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Department of Agriculture: Shop for farm goods this Small Biz Saturday

From Staff Reports

Small Business Saturday is November 26 and in Tennessee, many of those businesses focus on products found on the farm.

A year-round interest in local products means plenty of options for holiday gifts from the farm. When you purchase from a farmer, you create an economic ripple that encourages and strengthens rural communities.

Gift baskets with artisan cheeses, meats, sauces and jellies, local wines, handmade chocolates and other festivity-friendly foods are easy to find. Baskets are a great choice for family, friends who like to entertain and business associates.

Goat’s milk, honey and beeswax-based beauty products, like soaps, lotions and balms are readily available at farmers markets and retail stores that specialize in artisan farm offerings.

Some gifts need to be really special. Farmers like Karl and Jan Heinrich of Long Hollow Suri Alpacas have increased production on their farm to meet demand for items that are local and luxurious. The Heinrichs, who process the alpaca wool right on their Gallatin farm, take their business from the field to the fashion runways of New York. Shoppers in their farm store can choose gifts to warm the heart and hands, ranging from cozy gloves and wraps to beautiful yarns and couture dresses.

Find farm-related businesses across the state through the Taste of Tennessee Online Store at www.PickTnProducts.org. Shoppers can click on links and connect to a business or producer site. The products are then purchased directly from the producer.

Pick Tennessee Products is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s program to connect consumers to farms, farmers and farm products. Now in its 30th year, Pick Tennessee lists more than 2,500 Tennessee farmers and farm direct businesses with almost 10,000 products.