Is your festive food local?
WHAT will your Christmas spread consist of?
Buying food from local sellers who support local producers is a great way to eat what's fresh and in season while contributing to the health and wealth of our community.
Convenience sometimes spurs us to shop for everything in one spot, but by doing this we overlook the small businesses and local growers who keep the region vibrant and diverse.
Mother Nature's, for instance, stocks locally grown fruit and vegetables such as bananas from Coffs Harbour, blueberries and tomatoes from Woolgoolga, cucumbers from Korora, fresh herbs and greens from Crossmaglen, zucchinis from Bellingen and mushrooms from Boambee.
"The beans are from mum's garden," owner Rob Foster said.
"Buying local means you are getting the freshest produce, straight from the farm, while supporting local farmers and local families."
He said along with the satisfaction that came from this sense of community, produce grown nearby had the added environmental benefit of low food miles.
Russell Greenwood from Russell's Prime Quality Meats sources beef from Dorrigo and surrounding tablelands, and pork from near Lennox Head.
"We take pride in selling paddock to plate," he said.
"People are comfortable buying from us because they know it's fresh."
Of course, sometimes we want to enjoy produce that's not in season, which means buying imported or domestically sourced items, but there is a lot to be said for creating a Christmas feast with lovely, fresh, locally grown foods.