Need inspiration for holiday entertaining? Events planned weekly in December at Tait Farm

Kim Tait of Tait Farm Foods in Boalsburg makes a wild blueberry shrub in 2015. The farm’s Harvest Shop will hold holiday-themed events throughout December.
Kim Tait of Tait Farm Foods in Boalsburg makes a wild blueberry shrub in 2015. The farm’s Harvest Shop will hold holiday-themed events throughout December. Centre Daily Times, file

Upgrade your holiday entertaining this year, with information and inspiration brought to you by Tait Farm Foods. The farm’s Harvest Shop hosts unique events throughout the year and the holiday season is no exception.

“We’re always trying to educate and inspire people,” owner Kim Tait said. “We’re always offering suggestions, samples and recipes ... we’ve done it for years and years.”

For Tait, the offerings are part of the farm’s commitment to the community.

“It’s authentic to who we are,” she said. “We’ve been in this business of making food and growing food for over 30 years, and we’ve had our retail store now for 22 years. Part of our commitment is (to provide) inspiration and information and it goes through all that we try to do.”

Over the years, the events have begun to attract a wider audience. Tait notes that, in the past, she would’ve said the Harvest Shop’s classes and tastings attracted a demographic of primarily middle-aged women, “but the really cool thing is that we are now appealing to many more millennials and a younger group of folks and also men. It’s really exciting to see that ... we’re appealing to a broader audience. ...”

She feels this new appeal can be attributed to a handful of things.

“One of our primary products is our fruit shrubs. They have been touted over the last few years, they’ve become very popular and there are a lot of mixologists and bars that are using them. I think there’s an interest in mixology and (therefore) our shrubs, but I think there’s also just an interest in food in general (among this audience).”

It also doesn’t hurt that all of the events are free. The classes, tastings, pairings and more are an affordable, budget-friendly way for a couple or some friends to head out to the farm, enjoy a piece of the local food scene and learn a thing or two about entertaining or cooking.

The upcoming Harvest Shop event themes for the holiday season include Festive Entertaining, Holiday Drinks and Holiday Baked Goods.

Each takes place on a Saturday in December, from 2-4 p.m.

Tait says the Dec. 1 Festive Entertaining event will feature several different recipes and foods for visitors to taste that they could potentially add into their holiday entertaining plans. The lineup of appetizers includes traditional, vegetarian and vegan options, alongside shrub drinks.

For the Dec. 8 Holiday Drinks event, American Ale House helps to host, with the restaurant’s mixologist on site to create some festive holiday cocktails and mocktails using Tait Farm Foods shrubs and seasonal spirits.

The Dec. 15 Holiday Baked Goods sampling session brings even more local vendors into the mix.

“We have a number of local and regional people that we work with and support,” Tait said. Visitors can expect offerings from Gemelli Bakers, Dolce Vita Desserts, Biscotti Brothers and Koo-Weh Nana.

Beyond the educational and fun experiences, Tait Farm Foods’ Harvest Shop also offers a variety of food products and gifts for the holiday season, including small-batch cranberry shrub, cranberry mustard, cranberry orange conserve and new spiced pear chutney. If you can’t make one of the Saturday events, The Harvest Shop is also open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Visit www.taitfarmfoods.com for more information and a schedule of events.

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