5 fun gift ideas from the Holiday Farmers’ Market, Dec. 17

Felted ornaments by Owl and Pussycat

It’s better to give than receive, right? But it sure ain’t easy to find the right gift. The 16th annual Holiday Market by Vancouver Farmers’ Markets can help with last-minute shopping for discerning friends and family.

The Holiday Market features 80 local vendors selling crafts and artisan food at the Croatian Cultural Centre, Saturday, December 17. In addition to being a one-stop-shop for last-minute Christmas gifts, the Holiday Market is also an ideal opportunity to scoop up foodstuffs for entertaining guests at home.

Read on to get five fun, locally-made gift ideas.

1) Owl and Pussycat DIY toy kits and ornaments

Owl and Pussycat by Vancouver mum Amanda Wood has sweet holiday-themed items like upcycled wool Christmas stockings and felted Corriedale sheep’s wool Christmas star ornaments that will make your spirits bright. Wood has also created a line of creativity-enhancing DIY kits for kids, like “Build your own Sailboat”—successfully tested on her own brood.

2) Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese

Nothing says Christmas morning like finding a pungent wheel of cheese in your stocking. Little Qualicum Cheeseworks from Vancouver Island has 16 types of artisan cheese on offer, including the “stinky and delicious” Olde Farmer Cheese and the award-winning Island Brie. If you can’t picture giving pasteurized milk as a gift, Qualicum has a recipe for baked brie with cranberry that’s handy for colourful, crowd-pleasing holiday hors d’oeuvres.

3) Sandwich Letterpress prints

Sam Bradd, the guy behind the printing and illustration by Sandwich Letterpress, uses a Chandler and Price antique printing press from 1925 to make his simple and chic collection. Choose from cards printed with silver bicycles, “Procrastination File Folders,” hang-able prints, and retro-inspired table napkins and tea towels.  Bradd’s hand-made creations centre on the themes: bicycles, slow food and community resilience.

4) Legacy Wood Crafts Cowichan cutting boards

Legacy’s Cowichan cutting-boards appeal to locavore foodies. The team uses Western Broadleaf Maple (with minimum wood wastage) to craft sturdy boards ranging from 8 x 10 to 14 x 20. After eight stages of sanding, Legacy hand seals each board tung oil to make it waterproof. While the cutting boards are handy kitchen tools, they’re also valued for the beauty of the wood. Be sure and check out the utensils and pizza boards too.

5) Truffles by Bad Girl Chocolates

Bad Girl’s chocolates are not naughty; they’re nice. From the hazelnut dark chocolate pyramids to the Fleur de Sel Caramel (chocs filled with sweet caramel lightly salted with French sea salt), the selection by chocolate master Kelly Boyd, who trained at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, is overwhelming. I can’t resist listing her Guinness stout truffle and complex Chinese five spice truffle too. Good luck trying not to scarf them before you give them away.

The 16th annual Holiday Market by Vancouver Farmer’s Markets takes place Saturday, December 17 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $3. Print out a voucher from the site and receive $1 off entry.

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