From edible gift baskets and floral bouquets to fresh baked goods and table centerpieces, I enjoy giving and receiving homemade gifts. This Thanksgiving, give your family, friends, co-workers, and other people in your life gifts using what’s your garden. Nearly everything in your home garden can be repurposed as gifts, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving gifts from your garden.
Edible Gift Basket
For your friends who are food-lovers, put together an edible gift basket for them to enjoy. The bulk of the basket can be made up of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden that have been thoroughly washed and dried. If you enjoy making your own jams, jellies, or preserves from your fresh fruit, you can also add a few jars to the gift basket. If the gift recipient has children, satisfy their sweet tooth with a few apples dipped in caramel.
Fresh herbs like oregano, cilantro, parsley, thyme, and basil make excellent gifts for those who like cooking with them. If you have extra herbs in your garden, give a small plant as a Thanksgiving gift. Create your own planter from a cleaned tin can painted or wrapped in card stock or other craft paper. Print the name of the herb on the side of the can.
Fresh Baked Goods
There are a multitude of baked goods that can be made from fruits and vegetables in your garden. From cookies and breads to pies and cakes, bake tasty treats that contain fresh, flavorful ingredients. For Thanksgiving, pumpkin muffins, cookies, bars, or doughnuts are all excellent options. Add a bit of cinnamon to enhance the pumpkin flavor, or top your treats with a sweet glaze. Fresh apples are also a popular fall fruit. Use them in apple pies or doughnuts, or make a gallon of delicious apple cider.
Cornucopias are a common symbol of Thanksgiving and make excellent centerpieces on holiday dinner tables. These horn-shaped baskets can be filled with dried flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, or a combination of both. Wicker cornucopias can be found in most craft stores or floral shops. Simply line the cornucopia with burlap and fill it with items from your garden, such as crab apples, gourds, Indian corn, miniature pumpkins, artichokes, apples, pears, and golden squash.
Make a stunning Thanksgiving bouquet from colorful flowers from your garden. Incorporate fall colors, such as reds, yellows, browns, and oranges to create your seasonal bouquet. Cut some floral foam to fit inside your container, then begin trimming your flowers to create a beautiful arrangement. For the container, choose a simple metal bucket, wire basket, or glass vase.
By drying your garden fruits and vegetables, you can create tasty treats that last considerably longer than their fresh counterparts. Some fruits and vegetables that are suitable for drying include pears, peaches, apples, plums, strawberries, carrots, potatoes, corn, apricots, green beans, and tomatoes. Produce can be dried in a food dehydrator or in a convection oven. Once they are dried, fill treat bags with your dried goods, wrap ribbon around the top to prevent exposure to air, and give the treat bags as gifts.