Grow Your Own Christmas Gifts

Grow Your Own Gifts This Christmas

With a little time spent planning now, you could be giving your home grown delights for celebrations in the seasons to come.
This time of year can be busy with Thanks giving and Christmas preparations but if you grow your own flowers, vegetables or fruit, why not try making a double batch of something tasty or drying some extra herbs? And give as gifts?
Growing your own can be so rewarding especially when you can use your produce to give gifts to your loved ones.
It’s an easy way to save time, money, and stress later.
 It won’t take much time to fill up on homegrown gifts for very special occassions later.
And whoever receives your homemade efforts will love the time and effort you have put into their delicious gift.

What’s your favourite homegrown gift to give or get?

Grow your own Christmas Gifts for all your friends and family. Home made and home grown gifts are a wonderful treat
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Grow your own gifts this Christmas

So here are the most useful ingredients you can grow to make amazing gifts for your loved ones.

Grow your own flowers for Christmas

  • Amaryllis
  • Hyacinths
  • Paper white daffodils
Grow them on following the instructions so the are in glorious flower for Christmas or give the box set and let the recipient grow it themselves.
A beautiful gift to give a flower lover and they fill any room with beautiful fragrance.

Make A Seed Box.

You could collect your left over seeds and dry them off.
Let the kids make mini seed packet envelopes and give them together in a seed box gift.

 

Make Seed Bombs

Save some of your seeds and use some flower seeds and creat a pretty box of seed bombs for the recipient to grow.
If you don’t have any left over seeds this year, simply buy a box of wildflower seeds and that will make loads!!

Give Plants

Take cutting from plants or house plants and grow them in pots to create new plants.
Let the kids decorate a painted clay pot to make this gift more personal.

Make A Kokedama

You could make kokedama as an unusual hanging gift. Here’s how,
  • Firstly, select what plants to give.

You can use any types of plants for a kokedama as long as they will fit comfortably in your home when hanging.

  • Remove the plant by its roots. Shake off any loose old soil
  • Mix your moss and soil together and dampen with water till it clumps together.
  • Make a soil ball. Remove a chunk of soil and moss from the bucket or plastic bag and roll it into a thick, firm ball.

 

Place the roots of your plant inside and form a ball of soil around the plant.

Make the ball big enough to completely cover a plant’s roots. When you’re done, set the ball aside.

  • Secure the plant’s roots with moss.

Use some sphagnum moss, which you can buy online or at a garden center.

Wrap the moss around the plant’s roots and soil ball, until you have a thick layer of moss.

Tie this up with string to secure it all together.

Remember to leave a long piece of string at the end so you can hang your Kokedama.

 

 

To look after the kokedama

Mist your plants daily with a water sprayer. You can also sit your kokedam in a tray of pebbles to soak up water like thie picture above .


 

Edible Gifts

 

Before I mention the edibles I want to introduce my bible! This Preserves book by Pam Corbin is amazing. As a novice it explains everything so well and has everything you’ll ever need to know to make amazing preserves, stores and gifts from your home grown goodies.

If growing and preserving is something you would like to try or even take further this book will show you the way. I’d really recommend it to anyone!

 

Grow your own Christmas Gifts including preserves

Raspberries

Growing raspberries is a super simple and there is so many things you can make from them.
  • Ice cream or dessert sauce
  • Jam or Jelly
  • Flavoured cordials or alcohol

Lemons

If you have a greenhouse or conservatory, lemons can make pretty plants to grow.
  • lemon syrup
  • lemon curd
  • lemonade
You could also save the seeds from your lemons and grow them on the windowsill in a pot. They make an attracting houseplant AND you can use the leaves in cooking like you would use Kaffir lime leaves.

Sloes And Hedgerow Berries

  • Jam
  • Haw Ketchup
  • And the traditional sloe gin. Here is the recipe I use. Leave it to sit in a dark cupboard for as long as you can, usually 8 weeks and drink neat or with lemonade or tonic.

Tomatoes

  • Canned sun-dried toms
  • Pasta sauces.
  • You can also use up left over green tomatoes in chutney

Chillies

In our house, chillies get added to most meals as my husband LOVES them.
As a gift though, you can’t beat making Nigella’s Chilli jam.
It really livens up any meal as a dollop on the side or used in a meal.

Apples

Ok apples are one of those fruits that are so versatile. The can be used in sweet or savoury dishes.
  • Apple juice
  • Jam
  • Cakes
  • Dried apple slices
  • Flavoured drinks
  • Chocolate apples

It may be easier to ask what you can’t use apples for.

Brambles ( Blackberries )

We don’t grow these yummy berries as our woodlands are full of them, so each Autumn we pick lots and lots.
The first thing we make is bramble jelly
If there’s any left we always make some of these to store. They would make fantastic gifts too. Just tie a ribbon around the lid and pop in a hamper or gift bag.
  • Jam/jellies
  • Bramble liqueur

Elderflower Cordial

A summer spectacular to make. This is my favourite recipe from JamieOliver.com

15 heads of elderflower
500g caster sugar
4 tablespoons quality runny honey
2 unwaxed lemons

  • Wash the elderflower well, picking off any bugs.
  • Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Gently bring to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.
  • Finely grate in the lemon zest and add the elderflower upside down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.
  • Squeeze in the juice from one of the lemons, and slice the other and add it to the pan. Put the lid on and leave to one side to infuse for 24 hours.
  • When you’re ready to strain your cordial, line a fine sieve with muslin over a large bowl (if you don’t have muslin, you can use good quality kitchen towel) and pour through the cordial.
  • Store in sterilised bottles or jars and drink diluted with water, soda or Prosecco. YUM!!

Make Ice-cream Syrup

 

Rosehips are my favourite for this gift.
It produced a bright orange sweet and sticky sauce for ice cream which is super healthy too.
Rosehips are high in vitamin c and antioxidants and can help keep the cold at bay!! Bonus.
To make
1kg Rosehips
500g Caster Sugar
  • Roughly chop around 1kg of rosehips (the small ones. The large hips aren’t quite as easy to prepare) in a food processor in small batches, then transfer to a large stock pot and add 1.5 litres water.
  • Bring them the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Strain through a double layer of muslin, letting the pulp sit for a good half hour so that all the juice passes through.
  • Do this twice, with a clean bit of muslin so you remove all the irritating little hairs.
  • Measure the rosehip juice into a large saucepan. For every 500ml, add 330g sugar.
  • Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes, skimming off any scum if necessary.
  • Decant immediately into your hot sterilized bottles and seal.

 

I keep mine chilled in the fridge and it keeps 4 months or so.

Homemade Bakes

Bake goodies like carrot cake, beetroot muffins or courgette cake all make wonderful gifts for neighbours. Try spending an afternoon baking up a storm with the kids. These Christmas muffins are delicious
We bake for our neighbours each year and they really appreciate something home-grown and home-made.

Chutney

Homemade chutney’s are a delight. The flavour is far superior to any shop bought stuff and you can tailor your gift to the person to receive it. For example if you have someone who loves spicy food etc.

Infused Oil

These are very popular gifts. Try
  • chilli oil,
  • rosemary or
  • garlic infused oil
This recipe is a great standby for lots of dishes especially prawn or steak dishes.
  • 10 dried chillies, preferably a mixture of green and red
  • 1 pint (570 ml) sunflower oil

Method for Chilli Oil:

  1. Trim the chillies, and remove the seeds. crush into small flakes. You could also use dried chilli flakes if you prefer.
  2. Put into a warm, sterilized jar.
  3. Heat the oil to around 180ºC and then pour it over the chillies in the bottle/jar and cover tightly.
  4. Leave to stand for 1 to 2 weeks and then strain through 2 thicknesses of muslin.
  5. Pour into a sterilized bottle and seal with a sterilized top.

It’s great to experiment with herbs and spices here

Mint tea makes a fab gift.

Make Flavoured Tea.

Dry and store in air-tight jars or little muslin bags to give away. Make a cute label and job done.
  • Mint
  • Cranberry
  • Raspberry
  • Lemon and lime
  • Lemon balm
There is so many combinations you can really suit your tea to the recipient. The list is endless!

Flavoured Vinegars

  • Raspberry
  • Elderberry
  • Rosemary and garlic

Soothing Gifts

Some soothing lotion bars
Soothing and gentle this lotion can be made from your flavoured oils
There are many medicinal plants that are wonderful for all sorts of complaints.
Why not make a range of products with health giving properties for someone you love?
  • Lip balm
  • Hand cream
  • Or soothing bath salts all make a lovely gift.
You can add dried rose petals or lavender to your bath salts too.

Lip Balms

– Use lemon balm infused oil to make a cold sore healing balm.

Bath Salts

We are making bath salts this year for our grandmothers.
  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid
  • Epsom salt
  • And corn-starch
  • Essential oil
  • Food colouring
Instructions
  • First, mix the dry ingredients (baking soda, Epsom salts, corn starch, and citric acid) together in a bowl
  • Mix up the wet ingredients (oil, water, essential oil, and food coloring). …
  • Slowly add the liquid to the dry mixture. …
  • Press the mix into your silicone molds, cookie cutters or sand moulds  ASAP
For more indepth information, check out this post from popsci.com

Potpourri.

Take some flowers, pinecones, fruit and even vegetables and make some amazing potpourri to brighten any home.
Add your favourite essential oil to a large sealed bag of your dried leaves or pinecones and leave sealed for a few weeks to let the leaves soak up the oil.
 Just pop into a pretty gift bag and enjoy.
So there you go, some homemade gifts you can grow for Christmas
Are there any ideas I’ve missed that you’ve tried?? 
Growing your own christmas gifts is so easy. A little planning is all you need to have beautiful gifts to give your loved ones.

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