By Growcom CEO David Thomson

Christmas. It’s a time for trading presents, stuffing yourself with cold ham and getting merry on mulled wine.

But the festive season is also a season of goodwill, and a chance for us to show we care.

For many Queensland producers, Christmas can be a tough time of year.

The recent bushfire crisis and the ongoing drought have driven tourists away from towns across Queensland, leaving whole communities of farmers struggling to make ends meet.

We encourage all Queenslanders to answer the call and kick off Christmas by supporting a farmer in need and enjoying their farm-fresh produce.

Let the city and country come together to embrace the spirit of togetherness. Just as the three kings from far and wide came together with the humble shepherds to witness their saviour’s birth. All people – rich and poor, young and old, learned or unschooled – are welcome at the Christmas.

So this year, here at Growcom we’re encouraging Christmas shoppers to add variety to their table with great-tasting seasonally grown produce. It’s never too early to kick off your New Year healthy eating regime by adding fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts to the menu.

Make Christmas that much sweeter with Queensland-grown mangoes, pineapples, watermelons, nectarines, plums, peaches and cherries. Or try adding a festive touch of grapes and strawberries to your fruit salads.

If you want to add a tropical and exotic touch, why not enjoy bananas, lychees, and papaws in their peak seasons.

Or if you’re celebrating with a true Aussie barbecue, remember to throw some sweet corn, capsicum and tomatoes on the hot plate.

Salad favourites are a popular cool option including lettuce, snow peas, beans, onions, cabbage, spinach and radish. And don’t forget the nuts. They can make a great snack.

These festive foods are not just healthy but versatile and can be added to almost any meal for a welcome burst of nutrition.

So why not you do something good for yourself and for others this Christmas. Buy Queensland produce and show a farmer you care.