Eating Indiana Agriculture (ISDA’s Holiday Gift Guide)

Need a last minute gift idea?  Indiana agriculture comes in many forms and it may be the present you’re looking for to finish

Christmas cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

your Christmas shopping. To celebrate the season, I compiled gift ideas from some of the staff here at ISDA.

When it comes to edible gifts, Indiana agriculture has a plethora of options to satisfy the demands of your Christmas list.

Snacks

Chocolate covered pretzels.  Popcorn.  Beef Jerky.  Salsa.  These are some of my favorite snacks, and just a few of the food items that are produced and/or processed right here in Indiana.  To order snack items for your friends, visit a website like Hoosier Market Place, place your order and pick up at a desired location.

Confections

Who doesn’t like sweets around the holidays?  Fortunately, Indiana is home to lots of options in this area.  Some highlights include…

  • Places like 240 Sweets and Not Just Popcorn.  Indiana offers several artisanal products that are guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.
  • Maple syrup tapped in Indiana, and definitely worth the purchase.  There’s no better treat than pancake drizzled with real maple syrup.
  • Indiana honey is also the perfect gift for anyone on your list who enjoys cooking, baking and/or a good cuppa.  Use resources like honey.com to find Indiana honey for sale near you.

For your table

Practical gifts are (almost) always appreciated.  They offer me special treats for daily life.  If I were making myself a practical Christmas list, here’s what I would request.

  • Community Supported Agriculture Share: Did you know that Indiana is home to more than 30 fruits and vegetables?  A CSA is a program where farmers sell “shares” or baskets of their produce before it is ready for market.  A customer pays a farmer up-front for X amount of products/week throughout the summer.  Between a certain period of time (usually May through September), the customer picks up his/her share of products at a designated location once a week.  What could be a better gift than fresh produce throughout the summer?
  • A Side of a Cow/Hog: Since I was a young girl, my parents have often stocked our freezer with a side of a cow.  Although I have no qualms about buying meat from grocery stores, it’s a treat to have a freezer full of delicious meat in a variety of cuts knowing that your purchase benefited a farmer in or near your community.  Also, buying a whole steer/partial steer can be very affordable per pound if you have the resources to pay for the meat up front.  One Indiana producer estimates it costs about $4.32/lb for all cuts (including steaks and filets). Another option that sounds tasty (but I haven’t tried yet) is purchasing a whole or half of a hog.  As our state is the fifth largest producer of pork in the United States, nothing says Indiana like gifting a pig 🙂

What Indiana food products would you add to this list?

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