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

Christmas lights 2010

Christmas lights 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite presents to receive is the gift of a shared experience.  For Christmas one year, my childhood friend treated me and some of our other friends to ice skating and Starbucks, and then had pictures from the evening printed for us.  It was a perfect gift: we made a memory together and enjoyed Indianapolis at Christmastime.  That present was far more meaningful than any trinket.

The agriculture and food scene of Indiana has countless experiences that fit the bill for anyone on your list.

Interested in learning about the farm-to-fork continuum?  Visit a farm!

Places like Fair Oaks and Kelsay’s Farms are great destinations for families, children, and friends to visit and learn about how food is produce, and have fun while doing so!

Want to learn more about Indiana’s ag history? Check-out Indiana’s food/rural attractions!

Here’s just a sampling of some of the events/attractions that offer visitors a look at how agriculture is related to Indiana’s cultural identity:

  • DigINdiana  is a food fest where Indiana’s farmers, chefs, brewers, vinters and foodies come together to taste and learn about the food grown right here in Indiana.
  • The Indiana Wine Trail of southeastern Indiana offers wine connoisseurs an opportunity to learn about Indiana’s wine heritage.
  • The Maple Syrup Fair of Parke County offers visitors an opportunity to learn about how maple syrup is made and taste the final product.
  • The Covered Bridge Festival, also in Parke County,  celebrates the history and importance of covered bridges in our state.  Nan Hammel, an ISDA resource specialist, wrote a wonderful blog post about the significance of these bridges.  Fun fact: Parke County is the covered bridge capital!

Looking for a low-key, fun outing with friends? Ag businesses have the answer for you!

Why not try out a soup, wine and music one winter afternoon at Mallow Run Winery?  Visit Apple Works and enjoy some snacks and their trails?  Or drive to Roanoke and eat at Joseph Decuis restaurant for a special evening out?  These are just three ideas; do a little searching online and you’re sure to find more!

How to gift an experience

Of course, it’s always a treat to open up a package on Christmas day.  Here are some ideas of how to package your experience to present it as a gift.

  • Include a tangible item that relates to the experience.  Going to take someone to the maple syrup fair?  Give them a small bottle of maple syrup with a note about your upcoming plans.
  • Make a gift certificate on your computer and wrap it in a box.
  • Give an empty picture frame, and write a note about how you’ll fill the frame with a photo from the event.

Have you visited one of the locations mentioned? What ag tourism destinations would you recommend?

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