Buy Local and Deck Your Holiday Table with the Abundance of Marin County

November 15, 2021

Imagine a kitchen filled with freshly picked fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats and eggs, ready-to-shuck shellfish, specialty cheeses, and sweet local honey. Now imagine calling friends and family to a holiday table bedecked with artisanal candles, fresh-cut flowers, handmade textiles  — and all the delectable dishes prepared with the ingredients of that harvest-time bounty.

When you source your holiday celebration from Marin County farmers, ranchers and producers, that dreamy kitchen scene and tablescape becomes your reality.

“If you’re looking for fresh, sustainably grown and made food and gifts, make Marin County your holiday shopping destination,” said MALT CEO Thane Kreiner, Ph.D.

“You’re not only choosing the best our region has to offer,” he said, “You’re also doing your part to lessen the stress on the environment caused when food is shipped here from far-away sources.”

Wondering where to start? MALT’s Buy Local guide, updated annually, can point you to all the purveyors.

Produce, Flowers, Eggs, Meat, Shellfish and More

For your Thanksgiving and other seasonal feasts, follow the guide to the farm stands offering harvest-time produce, fall flowers, pasture-raised eggs and other finds from MALT-affiliated growers like Farmer Joy, Little Wing Farm, Table Top Farm, Tomales Bay Pastures and Chi’ken City by Kitty

Or shop for renowned specialty meat sources at Rossotti, Fallon Hills and Stemple Creek ranches; for fresh shellfish at Hog Island Oyster Co.; from local honey from Sola Bee Farms; for sumptuous yarns and fleece from Barinaga Ranch and pure wool from Joe Pozzi Ranch, and for holiday wreaths from Little Wing Farm.

Add Cheese to Your Holiday Meal

If dairy cheese is your choice, shop the Marin County section of the famous California Cheese Trail, where you can tour, taste – and take home – creations from producers Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes FarmsteadNicasio Valley, Marin French Cheese, Ramini Mozzarella and Tomales Farmstead Creamery.

Holiday Gift Boxes

No time to make it to Marin County before the holidays? No problem. Click the website links in the guide for MALT producers’ and partners’ online stores. Visit the Cheese Trail shop webpage, you’ll find a California Holiday Collection of six farmstead cheeses paired with flatbread and a “kooky cow” kitchen towel designed by Ellen Straus, our MALT co-founder.

Check out the variety of meat boxes you can order this holiday from Stemple Creek and Rossotti Ranch.

And speaking of unique home decor gift items, Fibershed brings its locally spun yarn, handwoven shawls and blankets, luxurious sheepskins and tallow-based body care, soaps and candles to sell at the Temescal Farmers Market in Oakland every other Sunday.

MALT board member Vivien Straus, founder of the California Cheese Trail and co-manager of the Straus Home Ranch, pointed out that end-of-year revenue from holiday sales will be especially crucial to keeping Marin County’s small-scale and artisanal producers in business after a very tough time of Covid-related restaurant and tourism closures.

“Buying local this holiday season is a great — and tasty — way to help support our community of farmers and ranchers,” she said. 

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A long dining table full of people sharing food together sits outside in a field in the evening, with a barn and string lights in the background at a field-to-fork event on the land.

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