2017-12-14 / Life in Leelanau

Last-second Leelanau gift guide for slackers

Procrastinator’s Delight
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


JEN MURPHY of the Noisy Goat sells hand-crafted goat’s milk products like soaps and lotions as well as honey and beeswax lip balms from her Leelanau County farm. JEN MURPHY of the Noisy Goat sells hand-crafted goat’s milk products like soaps and lotions as well as honey and beeswax lip balms from her Leelanau County farm. The clock is ticking, gift givers.

And showtime is 11 days away.

Instead of skulking around the malls and big-box stores in search of the latest and greatest gizmos and doodads for friends and family, we suggest giving a little piece of the Leelanau Peninsula this year — and supporting local agriculture while you do it.

Following is a list of last-second gift ideas from the Land of Delight that taste great and help our agricultural communities:

1

Cherry Products

What better way to stuff stockings than with a bag of chocolate-covered cherries? Perhaps some cherry salsa?

Bob Sutherland, the president of Cherry Republic, said many of the company’s cherries are shaken from Leelanau County orchards.


MARGO AMMONS of the Leelanau Peninsula Maple Sugar Bush in Northport, who is pictured at the Provemont Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale on Saturday, is another local source for maple syrup. Reach Ammons or her husband, Allen, at 386-5098. MARGO AMMONS of the Leelanau Peninsula Maple Sugar Bush in Northport, who is pictured at the Provemont Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale on Saturday, is another local source for maple syrup. Reach Ammons or her husband, Allen, at 386-5098. “For us, as we send these tens of thousands of boxes to customers all over the country, we are so proud to be bringing cash back home for farmers, for our 250 staff here in Leelanau, for the $200,000 in donations we will make this December — many to Leelanau organizations,” Sutherland said. “It is great to bring that money home to keep our Leelanau economy buzzing and our environment pristine.”

Gift boxes make great options for those looking to spend a few extra bucks this season — and options are aplenty. The Cherry Republic website shows 48 gift boxes ranging from the $10 Collectible Summer Gift Tin to the $165 Crowd Pleaser Gift Box.

2

Maple Syrup

It’s business as usual this time of year for Dana Boomer of the Still Point Farm in Kasson Township.

“We sell quite a bit of it for Christmas gifts,” Boomer said. “We do a couple holiday shows like the Holiday Marketplace in Empire. That’s always an excellent show for us. A lot of people end up getting it for Christmas.”

The Still Point Farm makes its B-grade syrup without using reverse osmosis, Boomer said. That leads to a little bit darker, heavier syrup, which is sold online, at the farm and at Grumpy’s Market on M-72 in Traverse City.

Price is based on quantity, Boomer said; it ranges from about $2 to $50. Quarts and half gallons are probably the most commonly sold, she said.

3

Goat’s Milk Soap

Jen Murphy of The Noisy Goat in Kasson Township has everything from goat's milk soap to goat's milk lotion — and they’re worth looking into.

“The lotions are super popular because they’re really, really thick,” Murphy said. “Goat’s milk is wonderfully moisturizing. It’s really good for sensitive skin.”

Among the best sellers are an orange-scented soap, Nearly Naked Orange. Lively Lemongrass Goat Milk Soap is another fan favorite.

Murphy’s products, which range in price from the $2 Beeswax & Honey Lip Balm to $10 lotions, are available at thenoisygoat.com. Gift boxes and baskets are available, as well.

4

Leelanau Wines

Looking to be the star of your white elephant gift exchange or downstate Christmas party?

Bring down a bottle of Leelanau County wine.

The success of local vintners over the past two grape-growing seasons has been well documented and the fruits of their labor have started to hit the shelves. Options are plentiful, too, as Leelanau is home to more than two dozen wineries.

See a list of wineries at lpwines.com.

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