WoLF – Woking’s online local food directory

5 ways to champion local food at Christmas

Christmas sign outside Prince & Sons butchers in Horsell

Christmas sign outside Prince & Sons butchers in Horsell

There’s no denying it, Christmas is coming! If you’re planning to cook for family and friends, to host a party or give presents, there are lots of opportunities to support local producers. Take a minute to think about where you shop and how the presents you buy can encourage your loved ones to grow their own food, to cook and to support local businesses.

Have local food on your table

There are lots of good reasons why buying and eating local food is good (read a summary in our blogpost Why buy local?). We often plan our Christmas food in advance, and it’s a great opportunity to try new suppliers. Talk to your butcher about ordering local meat, or buy direct from a local farm.

Then there are all the trimmings – potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips – and don’t forget some local chutneys to go with leftover meat, or cheese and biscuits. Be sure to tell your guests where the food on your table came from, spread the word!

You can search for food producers and suppliers in Surrey in the Local food map.

Buy foodie gifts from local shops

Food makes a lovely gift – something we enjoy receiving and enjoy eating (or drinking!). Instead of buying ‘stuff’ that you’re not sure people want or need, why not buy something from local food producers, maybe sweet treats or interesting ingredients. You could even buy a couple of extras in case some unexpected guests arrive bearing gifts – and if you don’t need them, they can be a present for you!

You can search for food producers and suppliers in Surrey in the Local food map.

Make your own edible gifts

Whatever your level of skill in the kitchen, there are bound to be some edible gifts you could make – from simple sweets to fancy cakes. Don’t forget to use local ingredients where you can!

Pack them carefully, wrap them nicely – and a homemade gift really can be extra special.

Give a foodie experience

Harder to wrap, but much more memorable – you could give an ‘experience’ or share your experience.

Are you good at cooking or growing and know someone who isn’t? You could gift them your time and teach them some simple skills.

Know someone who enjoys eating out? You could gift someone a meal in a local restaurant, or offer to babysit while new parents have some time to relax.

Know someone who loves food? There are lots of courses and foodie experiences you could buy for someone. For example, here in Woking, Tante Marie offers courses and demonstration evenings.

Give gifts that encourage growing

The most local of local food is, of course, the food we grow ourselves. There are lots of things you could give to the keen gardener in your life, but also to the beginner, or someone with just a windowsill to grow on. From seeds, plants, gardening equipment, books, or vouchers for the local garden centre, there are lots of ways you can encourage someone to grow their own herbs, vegetables and fruit. And who knows, when they reap the rewards, you may get a share!