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Farms tap into Plaid Friday shopping

Buy-local campaigns relying on hubs of vendors, storefronts to draw in customers

Shopping locally doesn’t just mean hitting the shops in your hometown. There are plenty of vendors and artisans around that make quality products, but don’t own storefronts. Each year, the Monadnock region celebrates a push to buy local products the day after Thanksgiving with “Plaid Friday,” when vendors and buyers don plaid to show their support as they take advantage of local sales.

An annual feature of Monadnock Buy Local, Plaid Friday was started in Oakland, Calif., and is now celebrated nationwide as a kickoff to the national Shift Your Shopping campaign. Some vendors celebrate with local sales, while others offer special deals to shoppers wearing plaid.

Kim Graham of Dublin, who owns Oxbow Farm along with her husband, Jim, said they have considered getting involved with Plaid Friday for a couple of years, and decided to jump in with both feet this year.

Initially, they just considered holding an open house, but ultimately decided to try to get more people involved.

“I thought, ‘There are so many talented artisans and farmers and craftmen in our area, and wouldn’t it be great to pull them all together for Plaid Friday?’” Graham said in an interview Monday.

This year, several artisans and locally grown producers are getting in on the spirit of Plaid Friday. On Friday, Oxbow Farm in Dublin will become a hub for multiple local vendors who don’t own storefronts to show off their goods between 5:30 and 8 p.m. Jewelry by Morgan Cleveland designs, ironworks by Austin Forgeworks, products from Keeping it Simple Soaps, Parker House Coffee, pottery by Coursin Clay, wool products by Merrilyn’s Fiber Products and linen products from RaisaAntonia will all be available for purchase at Oxbow Farm at 388 Page Rd.

The vendors tables will be set up inside the farm’s barn, which has minimal heating. A bonfire and cider and hot chocolate will also be available.

Mayfair Farm in Harrisville is also organizing a similar event on the day after Thanksgiving, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mayfair will offer farm-fresh sausages, pork, beef, lamb, eggs and biscotti. Holland Homestead of Hillsborough will be at Mayfair selling handmade goat’s milk soaps and lotions as well as goat’s milk fudge.

From 1 to 3 p.m., Kimberly Peck, a Peterborough photographer, will be selling and signing copies of her book “Farm, Food, Life: Photographs and Recipes Inspired by Local Farms.” Peck will also be selling notecards, prints and wool potholders.

Christmas trees, local crafts and goods will also be available at Mayfair.

Of course, it’s more than just the local farms getting in on the buy-local action. For several years now, stores in both Peterborough and Jaffrey have acted as hubs for the buy-local effort, taking pictures of plaid-clad shoppers and surveying them about the buy local experience, Toadstool Bookshop owner Willard Williams said Monday.

And Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough will also once again be a hub, according to Williams.

The Toadstool will also be one of several Peterborough stores, including Steele’s Stationers and Joseph’s Coat, to participate in Cider Monday, a response to “Cyber Monday,” where shoppers get online deals the Monday following Thanksgiving. Stores will be serving free cider to patrons that decide to keep their shopping local.

For more information about Monadnock Buy Local or Plaid Friday, visit monadnocklocal.org.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on twitter @AshleySaari.

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