It’s that time of year. Let’s do this!
Yee Olde Merry Basket of Preserves: A basket or box (tip: I look for good quality ones at thrift stores throughout the year), some tissue paper, a few jars of dried herbs and fruit, pickles, jam, ketchup, etc and you’ve got yourself a gift that anyone who eats food (as-in all of us) will enjoy. I give some version of this gift so often that some friends just flat out tell me what they want ahead of time. This is fine by me as it saves the guesswork.
Homemade Herbal Salts: Add a small jar of one or more of these to a basket of preserves and you’re good to go. You can also do up a variety of herbal salts and give them as a kit along with a salt cellar or without). Try your hand at: Lavender Sea Salt (you might also try pairing a jar with some of the suggestions in the post such as chocolate) and Salamoia Bolognese.
Hand-carved Artisanal Wood Spoons: Last week I purchased the following two knives online with the expressed purpose of whittling myself up some wooden spoons this winter: Morakniv Wood Carving Knife 120 (for general carving) and Morakniv 164 Hook Knife (for carving the bowl). I’ve already revealed to friends that if all goes well they can expect one for the Holidays. Wooden spoons for everyone! What I can’t promise is that they will be functional. Or pretty. Or well-crafted. Should my spoon-making attempts go south, I have a backup plan that involves creating amorphous shapes with a hole dug into the centre. Tiny salt cellars! I’m starting to think that a set of these leather finger guards may be in order to protect against potential deadly knife mishaps. Here are a few spoon carving tutorials to get you started: 1. from Mother Earth News 2. from Tardigrade, a bushcraft company.
Herbal Bath Tea: It’s been a few years since I’ve made these and I think its start to get back into the habit. It’s a great way to use up a bounty of herbs from the garden. Many gardeners have expressed how well their herbs grew this year so I would bet that you have a nice stock to start with. Minimal skill with a sewing machine is all that is required.
Lavender and Honey Caramels: These were a huge hit last year. They’re also a fantastic last minute option.
Dianthus Infused Vodka: Did you make up a batch this summer? Well, now you’ve got an easy gift that is practically ready to go! If you didn’t, there are plenty of other ideas in my book Easy Growing that use ingredients that are available year round. There is still enough time remaining to start a batch!
Kombucha or Kombucha Brewing Kit: One year I made up bottles of kombucha for some friends who are really crazy about the stuff, but are not into the hassle of brewing their own. If you know someone who would like to make their own at home, a kombucha kit would make an excellent gift. Package up a piece of scoby (how to make one is here) along with a big glass brewing jar, a box of black tea, a plastic strainer, a plastic funnel, and a glass bottle with a gasket lid. Handwritten directions would be nice, too. Make sure to package the scoby directly before giving the gift. I’ve done this a few times and all I do is put it in a Ziploc baggie with about a half cup of starter liquid.
Homegrown Seed Set: Did you save seeds from tomatoes or other garden produce and flowers this year? Package them up in handmade or personally designed envelopes and give the gift of next year’s garden.