Tennessee Products “Food” section.
Several companies specialize in gift baskets made with Tennessee farm products, and many outlets that carry Tennessee grown and made items will make gift baskets on request. Gift baskets are also an option from some Taste of Tennessee Online Store producers. A number of the state’s wineries also create and send baskets of items from their gift stores. Locate Tennessee wineries by clicking on the wine glass photo on the home page.
Access the online store and other retailers and producers with Tennessee products from the home page “Shop Now” picture. Find other Tennessee local foods and ingredients with the green “Food” button at the left hand side of the home page screen. Directories for other local holiday items including Christmas trees, wreaths and garland are also available from the home page. For more information, call 615-837-5160 or contact Linda Shelton at Linda.Shelton@tn.gov. Follow Pick Tennessee Products on Facebook and Twitter.