MFT is thrilled to celebrate the promotion of Policy & Research Director Ellen Stern Griswold…
Wondering what gift to get the Maine farm lover in your life? Hoping to use your gift-giving this year to support farms? Never fear – there’s a Maine farm gift for every person! Many of these gifts are easy to find locally, saving you the headache and footprint of shopping online and worrying about shipping delays. The holiday season is a great time to support Maine farms and producers, and to give gifts that contribute towards a better future for farming. Here’s our Maine Farms gift guide for 2021:
Treat the people you love with Maine-made wellness products that use local herbs and more! From soap and beeswax candles to lotions, herbal tinctures, and lip balm, Maine makers are whipping up a wide variety of goodies to add a little luxury in the winter months. Check out Maine Made to find producers of soap, lotion, candles and other wellness products, or seek these products out at farmers markets, craft markets, or local stores.
Yarn and Knits
If you’re shopping for a knitter, what better way to support Maine farmers than giving them some Maine yarn? Some sellers of Maine yarn raise animals for fiber, others focus on dyeing and spinning, and some do it all! If the person you’re shopping for is less of a knitter and more of the knit-wearing type, many farms and craftspeople also sell beautiful clothing like sweaters and hats made with Maine fiber, perfect for supporting Maine farms and staying cozy this winter. Try shopping directly from fiber farms, or looking for Maine fiber at yarn shops and craft markets.
Dried Flowers and Wreaths
Fill your giftee’s house with Maine-grown beauty by giving them a wreath or a bouquet of dried flowers from a Maine flower farm! While it’s hard to find fresh-cut flowers grown in Maine during the holidays, a wreath or bouquet made from dried flowers can be just as festive, and stay vibrant for many months. Shop at flower farms, farmers markets or craft fairs for a gift that will brighten the whole year. Tip: many Maine flower farms offer holiday evergreen wreaths, too!
A Charcuterie Box
Assemble a box of local meats, cheeses or other goodies to curate the perfect mix for your favorite local food lover. Include a variety of Maine-made cheeses, cured meats, jams, crackers or pickles from your favorite farms. For ideas of where to find your favorite types of cheese, check out the Maine Cheese Guild. Many of these products can also be found at your local farmers market, grocery stores and coops. Then, package the snacks in a box or basket before wrapping for a fun surprise-within-a-surprise!
Seeds for Next Year’s Garden
Next in our Maine Farms gift guide: Kickstart a gardener’s year by gifting them interesting seeds from Maine seed companies. Help them add beautiful flowers, heirloom veggies, or native plants to their garden, and get them excited about spring!
Between beer, wine, blueberry wine, spirits, tea and cider, there’s a Maine-made beverage for everyone no matter their drink of choice. Of course, extra points for drinks that are made with Maine-grown ingredients! Many farms, breweries, wineries, and distilleries offer on-site purchases, but many liquor stores and grocery stores also carry plenty of Maine-made drinks.
Your favorite farm (or your gift recipient’s favorite farm) probably sells hats, tote bags, mugs, t-shirts, or other fun items for fans of the farm to proclaim their love for the people that grow the community’s food. Consider supporting those farms and giving a piece of apparel that will help your giftee show their farmer some love.
A Farm Subscription
A gift that keeps on giving all year, a CSA subscription is the perfect way to give local food long after the holiday decorations are taken down. Consider a winter pantry CSA, a subscription for the 2022 season, or a multi-farm CSA from a group like Daybreak Growers Alliance, which allows the recipient to customize their box with a variety of farm products from many Maine farms.
Maine-Grown Pantry Staples
A perfect gift to stock someone’s pantry for the winter months to come is a favorite pantry staples. Some options to consider include Maine-grown flours, like this cornmeal from Liberation Farms; local dried beans; maple sweetness from producers like Wabanaki Maple; and condiments like hot sauce and pickles. Consider including a favorite recipe alongside to add a personal touch! You can usually purchase these goods directly from the farm, and many grocery stores, co-ops, and farm markets are also great sources for Maine pantry staples.
A Book About Food and Farming
Spreading knowledge about food and farming is a great gift to give a voracious reader, or someone who likes to be in the know about the past, present and future of our food system. Shop at your local, independent bookstore for a favorite classic about food and farming, or, if you prefer to give a book that’s newly released, check out Civil Eats’ 2021 reading list. For a Maine option, check out the Maine Farm Table Cookbook, which is full of home recipes from across Maine’s food and farming community.
A Farm Kids Book or Coloring Book
For young kids, farms are often really exciting, interesting places. Encourage this interest with a picture book that features a fun farm story! There are many different options available on the Maine Farmland Trust online store, like “Millie’s Chickens” or “A Farmer’s Life for Me,” along with many more!
Our Maine Farms gift guide would be incomplete with a blaze trucker hat, a classic baseball cap or a T-shirt, the perfect gift to demonstrate your friend or family member’s dedication to Maine farms. Not only will you be getting them a piece of apparel that celebrates our farming community, but you’ll also be helping to protect farmland across the state, put money directly into the hands of farmers, and help farmers steward their soil. Check out the full Maine Farmland Trust store for a full selection of merch.
Consider giving back by making a donation to the organizations and projects creating greater food and land equity and justice in Maine: Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective, Somali Bantu Community Association, Maine Wabanaki REACH, New Roots Cooperative Farm, and Mano en Mano, to name a few!
An MFT Membership
Give the gift of supporting Maine’s farms! One of the best ways to support farmers with your gift this holiday season is by helping to advance the future of farming. Your recipient will join a group of members committed to supporting farmers and advancing the future of farming, plus invites to exclusive events and our Maine Farms journal, essential reading for every supporter of Maine farms!