sugar-cane harvester _ storage reservoir
Do you know someone who’d love to see a sugar-cane operation up close? The Clewiston Chamber of Commerce offers a Sugarland Tour on weekdays. / J.D. Vivian

The holiday gift-giving season is here. 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.

  1. A Sugarland Tour. How many people have spent 3.5 hours getting an up-close look at a sugar-cane operation? 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 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday, but call to verify hours and tour days. For information, visit www.clewistonchamber.com/sugarland-tours.
  2. A 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. Online prices vary.
  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. $50/year. For more information, visit www.floridafarmbureau.org.
  4. 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. Guided tours run Friday-Sunday. For more information, call 386-446-7630 or visit www.floridaagmuseum.org.