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Do it yourself for the holidays with Oregon agriculture

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Homemade gifts continue to be popular this holiday season, and Oregon agriculture can help you do-it-yourself:

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Homemade gifts are many times the ones most cherished during the holidays. The perfect present for friends and family might include locally-grown items:

BARTON:  “Do it yourself has become really quite a trend and we’re so lucky in Oregon because we have this huge, wide array of wonderful Oregon agricultural products to work with.”  :11

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Laura Barton of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says with about 250 different commodities in the state– many of them directly associated with the holiday season– it shouldn’t be hard for do-it-yourselfers to come up with something:

BARTON:  “Sometimes it just takes a little bit of thinking. Like, if you go to a store and there are Oregon pears there, just pick out a few, get a little basket, put a little cloth in it, wrap it with some cellophane and a ribbon, and you have a nice gift to give somebody.”  :15

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For those who want to be more involved, other options include making a wreath of Oregon holly or greenery, and adorning it with local products like hazelnuts or pears. Cooking classes and cookbooks this year are focusing on local ingredients. Baker items, artisan cheese, wine, candy, seafood– the possibilities are endless and all involve the unique tastes of Oregon. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.

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BARTON says even commodities not necessarily tied to the holidays can take center stage in a gift that truly comes from Oregon. That includes wheat and some of the newly planted legumes grown in the Willamette Valley:

“You could have an Oregon milled flour and make somebody a loaf of bread. Or you can take those legumes, dried you could make somebody a lovely soup mix. We have wild rice grown in the Willamette Valley, so you could put together a mix with soup or stuffing that would be a great gift.”  :18

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BARTON says you can get creative when dreaming up a do-it-yourself gift for a friend or family member, especially since Oregon is a leading producer of so many agricultural commodities, including vegetable seeds:

"Somebody who might be a gardener, you could put together a gift with Oregon vegetable seeds and flower seeds, maybe a garden tool. That would be a very welcome gift.”  :13

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