Local food, flowers make easy gifts
Finding locally produced food, drinks and flowers to give as holiday presents can be as easy as visiting a grocery store, dropping by your favorite coffee shop or going online.
Stores such as the Ashland Food Cooperative, Shop 'n Kart, PC Market of Choice and Tark's Market carry a wealth of locally made items, making it simple to find gifts while shopping for groceries.
Lynne Scionti, grocery manager at the co-op, offered dozens of gift suggestions.
The store at 237 N. First St. has local wines and honey, jarred Sonoran Sun gourmet salsa, Rogue Valley Creamery cheeses, SisterfieldS jams and vinegars, Rising Sun tortas and salad dressings, Wilderville beef jerky, granola and nut products and Gym Junkies whole food bars.
The co-op also carries locally roasted coffees and locally made chocolates, and retails Spice of Life spices sold by Ashland High School students who are learning business skills.
Noble Coffee Roasting at 281 Fourth St. in Ashland is making it easy for patrons to find holiday presents by offering gift cards and five different gift baskets. Basket choices include one with a sampler of artisan roasted coffee and another with coffee plus a French press.
People can visit the coffee shop or go online to order at www.noblecoffeeroasting.com.
Orders can be shipped anywhere in the world, said Noble Coffee Roasting Head Roaster and Founder Jared Rennie.
"For people who want to ship a little bit of Southern Oregon, we can do that," he said.
People who want to give wine as a gift but who need some personalized help in making a selection can visit the tasting rooms of local wineries.
You don't have to know exactly what kind of wine the gift recipient likes, said Weisinger's of Ashland General Manager and Co-Owner Robert Trottman.
"If you have a sense of what they like to eat, we can guide you to choose something appropriate," he said.
Generally, whites pair well with common holiday foods like ham, turkey and other fowl, Trottman said.
Bold red wines are also popular in the winter, he noted.
Giving wine tastings as presents means the gift-recipient will be treated to a fun outing. For people with higher budgets, Weisinger's sells wine club memberships and overnight stays in its vineyard cottage, Trottman said.
The cottage stay includes a complimentary wine and cheese basket.
Weisinger's is located at 3150 Siskiyou Blvd. Winter tasting room hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Trottman said buying locally made products from local businesses keeps money circulating here, benefiting the economy.
"It's socially and environmentally the best thing to do. It's about community," he said.
To avoid trouble, remember that it's not legal for private individuals to mail wine.
The U.S. Postal Service will not carry wine. FedEx and UPS will ship wine for entities that have signed a wine shippers agreement, according to the California-based Wine Institute.
Check with your favorite winery to see if it can mail wine for you.
People who want to provide a spot of bright holiday color for friends and family can find Ashland Greenhouses poinsettias at stores like the Ashland Grange on A Street, PC Market of Choice on Siskiyou Boulevard and FlowerTyme on the downtown plaza.
FlowerTyme and The Enchanted Florist at 180 E. Main St. are among floral shops that carry locally grown flowers in season, so ask about the availability of local flowers if you want to give a bouquet.
For people who want to give baked goods, bakeries such as My Sweet Ol' Etcetera at 250 Oak St. No. 2 and Deux Chats at 222 A St. sell items at their stores and also at convenient spots like the Ashland Food Cooperative. Sunstone Artisan Bakery also sells its breads via the co-op and other venues. Or, visit sunstonebakery.com for information on placing an order.
Numerous restaurants in Ashland use locally sourced food. Many display a Rogue Flavor window sticker that makes them easy to find. Gift certificates to local restaurants can make thoughtful presents.
One convenient venue for finding locally made food, the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, has shut down for the season.
But people can still find winter vegetables, meats, dairy products, specialty food items, flour, fruit, nuts and other items by visiting www.localfoodmarketplace.com.
The online local farmers' market takes orders each week from 9 a.m. on Friday until 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Orders are then assembled and taken to one of six locations around the valley for pick-up on Thursdays.
The Ashland pick-up location is the office of Thrive, a nonprofit that promotes local products, at 340 A St. Pick-up hours there are from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about the benefits of buying local, and to find more gift ideas in a Rogue Flavor guide to local food, visit www.buylocalrogue.org.
Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or email@example.com.