It’s been a long time since my last post. It’s not because I haven’t had a lot of things on my mind and heart to share; that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The challenges of the past year haven’t escaped any of us, only impacted us in different ways. For me, it has been like holding my breath for a very long time - uncertain of so many things - the farm plans, educational choices for my kids, the disparity in expectations from the public, the chaos of the world around me. Did anyone else feel like somedays it was just hard to breathe?
Something about fall has been hopeful - maybe day after day of sunny chilly weather, the changing of the leaves and the brightness of the harvest. Or maybe it’s just been watching people enjoy our farm and the outdoors, watching families and friends gather and linger at picnic tables and benches. This year fall seemed less rushed and more settled. Despite long days and the hard work of this season, something about that was refreshing and restoring. For that I am deeply grateful, we are all doing our best to find the silver linings in some dark clouds that have lingered.
We have all been forced to think so differently about most aspects of our lives over the past year. As we approach the gift giving season, now is the time to start making an intentional approach. I have given myself some criteria for my own personal use and thought I would share.
Shop Local. We hear that over and over but what does that really mean and why is it so important? Studies show that an average $68 per $100 dollars spent locally go directly back into the community, that is far greater than the amount per $100 spent at chains and large retailers. It means taxes paid stays locally, it means local jobs are sustained and it means small businesses can stay open and continue to provide exceptional services that all big businesses can not. Now, I get it, there are just some conveniences that push us to shop out of the area and online, but as often as possible, do your research and find local. Even if you are paying a little more for a product or service, consider the implication you are having on your local economy and neighborhood. If I can walk into a store and ask to speak to the owner and be able to do that, then I know I am shopping in a truly locally owned and operated store. (Note: it doesn’t mean the owner is ALWAYS there, it just means the owner is accountable and accessible!)
Shop Practical. That doesn’t sound fun, but stick with me, you might change your mind. There are some everyday essentials that can turn into creative gift ideas. Let’s start with food. A themed food basket can meet a practical need for eating and snacking. Scan Pinterest for some inspiring ideas to create a breakfast basket, a movie night basket, etc and then customize accordingly! Clothes also fit the practical category too - everyone loves a comfy pair of socks or pajamas, a warm blanket or a heated pad for cold nights. Instead of gift wrapping or gift bags, pick a reusable bag or purse or decorative storage box and fill it with goodies. Soap and body care is also essential and we have many local artisans represented in the area.
Shop Experience. Here is where we tie it all together - what are the practical experiences that everyone on your shopping list would enjoy? A salon visit, a pedicure, a massage, a winery, a shopping trip to their favorite store, an educational experience like a paint class or art workshop or a staycation package. Think ahead to traditional summer experiences like mini golf and amusement parks and pick up gift cards, tickets or passes! Our local family owned restaurants have all struggled to keep their doors open this season; stop in and pick up a gift card (or two or three). Not only does it provide a great experience idea, but it also ties in local and practical. Experience gifts also spread out the joy of the season!
Continue to follow our Facebook this season for some clever ideas for gift giving this year that will meet all three criterias - local, practical and experience! I like our ideas and gifts and I think you will too!
Hello! I am Denise (Rohrbach) Bosworth. My husband Dan & I established Big Dan's BBQ in 2012 & took over the management of the farm market in 2015.