As the cacophony of consumerism clangs around us, let’s take a moment to consider gifts with meaning—those that come from our hands, our hearts, and our local communities. Here it is, folks: the annual HOMEGROWN Gift Guide.
Everyone loves gifts in jars. Personalize and prettify with fabric squares, ribbon, handmade tags, or a bundle of herbs.
PARDON ME…DO YOU HAVE ANY HOMEMADE MUSTARD? A homemade whole-grain mustard is grand—especially when paired with a few unexpected recipes that use said mustard. This recipe from Hunter, Angler, Cook is terrifically easy, while this one from TV food nerd Alton Brown sure would look cute paired with a few soft pretzels!
FLU FIGHTER: Rich, golden, homemade chicken stock—pressure canned for safety—is a welcome addition to anyone’s pantry, especially those without a pressure canner! Robert offers everything you’ll need to know to get a good batch simmering, sealed up, and ready to give in this HOMEGROWN 101.
DELAYED GRATIFICATION: Fresh salad greens are one of the easiest things for the home gardener to grow. Give the gift of salad by promising to make a hanging moss salad basket for your giftee. If you are targeting a fellow DIY-er, simply package up the necessary materials, along with suggested planting dates for his or her region! Those in warmer climates can get right to gifting and planting (note: thinly veiled envy, enclosed.)
LIVE IN A BUBBLE: Yes, they’re all the rage (still)—and, boy, are they dreamy. Make your own giftable homemade terrarium using this HOMEGROWN 101.
We can’t make it all, so when the wallet opens, here are some suggestions for making holiday shopping meaningful.
LOCALLY SOURCED: By now we’ve all seen the data proving that dollars spent at local businesses means more of those dollars stay in the community. Shoestring Magazine offers suggestions for locally made gifts with a snazzy clickable map. Have any favorites for your state? Let them know, and maybe they’ll add it! New Mexico, you’re looking a little thin: We’re looking at you!
THREE MAGIC WORDS: A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share brings fresh, local farm goods to the table—and much-needed support to local farmers! Depending on the farm, you can choose a winter, summer, or year-round share.
SPOT ON: For $10 a month, a Spotify membership gives loved ones access to all of that new music you’ve been telling them about. Make some custom playlists to start them out!
TURN TURN TURN: A food mill is an indispensable tool for jam makers, sauce lovers, and mashed potato aficionados. Make note of Kate’s tips for finding the best one for you and yours.
READ AND LEARN:
Our picks for books to cuddle with over the winter:
- Canning queen Marisa McClellan’s long-anticipated “Food In Jars.”
- Rebecca Lando’s fun and frugal “The Working Class Foodies’ Cookbook.”
- Radical Homemaker Shannon Hayes’s latest omnivore’s delight, “Long Way on a Little.”
- This year is the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s exposé, which is often credited with birthing the modern environmentalist movement. A home needs a copy of “Silent Spring.”
- Every page of nature photographer David Liittschwager’s “One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity” brings us closer to our delicate natural (and unnatural) ecosystems.
- We need more new farmers thriving on the land! “Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement” provides hope and inspiration for all generations of eaters.
Above all, let’s acknowledge that most of us already have what we need, while some folks are struggling for the basics. Give from your heart—and happy holidays!
Photo credits: Mustard by Chiot’s Run using CC Licensing on Flickr. Chicken Stock by Christene on HOMEGROWN.org. Lettuce by Pete & Izzy’s Mom on HOMEGROWN.org. Terrarium by Joshleo using CC Licensing on Flickr. Slingshot by http://theoriginaltreeswing.com. Radishes by Norm Halm on HOMEGROWN.org. Headphones by Beats by Dr Dre using CC licensing on Flickr. Food Mill by Island Vittles using CC Licensing on Flickr.