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Foodstuffs for the Foodie in Your Life
The holiday season tends to be a little stressful. One of my top stress relievers is chocolate, and one of my top choices in chocolate is Lillie Belle Farms. Owner and chocolatier Jeff Shepherd is committed to sourcing fair-trade chocolate from all over the world. He grows his own berries on an idyllic organic farm in Southern Oregon and told me the creation of this farm is the embodiment of his love affair with his family. His lavender-infused caramels with fleur de sel and marzipan figs poached in rum and spices will make you fall in love with everything and feel like every day is Christmas.

Of course, a girl can't live on chocolate alone. That's why there's shortbread. I discovered Bramblewood Shortbread at the incredible Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis. Amy Goetz uses her grandmother's recipe and makes an incredible array of shortbreads and caramels. The website says, "Sharing is optional." Indeed.

Food is love and can be used to show your affection for your self and others as well as your appreciation for the preservation of food cultures and traditions. The White Earth Land Recovery Project works to preserve traditional foods and indigenous cultures in the United States through the sales of wild rice, hominy, maple syrup and jellies. Heritage Foods USA sells food raised on small farms that are in danger of being phased out. Their motto is: "If we want to save them, we must eat them!" Fledgling Wine uses wine as a vehicle for educational empowerment. Proceeds from sales of its California blends benefit Room to Read, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing libraries, creating local language children's literature, constructing schools and providing education to girls.

A portal for earth-friendly, handmade goods
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