Gifts from Our Foodshed: CUESA's Farmers Market Holiday Guide
This holiday season, give the gift of good food while supporting local farmers and food crafters. At CUESA’s farmers markets, you’ll find the makings for wholesome winter feasts, along with unique gifts that nourish the body, the earth, and our local community.
We’ve gathered some ideas for delicious and distinctive stocking stuffers and host gifts, as well as fixings for creating a sustainably sourced goodie basket. These are gifts with real people and stories behind them. At the farmers market, you can meet the makers, learn about their crafts, and know that you’re helping family farmers and small food businesses thrive.
As the days turn cold and rainy, farmers market vendors count on loyal customers like you to help sustain their businesses year-round. In this time of gratitude, we thank you for supporting CUESA and our market community throughout the year. Happy holidays from CUESA!
2019 Farmers Market Holiday Schedule
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco: The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is OPEN throughout the holidays except Thursday, December 26.
Jack London Square Farmers Market, Oakland: Jack London Square Farmers Market is OPEN throughout the holdiays except Sunday, December 29.
Farmers Market Gift Guide
From award-winning apple cider caramels and handcrafted hot sauce to herbal wellness tinctures and lavender body care products, find these made-with-love gifts from our local farmers and crafters at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Using heirloom apples from their Sebastopol farm, Little Apple Treats has made a name for themselves with their Good Food Award-winning apple cider caramels. Look for seasonal flavors California Candy Cap and Apple Brandy + Walnut. They also offer apple bark, granolas, apple vinegar, and shrubs (perfect for mixers and mocktails). Their Modern Mulling Spice, featuring roses hibiscus, dried apples, and vanilla beans, will add holiday cheer to hot cider and wine. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
For holiday snacking, fifth-generation San Joaquin family farm Old Dog Ranch offers bags of raw walnuts, as well as flavors like Mexican Hot Chocolate, Whiskey Spice, and Rosemary. Grab-and-go gift bags with a sampler of their walnut butters and spiced walnuts are also available. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Bringing a contemporary twist to Christmas food traditions, June Taylor sources from local farmers for her distinctive holiday treats, such as mincemeat (traditional or vegetarian), fruit juice and herbal syrups, and citrus peel candies. Her legendary Christmas cake takes a whole year to prepare, with different fruits from local farms preserved each season. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Hidden Star Orchards’ offers apple sauce, apple butter, and pure fruit juice extracts, which provide highly concentrated flavors for sauces, salads dressings, cocktails, and whatever other uses creative cooks can dream up. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Swanton Berry Farm makes a wide variety of low-sugar organic jams using berries grown by union labor on the California coast. Recognized for its commitment to social justice for farmworkers, Swanton is one of the few farms in the country to carry the Food Justice Certified label. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Give the taste of summer with Frog Hollow Farm conserves, featuring the farm’s popular Brentwood-grown organic apricots, nectarines, and peaches. Gift baskets available. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Give a little locally sourced sweetness with Marshall’s Farm’s honeys providing a sampling of local varietals such as Star Thistle, Orange Blossom, Napa Valley Wildflower, and California Sage Honey. Their honey straws make a colorful stocking stuffer. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Lonely Mountain Farm is offering preserved goods, such as strawberry jam, dilly beans, bread and butter squash, crushed heirloom tomatoes, pickled Mexican sour gherkins, and spicy dill pickles, complete with adorable hand-drawn labels. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Share the gift of good gut health with Volcano Kimchi gift bags of handcrafted napa cabbage, jicama, and radish kimchi. Kimchi maker Aruna Lee is also offering Korean-style chili sauces, which are made from scratch using chilis grown by Buddhist nuns in Kyung Sang Province, South Korea. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Heat up the holidays! Tierra Vegetables has plenty of gifts for the spice lover in your life, including hot sauces, chile jams and oils, and dried chiles, along with heirloom cornmeals, all sustainably grown and processed in small-batches at Lee and Wayne James’ farm in Santa Rosa. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Inspired by a family recipe, Happy Quail Farms’ Farm-Style Relish is a Good Food Award winner, with its tangy blend of mild and spicy peppers from David Winsberg’s suburban East Palo Alto farm. David also offers gift packs and boxes of his Wholly Mullies, Smoky Cayenne, and Habanero sauces. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Fourth-generation farm Sciabica & Sons’ fresh flavored olive oils are made by cold-pressing lemons, jalapeños, basil, or fresh garlic with fresh California olives—no artificial flavors. The four-flavor gift pack makes a great host gift. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
For stocking stuffers, Bariani Olive Oil has adorable mini versions of their olive oils, vinegar, and cured Manzanillo olives, all estate-grown, produced, and bottled near Sacramento. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays
Based in Hollister, Big Paw Olive Oil Company offers a variety of extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, in plain and infused flavors such as sweet Honey Balsamic Vinegar or spicy Hollister Heat EVOO. Their Seasons Greetings Balsamic Vinegar in Cheery Cherry, a blend of barrel-aged dark cherry and Mission fig balsamic vinegar with a dash of cardamom spice, makes a delicious drizzle on holiday feast dishes and d esserts. Jack London Square, Sundays.
Salmon lovers, Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke offers gift packs of their smoked salmon, salmon jerky, salmon sticks, and other smoked fish delicacies. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Almanac Beer Co. is offering limited-release flavors like Peach Pamplemousse Hopcake and Fruit Cobbler to delight the beer lover in your life. Their new BOOST Coffee Stout features locally roasted coffee beans from Devout Coffee and whole vanilla beans is the perfect a decadent winter treat. Pair with pies, chocolate santas, and other holiday feast favorites. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
East Bay-based chocolate makers Eli Curtis and Tracey Britton of Bisou Chocolate coax intriguing flavors from high-quality cocoa beans to make flavorful bars, truffles, and more, while paying a high premium to cocoa farmers. Look for seasonal truffles in flavors like salted chocolate caramel, gingerbread, candy cane, and bronze fennel. Their chocolate fig “salami” makes an eye-catching addition to holiday cheese platters, while their drinking chocolate kit (whisk included) makes a decadent gift. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
B-Y-O-Babka for Hannukah with Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen’s cinnamon and chocolate babka loaves, made in SF. Their bagel chips and spice mixes (in brisket, shawarma, and everything blends) are go-tos for last-minute gifting. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Dot’s Baking Pantry has assorted pies, cakes, breads, and cookies with holiday packaging, all lovingly made and ready for host gifts and holiday baskets. Jack London Square, Sundays.
Nana Joes Granola is known for their innovative, gluten-free, and vegan granolas made in San Francisco using farmers market ingredients. Michelle Pusateri’s spiced nuts, granola bars, trail mix, and granola packs can be given as stock stuffers or bundled in a pre-packaged gift box. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Give the gift of warmth and good health this winter with loose-leaf teas from Yerba Buena Tea Co. For the holidays, they’re offering gift packs of three teas of your choice. All herbs and tea leaves are purchased through fair trade and organic farms and distributors. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
To pamper that special someone, Eatwell Farm has a whole suite of lavender sachets, scrubs, salves, hydrosols, essential oils, and other aromatic products. All of them are made with lavender and other items grown on their organic farm in Dixon. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Season, taste, and freshen with Allstar Organics’ dried herbs, salts, sugars, and hydrosols, which beautifully bottle up the flavors and scents from their organic farm in Marin. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Take care of your loved ones (and yourself!) this winter cold season and into the New Year with handcrafted elixirs, tonics, tinctures, teas, and salves from Steadfast Herbs. Herbalists Lauren Anderson and Finn Oakes grow all of the medicinal herbs in Pescadero, on land shared with Root Down Fam. Their First Aid Kit is a great grab-and-go goodie for preventative care. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Wisdom by Wisdom makes natural, handcrafted soaps and body butters in a wide variety of scents and colors, including poppyseed, oatmeal milk and honey, peppermint, and lavender. Sweet treats for your skin, her cupcake and cake slice soaps look and smell good enough to eat. Jack London Square, Sundays.
Add holiday flair and bring home the scent of eucalyptus and other California grown greenery with handcrafted holiday wreaths from Devoto Gardens, Fifth Crow Farm, Four Sisters Farm, and Cypress Flower Farm. Ferry Plaza, Saturdays.
Package all of your farmers market goodies in our seasonal tote bag, which makes a bold and functional fashion statement. Available for purchase at the CUESA Info Booth at all of our farmers markets.
Can’t decide? We’ve got the perfect gift. Delight your friends and family by letting them choose their own delicious gift with Farmers Market Gift Coins. Gift coins work like a gift certificate, have no expiration date, and are availabel in any amount. And they can be redeemed at any CUESA farmers market stand! Market coins also make great corporate gifts. Stop by the Info Booth or call us to purchase. Learn more.
This article originally appeared on CUESA.