The holiday season is upon us. If you’re looking to have a truly special Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with your loved ones this year, consider incorporating locally grown ingredients into your meal prep. Check out these Virginia-based producers for fresh-from-the-farm meats, fruits, and vegetables.
For a genuine sugar-cured country ham for your holiday meal, turn to Kite’s Country Hams. The family-run company has been producing hams for over 65 years. Today, it cures around 18,000 hams every year. Buy a cooked boneless ham for a stress-free holiday meal. “This has all the work done for you,” the company’s website reads. “It is cooked, deboned and trimmed to perfection. It is ready to eat and can be reheated if desired.”
If you’re looking to serve a variety of Virginia-raised meat at your holiday meal, consider buying pork, beef, goat, or lamb from Harlow Ridge Farm. All of the animals at Harlow Ridge are pasture-raised and fed non-GMO grains. “We focus on sustainable agriculture and providing high quality fresh meats to the community,” the farm’s website states. “Our meats are packaged and frozen at a USDA Certified facility.”
Location: Virginia Beach
Flanagan Farm is owned and operated by Roy and Jeannie Flanagan and their five children—the fifth generation of Flanagans who have farmed the land. “We pride ourselves on giving our customers the best produce directly from our fields for their tables. Freshness and quality of produce at a fair price is the basis for everything we do,” the Flanagans wrote on their website. During November and December, the farm has turkeys for sale, which the farm said “make a great Thanksgiving or Christmas lunch.”
The family that owns and operates Liberty Hill Farm started it in 2010 with a desire to produce and consume pure, delicious, and nutritious food. “We saw and were reading about the commercial practices that were behind the food that is bought in stores and what it was doing to the health of society and could do to us personally,” the family wrote on their site. Although the farm originally started with just chickens, they later added cows, sheep, hogs, ducks, and turkeys. The farm’s turkeys are pasture-raised, fed certified organic feed, and processed and packaged on the farm. Each turkey is raised on a pasture for at least six months. Whole frozen turkeys are available for Thanksgiving, while other cuts like breasts, legs, quarters, thighs, and wings are available year round. Information about ordering a turkey can be found here.
A Thanksgiving or Christmas meal wouldn’t be complete without a side of mashed potatoes. Consider using Virginia-grown potatoes from Dublin Farms for your upcoming holiday meal. Fun fact: The company has been growing potatoes since 1876. The farm has launched a convenient store locator on their site to help you find out which grocery store near you sells their potatoes.
Showalter’s Orchard & Old Hill Cidery is the place to go if you need fresh ingredients for an apple pie. With over 30 varieties planted, you’ll surely find one you want to fill your bucket with. Their harvest season generally runs from mid-July through November, so you should still have time to get some apples for Thanksgiving.
Location: New Baltimore
Buckland Farm Market says it has all you need for a delicious holiday dinner. “Our farm market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, eggs, baked goods, jams and honey from both our farms and other local farms,” the market’s website states. Be sure to order a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. The bakery also offers fresh pies and bread, so you can also pick up a sweet potato or pumpkin pie for the holiday.
Location: Virginia Beach
Cullipher Farm Market offers a range of fresh produce that’s perfect for a holiday meal, including corn and apples. If you’d prefer beef over turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, you’re in luck. The market sells grass-fed Shorthorn beef and uses a “unique blend of farming practices that has created a sustainable operation that grows the finest fruits and vegetables on the Pungo Ridge,” according to its website.
It wouldn’t be a Christmas celebration if you didn’t have a festive drink to go along with your meal. Luckily, Castle Glen Winery sells Christmas in a Glass, or their version of mulled wine. “We start with our best Cabernet Sauvignon and infuse holiday spices—cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, orange, clove, and star anise,” the winery’s site reads. They recommend that you serve the beverage at 155 degrees in a big mug and garnish it with an orange peel.
Chateau Morrisette also has two Christmas wine offerings: their Christmas White and Christmas Red. “Our Christmas White begins with lovely floral aromas that lead into delicate flavors of apricot and peach along with notes of tropical fruit,” the winery’s website states. The white pairs well with turkey, ham, and seafood. The red is a dry blend. “This smooth, rich, fruit-forward blend is consistently delicious with holiday meals and is wonderful to serve at parties or ‘special’ dates with a loved one,” according to the site.
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