sugarland tour - holiday gift guide

On the Sugarland Tour, participants won’t get this close to a mechanical sugar-cane harvester (left) and field wagon. But they’ll still learn plenty about one of Florida’s most important crops. (One out of every five teaspoons of sugar consumed in America comes from Florida.) / Photos by J.D. Vivian

 

The holiday gift-giving season is approaching (rapidly). Maybe you’re not sure what to buy that relative or friend who “has everything.” Well, we here at Florida Food & Farm have a few suggestions, starting with our nicely-packaged holiday gift guide.

Holiday gift guide for the agriculture enthusiast

  1. A Sugarland Tour. How many people have spent 3.5 hours getting an up-close look at a sugar-cane farm? Participants can even chop and chew some “cane.” (Editor’s note: It’s not as sweet as you might think.) Learn about new farming techniques and visit U.S. Sugar’s Clewiston mill, refinery and citrus-juice plant. $38 (includes admission to the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce, in Hendry County). Call 863-983-7979 for reservations. Most tours run from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday, but call to verify tour days.
  2. holiday gift guide / florida seafood loversA book that covers several genres. Seafood Lover’s Florida: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions, by Bruce Hunt, covers a lot of ground — all of this state’s 65,755 square miles, in fact. This book is a travelogue, a biography, an exposé and more. It also serves as a reminder that Old Florida still exists. Fortunately, Hunt did all the footwork; so all readers need to do is to decide which area of the state to visit, and then to select which of the 180 restaurants they want to dine in. $19.95; buy online.
  3. A membership in the Florida Farm Bureau. Maybe you know someone (especially a young someone) with an interest in agriculture. The Florida Farm Bureau, which boasts 145,000 members, works to ensure that family farms, locally grown food and rural land continue to have a place in the Sunshine State. Members (who don’t need to be farmers) receive a subscription to FloridAgriculture magazine, and are eligible for a variety of discounts. $45/year. For more information, visit www.floridafarmbureau.org.
  4. Holiday cards created by kids. Support the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) and impress those on your holiday card list. (Dec. 15 is the deadline for ordering.) The Florida Specialty Crop Foundation supports the RCMA’s Christmas Card Project. (Note: Not all cards have a Christmas theme.) The cards are designed by RCMA students. The Redlands Christian Migrant Association provides early education for children of migrant farmworkers and for rural, low-income families throughout the state. Prices vary, depending on the package chosen (for example, 10 cards and envelopes cost $15; specialized designs also are available in packs of 100). For more information or to download the flyer, visit www.floridaspecialtycropfoundation.org/philanthropy; or call or email Sonia Tighe at 813-975-8377 or [email protected]
  5. A day in Old Florida. Who doesn’t like to escape the bustle and fast pace of city life, if only for a day? The Florida Agricultural Museum lets visitors do just that. In Palm Coast, near St. Augustine, this museum features horseback riding, a petting zoo, guided tours that teach about farm life, and much more. Take along a lunch for an unhurried picnic. Admission: adults, $9; kids 6-12, $7; 5 and under, free. Open Wednesday-Sunday. For more information, call 386-446-7630 or visit www.floridaagmuseum.org.

What would be in your holiday gift guide?