All things “global are local” thanks to the speed of delivering food and food experiences far and wide. Over the year, several farms and food venues have been gracious to offer their time and words of wisdom for my blog content (and personal experiences). Each of these venues offer products that arrive at your doorstep (or are willing to open their door to you). So, if you’re still holiday shopping or looking for new food gift ideas in 2023, check out some of my favorites!
Hillview Farms Meat
Jim Gilles III came back to the family beef farm following his 2010 graduation from the University of Kentucky to help transition a traditional beef farm to include “direct to consumer” beef. What started as a small farmer’s market purchasing program has expanded to a store front and an online site for meat, poultry and “Kentucky Proud” products.
The beef and chicken products are raised on the Gilles Farm, while the pork and dairy products come from a neighbor and a regional farmer, respectively. Gift baskets of Kentucky sourced products can be purchased online or at the Owensboro store year-round. Read more about the farm in my blog.
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company
Point Reyes Station, CA
In 2017, I discovered Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company in Marin County, California (Tomales Bay) while vising the San Francisco area. What a transformation these four daughters have made of their father’s dairy farm! What started in 1959 is now an award-winning creamery and a model of sustainable agriculture.
From a happenstance farm tour and cheese tasting visit to being on a California Dairy Summit panel with Lynn Giacomini Stray in 2018, and now a frequent happy customer, I can attest that the cheese is wonderful and always delivered on time far and wide. The women-owned company knows quality! Read more about the operation in my blog.
Peachfork Orchards and Winery
If you’re familiar with Colorado, you probably have heard of Palisades and especially the Palisades peaches. The city is in the Grand Valley or western slope of Colorado, along the Colorado River where the mountain region converges with the southwestern desert. This area is the “mecca” for agriculture-orchards, wineries and lavender fields.
Peachfork, an orchard and vineyard, is one of 25+ locally owned operations, but with a Kentucky connection. Co-owner and professional engineer, Phil Patton, has been a friend of my husband’s since childhood. It is through this connection that I’ve come to understand the importance of the Colorado River to the west and the conflicts of water usage between agricultural and residential usage. Even though peach season is over, their award-winning wines can be purchased online year-round and always check if they have apples available — they can be shipped as well. Read more about the operation in my blog.
Holly Hill and Co.
What started as two aspiring chefs purchasing the quintessential Holly Hill Inn in Midway in 2000 has blossomed into a company that includes a James Beard award-winning chef, seven central Kentucky restaurants, a bakery, event space and a commitment to Kentucky agriculture from small produce growers to beef farmers.
Ouita Michaels is committed to promoting her Kentucky roots from the food served on her various tables to the artists making quality products for home and kitchen use. Whether you live in Kentucky, plan to visit or want a little touch of the Bluegrass, visit the Holly Inn and Co. website for unique gifts and gift cards that will keep you coming back. Read more about the company in my blog.
Fattoria La Vecchia Quercia
There are no farm products to order online here but if a travel gift is on your list for 2023, connect with Francesca Panci for a wonderful agritourismo experience. From the castle view to the private cooking classes and beautiful accommodations, this Tuscany region location (30 miles east of Florence) should be on your list. The eight-room villa can accommodate friends and family for a week, a month or more! Read more in my blog. Connect with Francesca at [email protected].