Happy Friday Grow Appalachia cohort! This will likely be my last blog until the new year.

All I have to say is WOW!!! What a great year we have had! And there is plenty more excitement to be had in 2017 as well! Some planning is already taking place for the All-Hands Gathering (February 9th and 10th!), and we are up to our eyeballs in planning meetings and hitting the ground running for our Community Foods Project grant. Most recently, this week, a few of the participant’s surveys have made their way to our post office box! VERY exciting!

To promote, I guess, a spirit of giving back and thinking of Christmas and all its associated merriment, I decided to make this week’s blog about some gift ideas that you can give (or make!) for the gardener in your life! Or, even if you don’t have a gardener in your life, at least consider an outdoor enthusiast/nature lover. Surely there are a few of those in your circles 🙂

  1. Planters: You can purchase them, of course, but why not make your own? Use larger-sized Mason jars, painted bricks or cinder blocks, tea tins (for countertop gardens, perhaps?), repurposed boots or shoes, tin cans…Oh, just go check out your nearest thrift store or peddler’s mall. Paint them up, cover them up with pretty paper, just make it you and make it special! For more ideas, check out this HQ blog on container gardening. 
  2. Tote bags/Tool bags: Something like this with lots of pockets and space? Or one maybe a little smaller? How about a canvas bag with a fun print or design? Whatever you decide, a tote bag is a great, practical gift to keep your gardener friend or family member organized- stylishly! Shameless plug…GA has a super awesome tote bag available on our online shop! 
  3. Garden journal: A thoughtful gift for the gardener/writer. For a personalized touch, purchase a plain composition book or sketch book and create a collage on the cover.
  4. Garden Candles: This is kind of neat! All you need for this is pressed flowers or leaves and unscented candles (big ones!), for a creative and beautiful homemade gift that will light up any space! Instructions here.
  5. Garden Art: Following the trend of pressed flowers or leaves, make a piece of art out of them! Paint a canvas with a solid color, and then using a metallic or different colored spray paint, spray over a laid down set of leaves or flowers for a neat silhouette design! We did this at my old job and it looks really cool! Instructions here. A simpler idea is framing pressed plant materials against a white background (I’ve also done this, very simple and beautiful); Purchase a cheap picture frame, cut a piece of white cardstock or paper and tape or glue your flowers/leaves/grass, etc, and frame.
  6. Value-Added Goods: Grow Appalachia participants, this one is for you! Did you can any jelly, tomato sauce, green beans, pickles, salsa, or any other canned concoctions? Those make wonderful gifts! Plus, you canned them and they’re coming from your pantry, so you know exactly what is in them!

What are your go-to gifts for the gardeners in your life? Got a creative tip or trick that’s worth sharing? Leave a comment or email us!

One last shameless plug (I promise): We’ll be making an announcement on social media next week, but here at Grow Appalachia, we have a wide variety of locally-sourced products that will make excellent gifts: Hot sauce produced in Floyd County, KY at the David School, GreenHouse 17 “Handmade By Survivors” body care products, and of course, our online shop with t-shirts (made with organically grown cotton!), water bottles, tote bags, and more! Interested? Email me (holly@growappalachia.org) and I’ll get you hooked up!

Happy shopping! And gift-giving!


May 2017 bring you peace, joy, and gratitude as you look to the prospect of a new year, excited for whatever possibilities and opportunities await you!