Home(grown) for the Holidays
By Tayler Jenkins
Want to give creative, inexpensive and meaningful gifts this year? This holiday season, consider giving your friends and family the gift of something you’ve grown yourself. A homegrown gift tended with love comes straight from the heart and trumps a store bought afterthought any day. Here are some unique ideas you can gather from your garden:
- Growing herbs? Pick a small bundle and tie them together with ribbons. Or, you can pull the herbs off of the stems and put them in decorated jars with handwritten labels on the front. Another creative way to use your herbs in a gift would be to make a homemade dressing or sauce with them, such as pesto if you are growing basil. Herbs like mint or chamomile could also be dried and made into a loose leaf tea.
- If there are greens growing in your garden (like lettuce, spinach, or kale), fill a basket with them. Also in the basket, put any other veggies you’re growing that might taste good in a salad, such as carrots or tomatoes, or any other combination of veggies you think would go well together. If you’d like, you can include some homemade dressing for the salad.
- Have fruit trees? Make your fruits into a jelly or jam or sauce and give to friends and family in decorative mason jars.
- With your homegrown apples, you can make applesauce, juice, cider, or dehydrate them into dried apple rings. Or, you can make the apples into a dessert like apple pie or crisp.
- Germinate a seed in a decorative pot, timing it so that it grows into a sapling right around the holidays. Be sure to give the recipient instructions for the proper care of this little gift of life!
Don’t own a garden but still want to give gifts that support local food? Consider buying a subscription to a CSA, which will deliver fresh produce to the recipient’s door periodically. Or, buy specialty foods at your local farmers’ markets. You can find more than just produce at most markets—consider local chocolate, bread, cheese, or honey. Your friends and family will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you can feel good about supporting local businesses!
The holidays don’t have to be about materialism, and homegrown gifts are an excellent way to show you care without drinking the consumerism Kool-Aid. Whatever is growing in your garden, I hope these ideas have provided you with some inspiration for your gift giving this year.
Have another creative idea? Share it with us below!