We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.- Winston Churchill
I am not a great gift giver. It is not my love language. I forget that gifts are even expected for most occasions. If I am unsure of what to give, I will let my children choose. They give things as strange as I would and have the great excuse that they are kids. (I learned this from my Kristin, who, upon seeing my first attempt at scrapbooking, suggested I claim it was the handiwork of my then 4 month-old daughter.)
I have gotten better over the years the same way I get better at everything: with hard work and research. But, when it comes to buying for a gardener, I have an advantage. I am one. I spend a lot of time with other gardeners. I get it.
Here are some recommendations for the growers in your life.
Many of us love to geek out and we hold a good garden book as a most prized possession. There are several helpful books out and a few that really stand out.
The Heirloom Life Gardener is my personal favorite garden guide: http://www.rareseeds.com/baker-creek-seed-s-the-heirloom-life-gardener-plus-a-free-magazine-subscription-/
Carrots Love Tomatoes is a charming book about companion planting with a cult following:http://smile.amazon.com/Carrots-Love-Tomatoes-Companion-Successful/dp/1580170277/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449512517&sr=1-1&keywords=carrots+love+tomatoes
Seed to Seed is the premier seed saving guide from the masters of the art:http://www.rareseeds.com/seed-to-seed/
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is my mister’s favorite starting point:http://smile.amazon.com/Vegetable-Gardeners-Bible-2nd/dp/160342475X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449512743&sr=8-1&keywords=the+vegetable+gardener%27s+bible
Farmacology is the perfect book for those who grow sustainably for health:http://smile.amazon.com/Farmacology-Total-Health-Ground-Up/dp/0062103148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449530053&sr=8-1&keywords=farmacology
Restoration Agriculture is a geek out book for the grower who wants to do large scale permaculture:http://smile.amazon.com/Restoration-Agriculture-Mark-Shepard/dp/1601730357/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449513010&sr=1-1&keywords=restoration+agriculture
The Dirty Life is the engaging, true story of a couple who created a whole-diet CSA in the cold north. It is a great winter read.http://smile.amazon.com/Dirty-Life-Memoir-Farming-Food/dp/1416551611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449513140&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Dirty+Life
Wendell Berry is a poet and farmer. Everyone should read at least some of his work: http://smile.amazon.com/Bringing-Table-Farming-Wendell-Berry/dp/158243543X/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449513208&sr=1-13&keywords=wendell+berry
Michael Pollan is the preeminent food writer of our time and if you know someone just starting to be interested in the food chain, his books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma are required reading.
Finally, for the budding soil nerds out there, Sir Albert Howard is a must:http://smile.amazon.com/Agricultural-Testament-Albert-Howard/dp/1849027730/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449513529&sr=1-1&keywords=Sir+Albert+Howard
Non-books (because this is how I divide life: books and non-books)
A membership to Seed Savers’ Exchange is a lovely gift for the heirloom grower or food activist. It comes with a subscription to their publication and a discount on purchases. The tee shirts are also a good idea.http://www.seedsavers.org/membership
Garden markers are a fantastic gift and there is no shortage of fabulous styles on etsy if you cannot find a local craftsperson or make them yourself.https://www.etsy.com/listing/229347116/classic-garden-markers?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=Garden%20markers&ref=sr_gallery_5
I love a nice hoe and a handheld makes a great gift. We have a japanese style that is shockingly lightweight but seems to hold up to anything we do with it.http://smile.amazon.com/Japanese-Landscaping-Triangle-Stainless-Polymer/dp/B002SW31YA/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1449516613&sr=8-8&keywords=Japanese+hand+hoe
Baker Creek is now selling this hand hoe, which may have to find a home here as well: http://www.rareseeds.com/serious-hand-wee/
Ladybugs are a favorite gift of mine. They are a great anytime gift because they come in a little burlap bag and are kept in the refrigerator (where they sleep) until they are needed. No need to put them out right away or all at once. They do like a dunk in water occasionally. http://www.planetnatural.com/product/live-ladybugs/
Then there is the make-it-yourself option. If you know someone with a favorite saying or creed, make them something on cafepress or zazzle. I made myself a shirt: http://www.zazzle.com/my_favorite_color_tshirts-235204967178564138
Garden signs, art and flags are nice gifts for the home grower.
Seed collections are always a great gift. Look for Heirloom collections from rareseeds.com , seedsavers.org , territorialseed.com , highmowingseeds.com etc
Chew on this
An interactive tour of Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Here’s to everyone who does more than hope. https://www.croptrust.org/what-we-do/svalbard-global-seed-vault/
Happy eating, Katy