Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Local Christmas presents

Thanks to Maggie, we're all thinking a little bit more about where it is we get our food from, and where we spend our money. Even if you aren't going to overhaul your diet completely or buy only locally produced products, I think everyone agrees that buying from local businesses and local producers is a good thing to do for our community.

Here's some ideas for MN Christmas presents:

We just sampled some smoked Gouda cheese from Green Pastures Dairy in Carlton, Minnesota. It was great! Green Pastures Dairy is a family-owned, grass-based farm producing "naturally healthy" Minnesota Farmstead™ cheeses. They milk in the spring, summer, and fall, using intensive rotational grazing, which means their cows are moved to fresh green pastures daily.

Forestedge Winery is located in LaPorte, Minnesota and produces 7 to 8 thousand gallons of wine in small batches every year. Their signature wine is their rhubarb wine which has won many international awards as well as the 2005 Best Minnesota Fruit Wine.

Minnestalgia wine is produced in McGregor, Minnesota. They also sell locally produced jellies, jams, syrups, honey and other products.

Wintergreen Northern Wear of Ely produces outdoor clothing. They are one of the largest private employers in a small remote town where jobs are scarce but garment-making talents and pride in workmanship are in abundance. They are one of the last full-line outdoor clothing makers in the U.S.

Bemidji Woolen Mills produces a line of woolen clothing and blankets. Since 1920 they have been producing clothing for life in the cold north. Bill and Bob Batchelder are 4th generation owners/operators who continue in their great grandfather's footsteps. The Batchelders set out to produce the highest quality, authentic outdoor woolen apparel for the early logging era in Minnesota and surrounding states. They are known for their Paul Bunyan style authentic plaid.

Caleigh Capes are custom crafted wool capes made in Bemidji. They recently made capes for the Team USA Women's Curling team.

MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids has a December marketplace selling the artwork of local talent in media as diverse as birchbark, jewelry, soaps, pottery, cards, photography and paintings.

Jacques Art Center in Aitkin has their annual holiday marketplace with a wine and cheese tasting fundraising event on Thursday December 6th from 5-8pm.

The Franklin Art Center in Brainerd is a renovated high school that houses artist studios. You can walk in anytime or go to their community open house the second Saturday of every month from 10am-4pm.

Bemidji Community Art Center is a member supported art center with three galleries. They also sponsor the First Friday Art Walk in Bemidji.

We've got the 2008 Phenology calendar for sale ($20), live Bill Miller CDS for ($10), KAXE t-shirts, mugs and waterbottles. Call us for more information! 218-326-1234.

Books are always a great gift - check out this list from KAXE callers to Between You and Me for children's book ideas.

Do you have ideas on holiday presents that support the community? Email us!

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