About the Author
  • Jennifer is a self proclaimed country girl born and raised in Northern California. After joining social media, Jenny met a farmer from North Dakota. She followed her heart all the way to the rural prairies of ND where she is now married to that farmer. Besides spending time with her farmer, Jenny can be found with a camera in hand capturing the world around her, loves the challenges of bringing culture to the North Dakota prairie through a variety of culinary creations, and using her interior design degree to flip their bachelor pad into a home. All of this and more can be found on her photography blog: jldphotographblog.com.
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California Ag Christmas Gifts

by Jennifer_Dewey ‎12-05-2013 11:54 AM - edited ‎12-11-2013 11:46 AM

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I cannot believe it's already December! It is time to start thinking about Christmas, if you haven't already! I love to give homemade or handmade gifts over anything from the store. I spent lots of time searching and trying to find the PERFECT gift for all the loved ones in my life. When I can't give anything homemade, I try my best to turn to Ag for some help. There are a bunch of great gift ideas involving agricultural products and honestly, who doesn't love food gifts!? Since my husband and I were just traveling in California, I will highlight some of my favorite Ag gifts to give for the Holidays from my hometown in California. 

 

California Ag Gifts 

 

Nuts: I grew up in the heart of almond and walnut country! Butte County, the county I grew up in, has a famous slogan "It's where the nuts come from". Although some take it a little more literally, it really is where many of your almonds and walnuts are grown. My childhood house was actually surrounded on several sides by almond orchards. One of my favorite places to go and pick up nuts is Maisie Jane's. She is one of the largest suppliers of flavored almonds around and let me tell you, they are delicious! Maisie Jane also puts together some awesome gift baskets with California products. You can order online at her website: http://www.maisiejanes.com

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Wine: We all know California is known for its wine. Butte County, located in the Northern Sacramento Valley, may not be in the heart of wine country but they still have their fair share of wineries around the county. I had a tough time choosing which companies to feature because there are so many good ones! Some of my favorites are Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards which features a pretty amazing Petite Sirah among many others. Honey Run Winery which specializes in berry wines and also uses honey in their winemaking process. And New Clairvaux with their awesome St. James Syrah Rose. 

 

Rice: When you leave the house I grew up in and literally drive south, you will drive next to orchard upon orchard. Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.07.21 AM.pngAbout 10 miles out, suddenly the orchards will give way to rice fields. California is the second largest rice growing state in the nation and 95 percent of the rice grown in the state is grown within 100 miles of Sacramento. In fact, our entire drive to Sacramento is almost entirely through rice production areas. Much of the rice is exported to places like Japan for sushi and other products and isn't sold in small markets. In fact, have you ever seen the brand Hinode in the grocery store? That is California rice! Located in Richvale, California, Lundberg Family Farms markets all sorts of varieties of organic and non-organic rices as well as many other rice products. You can purchase all sorts of products at their online site. 

 

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Olive Oil: California Olive Oil has a distinct taste grown from Mission olives. It is different from the olive oils of Europe and other regions and the distinction can be tasted. To the east of where I grew up, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, olives thrive. Companies are producing all sorts of flavored olive oils as well as the traditional extra virgin we all know and love. I fell in love with California Olive oil once I could no longer find it here in North Dakota. I regularly like to stock different flavors of California Olive Oil in my kitchen and use it for cooking weekly. Gold Run Orchards features olive oils like Basil, Jalapeño, as well as the more traditional oils. Lodestar Olive Oil has an amazing garlic olive oil and features a special Holiday harvest signed and numbered variety. Lucero Olive Oil Company features many different flavors of oils and makes some pretty awesome balsamic vinegars. And as you can tell, I stock all three in my cupboards. 

 

The entire state of California is chalk full of wonderful gifts and ag products. These are just a small sample of a few of my favorites. What are some of your favorite Ag products to gift for the Holidays? 

 

Next week, I will share some of my favorite North Dakota Ag gifts. 

 

Comments
by RealCADairy
on ‎12-05-2013 12:05 PM

Excellent ideas!! Here in CA, we are truly blessed with a bounty of products to choose from, so many that we often take them for granted and forget what gifts they truly are.