Sometimes the most convenient and reliable way to shop for the holidays does not come out of a computer or an Amazon delivery truck.
On a recent trip to the Carlsbad Farmers’ Market, I found all the supplies I needed for gift baskets filled with local artisanal food from nearby farmers.
I started my shopping with two large empty wicker baskets – one will be for my friends who crave sweets and the other for my wine and cheese bunch.
First on my list of bakeries to visit is the Carlsbad Cookie Company.
Hollie Chamberlain has created a bakery that specializes in shortbread cookies both savory and sweet, which are 100% natural and contain only the finest local ingredients.
Over a dozen varieties are available at the market, and special orders and delivery options are available for holiday gifts.
The cookies are so fresh that the bakers guarantee shipping on the day of baking and delivery within two to four days by mail.
The Cookie Club could be a welcome addition to anyone on your gift list and includes monthly delivery of a variety of cookies. Local Carlsbad delivery is available by calling (760) 824-3030 or from the website at www.carlsbadcookiecompany.com.
Next on my gift basket list is bread and cheese, and I visit the Spring Hill Cheese Company which produces organic, pastured fed artisan cheese from Sonoma County.
Their cheddar and other hard cheeses are some of the best I have tasted, and they also make their own butter!
For delivery options contact [email protected].
Prager Brothers Bread is on my list for the best place to fill in any bread and cheese basket, and I am always amazed by their traditional french bread and rolls that are all made from flour hand-ground on the premises of their bakery.
Prager can be found at numerous farmers markets and their bread is available at their shop at 5611 Palmer Way in Carlsbad, (760)704-8442.
One of the bakers who has been baking her products for over 18 years is Janet Brauer of Grammys Granola.
Her specialty breads ranging from zucchini to chocolate chip are available at the market and her ganola and granola bars can be mail ordered. Contact her at www.grammysgranola.com or (760) 809-8892.
Also located on State Street is the Humble Olive Oil Company, and I will pay a visit to complete my bread and cheese basket.
This little shop is well-stocked with a wide variety of virgin and infused olive oils, balsamic vinegar, olive oil body products and a wide assortment of spices and condiments to accompany any gourmet meal.
Owner Zac Markham has not only oil and vinegar, but Spice Rubs and a wide variety of Truff Sauces. Visit them at 2922 State Street or call (760) 994 -0132 for more information.
Zac and his wife opened the shop six years ago and now “feature four crushes each year originating in Chile, Australia and Spain, depending upon the season of the year. Our 18 year-old Modena Balsamic Vinegar is well-loved by our customers.”
There are so many more artisan food vendors including fudge, honey, yogurt, bone broth, kombucha and bakery; and of course all the fruit and vegetable vendors who offer only the freshest local produce.
For the plant person on your list Riveras Garden offers a wide assortment of herbs, succulents and house plants.
Malonado Farms will again be offering holiday wreaths from their Christmas Tree Farm in Encinitas.
The Carlsbad Farmers’ Market will be open every Wednesday, from 2:30 to 6 p.m., on State Street in Carlsbad. Check their website for a complete list of vendors at www.carlsbad-village.com. Please contact me at [email protected] for any questions or suggestions. Happy Shopping!
Jano Nightingale is a Horticulturist and Master Gardener and teaches adult gardening classes at the Carlsbad Senior Center. She is available for teaching adult and children’s classes.