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If you’re an avid gardener, and are looking at a bumper harvest this year (and avoided the July & August hail!) now is a great time to start considering your holiday & celebration gift-giving list.
But, it’s only September!
Even before classes start, now is the time to start thinking about giving gifts from your garden, save yourself some “why do exams have to be right before the holidays!” stress, and pinch some pennies for holiday celebrating instead.
Here are some tried-and-true gift ideas straight from your garden (or take advantage of good prices on local produce and buy from another gardener) for you to consider:
Home-made crushed peppers
Have a friend who loves to spice up his or her pasta? Use your oven (on a chilly fall day) and a dehydrator to make up hot pepper mixes to add some extra kick to post-holiday meals. Get the full instructions here: http://www.thecabingarden.com/christmas-gifts-from-the-garden-crushed-hot-peppers/
This tip is a bit more fall-inspired than winter, but it’s a great starting point. Gather up your supplies and wait for them to dry now, then assemble them into holiday décor when you just want to curl up in front of the TV a few months from now. Get the scoop here: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/homemade-christmas-gifts-zmaz88sozgoe.aspx?PageId=3#ArticleContent
It’s not just for cooking, garlic braids also make a pretty kitchen decoration for the cook in your life. You’ll need to partially dry your bulbs, then get braiding! Learn more here: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/homemade-christmas-gifts-zmaz88sozgoe.aspx?PageId=4#ArticleContent
Herb mixes and infused vinegars
Mixes only require the dry ingredients, while the infused vinegars only need a few weeks of prep time, so save your herbs now, dry them, and store them for a whole variety of uses when it comes to the gift-giving season. Get a head-start on your prep list here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/nov/30/alys-fowler-christmas-gifts-from-garden
Does your green thumb need some inspiration? Come check out the Community Garden via SAMRU’s support for student initiatives. Learn more here: http://www.samru.ca/supportservices/csi/
-compiled by Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator, SAMRU