Published on 11/22/16

12 days of Georgia agriculture

By Casey Chastain

As you begin planning your holiday meals, be sure to include some of Georgia’s top commodities. Pecans, blueberries, peanuts and chicken liven up your holiday feast and serve as a celebration of Georgia’s unique agricultural heritage.

Here are Georgia’s top 12 commodities and helpful hints on how to incorporate some of Georgia’s top commodities into your holiday.

  1. Broilers: Substitute your turkey for a chicken this holiday season. Not everyone enjoys eating turkey, let alone cooking it. A whole roasted chicken can be just as showy as its larger, gobbling cousin and much easier to roast.
  2. Beef: The holidays are a time for special meals, right? Consider serving steak for holiday dinner.
  3. Cotton: Use cotton in your decorations. Incorporate whole cotton bolls into your centerpieces or in place of the fiberfill “snow” in other holiday displays. Do not use cotton on a Christmas tree – it’s flammable!
  4. Eggs: This is a given. You are most likely using eggs in your recipes already. If not, scramble some eggs for an easy holiday breakfast.
  5. Timber: Much like cotton, wood can be used to decorate the house. You could also use it to make a fire and to roast marshmallows. Use caution when burning wood outdoors this season. Georgia is facing a drought, and one stray ember could cause your bonfire to spread quickly.
  6. Peanuts: Serve peanuts as a snack. You and your guests won’t have to break out the nutcracker to enjoy them. You can also make peanut brittle or peanut butter cookies as a dessert or for gifts. Make sure guests don’t have allergies before using nuts in your holiday meals.
  7. Dairy: Santa must have milk with his cookies, right? Chances are you are using one or more dairy products in your holiday recipes, and there’s a good chance those products came from a good, old Georgia cow.
  8. Blueberries: While blueberries aren’t exactly in season during December, adding frozen blueberries to pies or muffins can bring some of that summer sunshine to the table, even if it gets dark at 6 p.m.
  9. Horses: You’re probably thinking, “How can I use a horse in my holiday meals?” Well, you don’t. The days leading up to a holiday can be stressful. Consider taking the family to go horseback riding. Finding a stable that gives guided rides is a great way to spend time together as a family, even if you’re new to riding.
  10. Pecans: No matter how you say it, pecans are one of the highlights of holiday food in Georgia. Use them to make a pecan pie, pecan brittle or cookies. Once again, be sure to check for nut allergies among your guests.
  11. Pork: Step outside your turkey comfort zone. Try making a pork roast this holiday season. You can make it in the oven or in the crockpot so you can have more time with your guests.
  12. Ornamental plants: Be sure to decorate your house with plants and a live Christmas tree this year. Do not place plants near a fireplace or heat vent. Be sure to water plants and trees. Check for bugs before bringing any plant into your home.

For more information about Georgia’s top commodities, visit the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at

Casey Chastain is a student writer working in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Communication and Creative Services.

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