This holiday season, give gifts from the garden! If you’re a gardener, you know that the garden is overflowing with gifts all year long. Now is the perfect time to give some of the bounty away to the people you love. Here are 10 quick and easy gifts from the garden that your friends and family will love to receive!
Christmas shopping. The lines, the cost, the annoying feeling of having to and the gut wrench of it maybe not being the right gift. Urgh! Even though I love giving gifts to my loved ones, the actual act of buying things usually just leaves me feeling stressed out, anxious and guilty.
The truth is that most of us already have everything we need and buy the things we really want. Plus, we all know that material things don’t really make us happy in the long run. Usually they just end up cluttering our homes and lives until we get so sick of it all that we throw them out. So instead, this year I’m going to give gifts that come from my garden. The recipients will probably know how much I love my garden, and hopefully, in turn, how much I love them.
Here are 10 ideas for gifts from the garden that can be used and enjoyed, and won’t end up in the donate box come next year’s great purge of stuff!
1. Jars of Food
These are the epitome of gifts from the garden! I don’t know anybody who doesn’t appreciate getting a jar (or two, or three!) of homegrown jam, salsa or pickles. You could tuck jars of jelly, relish, pesto, spaghetti sauce, or soup mixes into a nice basket with these adorable jam spoons or these measuring spoons as an added gift!
2. Hand-Pressed Apple Cider
Hand-pressed apple cider tastes amazing, and any foodie in your life would love to get some bottles of your very own blend! After you’ve pressed it, pour some into nice reusable bottle (these are the kinds we use) and stick a cute label on it. It’s an easy and delicious gift!
3. Dried Herbs
If you have an herb garden, you might have some bundles of herbs drying in your pantry this time of year. These would make great gifts to anyone who likes to cook! Tie the bundles with some nice sisal twine or crumble the dried herbs into a mason jar. If you have many different kinds of dried herbs, you could make seasoning blends to give away, too.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Homemade apple cider vinegar is almost as well-loved as hand-pressed apple cider. It can certainly be used in many more applications, such as cooking and skin care. Making your own apple cider vinegar is easy, and you can even use scraps to make it, but it does take a couple weeks. If you don’t have some ready, you had better start a bottle or two now!
5. Live Plants
Other great gifts from the garden are plants, of course! Getting a live plant is my absolute favorite kind of gift, because it’s something I can enjoy when given, and then over and over again for many years to come. It makes me especially happy when the plants are starts from the gardens of people I love. A few years ago my mom gave me some bearded iris bulbs that she’d had growing by our front stairs when I was a little girl, and every time I see them it makes me think of her.
Some great plants for dividing or cutting and rooting are scented geraniums, hardy geraniums, lilies, irises, hostas, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, rhubarb, mint, sedums, echinacea, rudbeckia, salvia, lavender, rosemary and verbena.
I honestly don’t know anybody who doesn’t like garlic. It’s a staple food in our house, and so we always grow a lot of it. We actually usually grow way more than we need, which is one of the reasons I love to give it away! Who wouldn’t want to receive a beautiful braid of delicious, organic and chemical-free garlic?
If you don’t have any softneck garlic braids to gift, you can also make homemade garlic powder or pickled garlic to give away. Or tuck a few of your best heads in a box with a jar or two of your homemade spaghetti sauce. Trust me — they will love it.
7. Luffa Sponges
Luffa (or loofah) sponges are easy to grow and make amazing holiday gifts, too! They’re great eco-friendly and sustainable sponges for washing dishes or yourself. Just put a couple of luffa sponges in a basket with a bar of handmade soap, bath salts or sugar scrub, and give them as a wonderful holiday gift.
8. Dried Pepper Flakes
We grew a ton of Serrano chili and ghost peppers this year, and I am super excited to give them away as gifts (there is only one spicy chili lover in my household, and it’s not me)!
Dry or dehydrate your peppers, grind them into flakes using a food processor, and then put them into cute muslin tea bags or 1/2 pint jam jars. Use stamps to personalize the bag and give it an artistic touch!
9. Herb-Infused Olive Oil
If you’re feeling really fancy, you can make some herb-infused olive oil to give as gifts! Just add a few whole sprigs of dried herbs (such as thyme, rosemary or marjoram) to some good-quality olive oil and allow to steep for a week or more. Strain out the herbs (or leave them in), pour into a pretty bottle, add a gift tag and voila! You have a unique, gourmet and artisanal gift to give to your loved ones!
Check out Olive Oil Source for more tips on safely infusing olive oil.
10. Saved Seeds in Hand-drawn Packets
Last but not least is savings seeds from the plants you grew, and giving them as gifts. Pack them into little envelopes (these are perfect) and make sure to write the name and any growing instructions on it. If you’re artistic, you could even draw or paint your own label!
If you have a garden, then you probably know it’s a gift in and of itself. Spread that love to your friends and family, and look to your garden for wonderful gifts to share this holiday season.
Do you have any favorite gift ideas that come from your garden? Have you ever received a gift from the garden that you love? Tell me about it or share a link in the comments below!
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