Last Minute Locavore Gift Suggestions

December 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Rob Gardner

You have five more nights of Hanukkah, eleven days until Christmas, and one more day to get to Boxing Day.  You still have much time to get your friends and family something local.  Us folks at the Local Beet as well as a few of our friends have some great gift ideas for you.

Our Backyard Gardener, Brad Moldofsky, thinks there is one really good gift idea: a rain barrel. 

The local beer guy Tom Keith found five things that would go well under his tree.  The list includes a contraption to make your house into a tavern.

The Sustainable Cook, Melissa Graham, fresh from cooking for over two hundred the other night promises some ideas for living not just a local life, but a greener life too.  Check back in her space soon. Update: As wont for her, Melissa went over the top with outstanding ideas, suggestions and one hell of a door prize.

Our friend and Local Beet contributor, Cassie Green, thinks that bottle of wine you pass along this year should be local wine.  She tells us

It is a pity if you don’t know but there are some great wines coming out of Michigan these days.  Try a bottle of Pinot Noir or Cab Franc from Blackstar Farms ($22-$24/bottle).  Or what about some award winning sparkling wines from L. Mawby-try his classic dry Blanc de Blanc ($18.99) or his fun, sassy and really yummy “Sex” ($15.99).  Bring that to a holiday party and you’ll surely be the talk of the event!

Cassie says for the perfect housewarming gift

How about a little sampling of Flora confections pate de fruits, all made with locally grown fruits! (approx $7 for a pack of 7)? Pair her confectioneries with local, artisan cheeses like Trader’s Point Creamery’s Fleur de Terre (and they both have French names so how fun and fancy is that!).

For the kid’s teachers Cassie suggests:

You can’t go wrong with a parade of locally produced chocolate items. Try elegantly easy Sweet Girls chocolate mousse mix ($10.99/box), some Terry’s Toffee ($8.99/8oz) and Chocolate Inspirations cashew bark (not sure yet).

Another Beet contributor, David Hammond, suggested a salami from Romanian Kosher Sausage Company and soap from Abby Brown, which I suppose is for after the slicing.

Some other ideas:

  • It cannot be more obvious, but a CSA subscription makes an outstanding notion.


  • And since a lot of your friends have their CSAs lined up, how ’bout the gift of a side of beef.  Tom Arnold will bring your cow to one of several winter markets around Chicago.



  • Take it further by learning a little at-home butchering with Rob Levitt at Mado.


  • We will be debuting our new feature, the Cookbook Addict too late for holiday shopping.  Besides, she’d have too hard a time coming up with a few ideas for your last minute locavore needs.  So, until then, you cannot do wrong with the Blackberry Farm Cookbook.  Seasonal recipes and coffee table photos.

Finally, contributor and video maven, Mike Gebert, suggested the ideal tote to carry it all home.



  1. Kat says:

    When tweeting please stick to food and food politics. Getting people fed, clothed and housed in this country and around the world is much more important than homosexuality policies in Africa.

  2. Damien says:

    Rob –

    Don’t miss the chance to suggest a locally refurbished bike from Blackstone Bicycle Works. They are having a holiday sale! Here is the update from Connie Spreen:

    Dear friend,

    Blackstone Bicycle Works, a program of Experimental Station, will be holding a HOLIDAY BIKE SALE through this Saturday. We will have refurbished bicycles for children and adults ranging in price from $25-250. You can also find helmets, locks, and other bicycling accessories.

    You may not think that this is the time of year to purchase a bicycle. However, you are mistaken! If you are looking for a refurbished bicycle, this is the best time of year to find a broad selection of bikes from which to choose.

    All revenues for purchases of bicycles and accessories help to support Blackstone’s youth education program. If you want to know more about Blackstone Bicycle Works, you may view this WGN piece on the shop from this past August.

    Shop hours for the remainder of the week will be Thursday 12-5pm, Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm. Blackstone Bicycle Works is located at 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue.

    Thank you for your patronage!!

    Connie Spreen

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