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Gobbling up local bounty this holiday season

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Nov 21 2013 09:48:05 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 23 2013 09:47:13 PM CST

Ever thought about shopping local for Thanksgiving? Kandra Kent hit the local stores and farms to find everything you need.

BEND, Ore. -

You're no stranger to shopping local.

But some of us go way beyond the brews.

As you head to the grocery store for Thanksgiving, Bend resident Mindy Mason goes straight to the farms of Central Oregon.

"We're getting a heritage breed turkey from a local farm here in Bend, local vegetables, local breads, I'll make a pie," Mason said.

For her, it's a choice to eat better and support local farmers.

"Health starts with food," Mason said.  "And the community revolves around the local businesses."

In Central Oregon, there's plenty to choose from.

Central Oregon Locavore, a grocery in Bend, is packed with local goods.

The shop's philosophy is to start local, then if items can't be found or grown here, the shop will bring in the closest source.

You can find an abundance of Thanksgiving veggies straight out of Fields Farm in Bend.

"Potatoes for mashed potatoes, onions for the stuffing, garlic for flavoring, beets, carrots," farmer Jim Fields said.

And don't forget the star of the show --Michael Holmes' turkeys at HolmesStead Ranch will strut around until two days before Thanksgiving.

"It's not been crossbred, it's in it's original state -- no hormones, no antibiotics, stuff like that to make them grow better," Holmes said of his turkeys.

But if you truly want to go 100 percent local, forget the sweet potatoes, cranberries or marshmallows -- they don't grow here.

And while you won't find every staple -- you will pay more.

A lot more.
 
Buying your meal from a typical grocery will cost about $50.

Get all your ingredients here, and expect to pay more than double.

"Well you're buying BMW vegetables, not Chevrolet. You get really fresh food, usually it's the same day harvested," Fields said.

He also said that small-scale farming means more hand labor and fewer machines, and that drives prices up.

Holmes' turkeys run $6 a pound. He said it's worth the hefty price for the taste and integrity.

"It's fresh, it was raised humanely, and it's supporting some local businesses, which turns around and supports them," Holmes said.

Supporting your neighbors -- and celebrating Thanksgiving to the fullest.

"What the holiday was about originally was the bounty of the local environment," said Central Oregon Locavore President Nicolle Timm.

And we don't think any of Mindy's guests will be disappointed.

"I just bought to sugar-pie pumpkins, so I'll be roasting the pumpkins and making my own puree, making the whole pie from scratch," Mason said.

Proof that a tasty local bounty doesn't end with malt and hops.

Central Oregon Locavore is hosting a Thanksgiving Food Faire on Saturday from 11a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be cooking demonstrations, you can meet the farmers and buy local produce, meats and more.

Also, Agricultural Connections will be putting together local Thanksgiving baskets for purchase.

Orders may be placed any time between now and the coming Monday at 10am, online at www.agriculturalconnections.com.

You can also find out more about local foods and farms from Central Oregon Food Policy. That website is centraloregonfoodpolicy.org

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