Thanksgiving is one week away, which means we’ll all be shopping and prepping for our day of gratitude this weekend. Please remember this is a fall harvest feast! Head first to farms, farmers markets and other sources of local food, seasonal decor and hostess gifts before heading to the grocery store. What better way to ensure an authentic Thanksgiving?
Here’s where to get everything you need, locally and sustainably.
You’re not cooking? That means you need to bring something very special to the feast. Here’s a great idea: custom, laser-engraved Fair Trade chocolate medallions in zero waste packaging from Noteworthy Chocolates. These non-gmo, allergen-free Thanksgiving treats are custom designed to your specifications. Just pick your design from the website and write a short, personalized message, then place your order. Be sure to place your online order by November 18 to have it shipped or 11/19 to pick up at the shop in Bethel. Learn more about this innovative business and their one-of-a-kind edible products on their Sustainne listing.
We’re fortunate to have a family-owned vineyard in Connecticut that’s both run sustainably and makes award-winning wines. Sunset Meadow Vineyards was named one of the Best 101 Wineries in America by the culinary publication The Daily Meal in 2017 and in 2016 was awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. For your table or for the hostess, choose from white, red, dessert and sparkling wines including their very special Midnight Ice dessert wine made from late harvest Vidal Blanc grapes grown at the vineyard. As a matter of fact, all the wines are made from estate-grown grapes.
Sunset Meadow Vineyards wines are available in wine shops throughout the state and free shipping is available in state for orders of 3 bottles or more placed on their website. If you’re looking for a special destination, plan a trip to the vineyard to enjoy the tasting room where special wine and chocolate pairings and special events take place through the holiday season. Visit their Sustainne listing to learn more.
This socially responsible, honey-based confections and specialty foods business employs and trains young women from Bridgeport between the ages of 16-30 years to be successful in the retail and specialty food industry. Park City Honey Company’s honey, beeswax candles, and Almond Honey Crunch in a decorative tin all make beautiful hostess gifts. Just in is The Gingered Pixie honey simple syrup, special blend of ginger, honey and water for adding to tea or making cocktails! Learn more about the Park City Honey Company here and to buy online.
Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit
Yes everyone talks about the turkey, but who doesn’t rave about your scalloped potatoes, butternut squash gratin, pumpkin pie, and stuffing? If you’re lucky, you can even get your hands on a few quince (pictured below at Sport Hill Farm) to poach for a supremely New England treat. Apparently they were commonplace in family vegetable gardens and orchards in Colonial times. Although quince smell beautiful and you’ll be tempted to eat them raw, they are very hard and must be cooked first. For a long time.
A quince at Sport Hill Farm. Photo c/o Sport Hill Farm.
Schedule: Closed on Monday Thanksgiving week Open Tuesday from 9:30-6:00 and Wednesday from 9:30-2:00p.m. CLOSED on Thursday & FRIDAY.
Sport Hill Farm has a cornucopia of fall vegetables including butternut, honeynut, delicata, buttercup, and carnival squashes; Brussels sprouts, potatoes, kale, broccoli, romanesco, sweet potatoes, and various greens. Apples and quince (if you’re lucky) from Red Jacket in New York are also available in the farm market along with their own popcorn either loose or on the cob and farmer grown and ground cornmeal in reusable mason jars. You’ll also find a refrigerator and freezer case stocked with yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, pork from the farm and a variety of meat and poultry from others. While Thanksgiving turkey orders are done, they have a few extras. Send an e-mail to : [email protected] to see what’s available if you’re in a pinch.
The farm store is open 10-5 daily and closed on holidays.
While USDA Certified Organic vegetables and pastured meats from the farm are certainly available, this farm is also well-known for its exquisite specialty foods and farm woolens. So if you’re in need of a hostess gift, they’re a great source for Bloody Mary mix, heirloom tomato marinara sauce, pickled dilly beans, salsas and jams along with wool gloves and mittens made from their wool in CT. May as well pick up a few holiday gifts while you’re there because they sell out fast. And check out their sheep strolls, which are so popular another date was added so you can participate in this annual ritual on Saturday, December 8.
Bring Your ReusableShopping Bags and Credit Card to Support the Farm after the Sheep Stroll: “Help lead our ewes from their autumn pastures to their cozy winter barn. Holiday bells will ring as we guide their way! Due to the popularity of this event, we are asking folks to contribute to parking costs and support our farm while witnessing one of the most special nights in our local agricultural calendar.”
Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
May 20 – December, weather permitting
Commuter Parking Lot, Exit 3 off (I-95), corner Arch Street and Horseneck Lane
WIC & Senior FMNP Authorized
Winter Westport Farmers’ Market
Saturdays from 10 am until 2 pm and a special pre-Thanksgiving market on Tuesday, November 20 from 10-2
November 17 through March 16
Special Holiday Market: November 19 from 10-2
Gilbertie’s Herbs and Gardens Center, 7 Sylvan Lane, Westport
Visit Paul’s Custom Pet Food for a selection of locally-sourced, handmade food and treats for your dog each Saturday at the Winter Westport Farmers Market. Your best furry friend deserves a fancy Thanksgiving meal too, and one that’s safe and nourishing. Need a custom diet loaded with nutritious and wholesome ingredients? Subscription and delivery plans are available throughout the area. Visit their listing on Sustainne to learn more or ask Paul and Lynn about them in person at the market this Saturday.
Aradia Farm’s maple syrup makes a beautiful hostess gift or delicious addition to the breakfast table. For a sweet treat or hostess gift, pick up a bag of their maple cotton candy, maple popcorn or container of their maple glazed nuts. Visit them each Saturday at the Winter Westport Farmers Market.Learn more about Aradia Farm’s products including pastured beef and pork here.
If you’re looking for a last minute heritage turkey, Custom Meats on the Post Road in Fairfield still has a few Spanish Blacks from Joyce Farms available in 12-16 lb. and 16-18 lb. sizes for $9.99 per pound. Call right away if you want one and be sure to get cooking instructions for these special birds known for their superior flavor! They’re also a great place to pick up leaf lard for your pie crusts, herbed pork sausage for your stuffing, farm fresh eggs, and a custom charcuterie platter. Just bring them your platter and they’ll fill and style it! Learn more about local, whole animal butcher Custom Meats here.
Head to Shearwater Coffee Bar at the Brick Walk in Fairfield for a bag or two of freshly-roasted, USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade coffee to serve or give as a hostess gift. The coffee is also conveniently available at retailers including Whole Foods Markets. Gift sets can be found online on their website or at their roastery in Trumbull where you can purchase the coffee package free and shop gift sets and accessories, including specialty coffee makers. Visit their Sustainne listing to learn more.
Winfield Street has two Westport locations, one on the bridge and another at the train station. Stop in to purchase Red Bee Honey for your cheese plate and Counter Culture coffee for serving or giving as a hostess gift. Learn more about their commitment to local, sustainable and zero waste practices on their Sustainne listing. If you head in at breakfast time, don’t miss their breakfast sandwiches which change with the seasons.
When you visit the Winter Westport Farmers Market at Gilbertie’s Herbs and Garden Center on Saturday to do your Thanksgiving shopping, take a few minutes to shop for holiday centerpieces, hostess gifts and other favorites from Gilbertie’s. Check to see if they have some of their prized honey and jarred sauces still available. Gilbertie’s Fall Bounty Salad may just be the most beautiful composition of greens we’ve seen this fall – complete with nasturtium and violas – for a show-stopping salad at Thanksgiving or a light meal the day after.
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