Dear Aggie: Where can I find a good Valentine’s Day gift that was made locally?
Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift to show your significant other that you care can be difficult — but finding local products is easy. You can’t go wrong with a romantic dinner and a bottle of wine. Luckily, Jefferson County is home to the beautiful Seaway Wine Trail.
This trail includes eight different wineries such as The Cape Winery, Busted Grapes, The Thousand Islands Winery and more that all have beautiful selection of locally grown and produced wines. You can take them to do a tasting in one of their tasting rooms or buy a bottle of their favorite kind of wine to bring home. Celebrate early by starting the morning with a surprise breakfast in bed made of farm fresh eggs, local bacon, and pancakes with New York maple syrup.
If you’re not a morning person, you can still beat the restaurant crowds and show off your own culinary skills by making a candle-lit dinner using meat and veggies raised right in Jefferson County. These products can be found at an array of farm stands and stores across the area.
Using the Jefferson County Local Food guide or www.meatsuite.com, you can see which stands are closest to you and what they offer. You can also find everything you need to make a delicious meal at stores like The Chaumont Country Store or Hunner’s Market. These neighborhood grocery stores sell everything from locally made pasta, cheeses, and even desserts; but they also sell products like candles and small gifts to make it a one stop shop for Valentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for something bigger to unwrap on this special day, stop by The 315 Artisan Market, located in the Salmon Run Mall. This store is full of products made by local vendors. With everything from décor, snacks, and jewelry you’re sure to find something your significant other will adore. The 315 Market even has homemade bath and body products which would be perfect to make an at home spa kit to pamper them with.
Trying to stay out of the stores? You can find local products online too. Go to www.etsy.com and filter by location to find artists and vendors in your area that ship right to your door. Many of these products can be customized with names, dates, or anything you want which makes it the perfect way to show someone you care.
Another great way to incorporate shopping local into your Valentine’s Day celebrations is by getting tickets to nearby events. You can sign up for free classes at the Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn a new skill together. Or look for other local events like paint and sips, trivia nights, or shows to spend some quality time together.
Many breweries and wineries have similar events or live music that you can enjoy on the weekends while you experience locally made food and drinks to make the perfect date night for Valentine’s Day.
Written by Amanda Bickford, Cornell Cooperative Extension ag marketing educator.