Tomorrow is the perfect time to say thanks to the friends and family who have nurtured you through life’s successes and challenges. As a belated “thank-you” to those who gave me gifts, I thought I would share my favorites. All are available to purchase locally and last minute! Also, consider this list for any of the gardeners you love with birthdays this year. (That would be all of them).
My sister-in-law Trina had me for the 2016 Christmas lottery… and I won! Before I opened it, her husband Jeremy said, “Oh, this is a bell-ringer”. She gave me two of the Plant Theatre Kits– Funky Veg and Gourmet Flower. Plant Theatre also has seed collections like: Psychedelic Salad and Cocktail Garden Kits, sure to peak anyone’s interest. Included with Funky Veg- seeds for Purple Carrot, Stripy Tomatoes, Multi Coloured Brightlights Swiss Chard, Yellow Courgettes (squash) and Red Brussels Sprouts. If you don’t have time to order these on-line through amazon, consider picking up the individual seed packs at a local hardware or drug store with seed starter soil.
My dear friend and fellow co-worker, Ashleigh, is a WONDERFUL gift giver. She has wrapped up homemade Chai Tea mix, caramel and fudge for my birthday and encourages me in my garden and poultry adventures. Above is the High Mowing Spicy Salad Mix she gave me about a year ago. Sprouts are satisfying to any gardener needing some instant gratification. They are ready to eat within 3-5 days and I add them to almost any dish through the winter.
If you don’t have time to order this, pick up seeds for lentils, alphalfa, red clover, radish and mustard. Instructions for your sweetheart: Place 1 Tablespoon of seeds in a mason jar with 2 cups of water and soak for 8 hours. Rinse and drain every 8-12 hours for 3-6 days and place in indirect light to green up the sprouts on the last day.
If you want gardening inspiration from a real artist, check out Esther Clark’s website. Her blog is beautiful and her art is for sale. Full disclosure, I bought this gift for myself. Her 2017 calendar is a welcome addition to my indoor garden display. Plus, Esther is one of the coolest young people I know and her blog is sure to inspire you and your culinary adventures.
If you don’t already have a friend who brews beer or ferments wine, you need to find one! My friend and colleague Bruce makes wine from almost any fruit you can imagine- often from locally grown produce. Above is one of my favorites, his apple wine. Although not for sale, you should consider checking out local wineries for Valentine gift ideas.
Also consider fermenting kits through Good Spirits Fine Wine at Taylor’s Pantry.
As if being able to build your own six-pack from over 800 different domestic and imported craft beers wasn’t enough, GoodSpirits can also set you up with everything you need to brew your own at home. Professional grade home-brew equipment and supplies. Fresh ingredients stored in a temperature-controlled environment. Whether you crave a batch of IPA, porter, stout or something more exotic, you’re about to graduate from beer lover to brew master.
Fancy yourself a vintner? GoodSpirits carries a complete line of wine-making supplies and equipment, too. Whether you want to make an Italian Barolo or Blackberry Merlot, we have the juice kits and ingredients you need. Starting from scratch? We have everything you need to make the perfect batch including wine concentrate, pectic enzyme, yeast and much more!
-The Local Best about Good Spirits Fine Wine at Taylor’s Pantry
Helping the gardener with a pretty table display is an easy gift idea when confused in what to give. All that is pictured was gifted to me. Table runners, napkins, watering cans, bread baskets and silverware holders will always warm my heart. My mother-in-law Colleen made the fabulous chicken table runner. My mom crafted napkins and placemats. My friend Ali, bought me a tea towel, chicken watering can, plate and salt and pepper shakers- all from Cracker Barrel. And my friend Kristin (she claims despite her better judgment) finds the very best ceramic chickens and peacocks at every and all thrift stores, garage sales and box stores to pepper my house with love!
My mother-in-law, Colleen, is a great gift-giver as well. After attending the three-day 2016 Yankton (South Dakota) Summer Arts Festival in conjunction with the annual Yankton Riverboat Days Celebration, she found these custom garden labels that I’m eager to use. The juried show features over 120 fine artists and fine craftsmen from around the country. Each year an estimated 100,000 people attend this community celebration. Please consider adding the 33nd SAF Festival to your calendar. It will be held August 18-20, 2017.
My sister, Colleen, gave me numerous plants and containers during her move out of state. Among my favorite is the Grownomics indoor planter from Williams-Sonoma. On the left is an image from their site. On the right is what my garden looks like, shortly after I watered it. Admittedly, my garden doesn’t look photo-ready but I’ve been harvesting from it all winter! Kale, tarragon, mint and sprouts are being added to almost all of my salads through this winter. If you have a larger budget for someone you love, I strongly recommend this garden.
Although the winter is going through a warm spell, us gardeners would love gifts of encouragement from you. Consider these sources. And as always, share your experience, favorite gifts and love for gardening on GleanforGood.net!