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Freshen Up Your Gift Ideas at the Farmers' Market

Looking for something a little different this holiday season? Turn farmer's market finds into personalized gift baskets. Here's how, plus a list of what's in season for December.

The ideal gift is something thoughtful, unique and creative — and hand-picked, crafted presents can be made to suit for every personality.

The Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA) has come up with some ideas about how to use farmer's market finds to create simple, useful gifts from fresh produce. Debra Morris of PCFMA suggests putting together a gift basket of fresh California winter fruit; or locally made olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and breads; or a sampling of homemade soaps, bath salts and lotions.

Baskets could even include a selection of potted herbs and potted plants to grow at home, or a variety of fresh nuts, sweet local honey and beeswax products, smoked meats, cheeses, and more from local farmers.

Baskets could also be themed for foodies, gardeners, over-worked moms who need a pampering, or elderly neighbors who can't often get to the market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Browse the stalls and let your imagination do the rest.

Gift Ideas from the Farmers' Market

Think of a theme, collect your items from the market, and add accessories such as glasses, mugs or napkins, and your basket is ready. Here are some ideas:

  • Italian Dinner Night with olive oil, a baguette, fresh handmade pasta, stuffed olives, sausages, and red wine. Add checkered napkins and wine glasses.
  • Movie Night with kettle corn, fresh-squeezed apple cider, dried fruits and nuts for snacking, and a pair of ceramic mugs for your cider.
  • Mom’s Basket with fresh cut flowers, handmade chocolates, fragrant soaps and lotions.
  • Soup’s On! with fresh carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, and herbs. Add two soup mugs and dinner rolls.
  • Get the Party Started with smoked salmon, dips and spreads, a baguette, a selection of wines, cheeses, and fresh fruit slices. Add napkins, wine glasses.   
  • Browse Pinterest and create a board of your favorite gift basket ideas.

What's in Season at the farmers' market in December

Fruit: Apples, citrus (oranges, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines), kiwifruit, pomegranates.

Vegetables: Artichokes, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, radishes, spinach, winter squash.

Martinez Farmers' Market

More information is here.

Day Time Season Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All Year

Are you making a gift basket this season? What will you include? Share ideas in the comments below.

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