As gardeners and homesteaders, this time of year offers us numerous bits of abundance from the earth. An abundance that we can use to fill our pantries, our medicine cabinets, our bellies, and with a little planning fulfill many of our gift giving needs for the rest of the year. Take a little time now to put aside some homegrown gifts that can save time, money, and frustration later in the year with these easy ideas.
Jams & Jellies
Jams, jellies, and other fruit preserves always make amazing gifts. A little planning and making now can easily fill up gift baskets and care packages for every single gift giving need:
- Corn Cob Jelly – Stretch the budget by making use of every single thing, while also producing unique gifts
- Brandied Berry Cherry Preserves – Use up the small bits of homegrown and wild harvested berries in a tasty combination
- Crab Apple Butter – Don’t ignore the crab apple, give it away in a tasty, spicy fruit butter
Those homemade pickles are a delightful gift. Make extra now and think outside the cucumber rut with these easy ideas:
- Zesty Bread & Butter Pickles – Sweet and full of zing these are perfect the sandwich lovers on your list
- Pickled Beets – Sweet and spicy, a treat for many pickle fans
- Salad Pickles – Let nothing go to waste with this pickle recipe that uses a mix of whatever needs using from the garden
For the adults on your list, boozy gifts can be a welcome present. Depending on your time, skill, and inclination these can range from simple cordials and infused items to full on home brew. You decide, it will all be welcome no matter what:
- Black Walnut Liqueur – Use green walnuts and purchased vodka for a treat
- Basic Cordial – Infuse homegrown or foraged fruits and herbs in purchased vodka for a simple, flavorful beverage
- Dandelion Beer – Use the ‘weeds’ for a frugal brew for the craft beer fan on your list
- Wildflower Mead – Turn all those beautiful flowers into a tasty adult brew
Dried Herbs & Foods
For food seasoning or tea drinking, dry extra herbs and store in air-tight jars to give away. Leave the cute label making for later.
Dried fruits and vegetables make excellent gifts whether they’re from homegrown or purchased ingredients.
- Dehydrated Tomatoes – A great way to give homegrown tomatoes in December and a much lighter way to mail them compared to canned tomatoes
- Dried Zucchini – Everyone is sick of zucchini in August but it might just be a welcome dinner addition come winter
- Dried Garlic Powder – Fill the spice racks of friends and family with homegrown jars of flavor
Many of the herbs growing in the garden make delightful, flavored honey that can be medicinal but can also just be plain tasty for the tea lover or home baker looking to get creative.
- Rose Honey – Beautiful and flavorful, this honey has a multitude of uses
- Mint Honey – A tasty way to sweeten tea and settle upset stomachs
Infuse oils with homegrown herbs for salves and body products. Do the actual salve making later if desired but start the infusing process now.
- Chamomile Lavender Lotion – Soothing and gentle this lotion starts with a simple, infused oil.
- Herbal Intensive Lotion Bars – These healing lotion bars start with herbal infused oil. Infuse oil now, make the lotion bars later.
- Healing Lip Balm – Use lemon balm infused oil to make a cold sore healing balm.
This time of year can be busy but making a double batch of something or drying some extra herbs is an easy way to save time, money, and stress later. It won’t take much more time to fill up on homegrown gifts for very special packages later.
What’s your favorite homegrown gift to give or get?