The season of presents, mince pies, excited children and hangovers is upon us and we all want to have a good time. Great! ... but let's stop for a minute and be a bit more mindful. (Click here to Scroll down to the bottom for our gift guide from Fruit Hill Farm!)
Lovely, glittery and colourful .... but not all wrapping paper is paper - so you can't recycle it. Then there's the sellotape and glitter on the gift tag. What's an elf to do?
- Buy recycled paper.
- Use brown paper and tie it with twine. Add a sprig of evergreen and you have a gift to impress.
- Unwrap carefully and re-use the paper next year.
- If you can scrunch up the paper and it stays scrunched then it is probably recyclable.
Oooh we all love a bit of glitter - but it's really awful stuff. Glitter is made from sheets of thin plastic, coated in a shiny substance like aluminum and cut into millions of tiny pieces. Basically a shiny microplastic. That means every time we rinse our glitter-laced clothes, open glitter covered cards or let our glitter-encrusted accessories shed little pieces of sparkle, we are contributing to microplastic pollution in our oceans. No wonder scientists are calling for a ban on plastic glitter.
Mica is a natural mineral that also sparkles. It’s been used for centuries to add shimmer to materials. Mica is mined from rock and can be found in many places around the world. However, be aware that a lot of mica is mined by children.
Biodegradable glitter is available (EcoStardust in Bristol, UK) but perhaps it is better to abandon it altogether. (sorry)
Choosing gifts wisely
We all like gifts that thought has gone into. Seeing that most people have more than enough stuff you might have to think outside the box. You could -
- Make something yourself such as cake, herb teas (from your own garden) a knitted item, wood-turned bowl, family photo calendar - or whatever craft skill you have.
- Give a basket of garden produce.
- If you have thought ahead you could give some rooted plant cuttings or bouquets of dried flowers.
- Give a trailer of wood for the stove.
- Give the gift of time. Make some IOU's - ie. ten hours of garden work, two nights baby sitting, home cooked meal, visit to the sea-side etc.
- Plan a garden party or spring seed swap and give attractive invitations. Don't forget to hold the event!
- Make an emergency kit gift basket with candles, matches, blanket, gloves, torch etc.
- Choose a charity gift.
- Give membership to something worthwhile - Irish Seed Savers, Organic Centre, Crann (Trees for Ireland). There are more ideas on Irish Environmental Network.
We sell lots of lovely things any gardener would like. (Last orders 18th December) They aren't covered in glitter, made by small children or single use only. At Fruit Hill Farm we only sell quality products. This means that if you give your nearest and dearest a gift from FHF this Christmas, they will still be using it next Christmas...and the next...and the next...
10 Gift ideas for Gardeners
Sprouters and sprouting seeds are very popular and make for the ideal gift at this time of year when the garden is a bit bare. We have a large selection of organic sprouting seed and various sprouters to choose from.
2. Bee Seed
Not just a gift for your loved one, but a gift for the bees too! Our Bee meadow seed mix contains a fantastic mix of flower seeds to attract bees all season long.
A puncture free wheelbarrow - now there is a gift that keeps on giving (and not giving in!)
4. Electric Propagator
This time of year can be hard to think about growing, but you can get propagating with an electric seed propagator that will sit easily on your windowsill.
5. Hand Grain Mill
Fancy milling your own flour to make your own bread? Well have a look at a manual grain mill - The 'Farina' is our best seller (and cheapest) but we have a large selection of mills and flakes - See the full selection here
The Felco Snips 310 has been one of our best selling tools for many many years and everyone here at Fruit Hill Farm is the proud owner of a pair of these hard working, long lasting tools - not one of us can imagine what we would do without them - guaranteed to be a welcome gift to the gardener in your life if they don't already own a pair.
7. Copper Trowels
These trowels are not only beautiful but they are also very practical and hard wearing with a pointed generous blade and beech wood handle - a must in any garden.
Slugs do not seem to like copper. It is not yet clear if the absence of a magnetic field or the trace elements released by the use of copper makes them feel uncomfortable, but who cares - use this trowel and it is win, win. Good sharp blade, beautiful design and less slugs.
A considerate and practical present for gardeners who spend a lot of time on their knees. Invest in a pair of these to keep knees dry and protected.
9. Polytunnel Book
Not every gardener is keen to be out in the elements over the Christmas period - the gift of a book can let growers plan for the coming seasons from the comfort of indoors. This great book by Joyce Russel is a great read for any serious grower.
There is a distinct lack of light in this part of the world at this time of the year - so give the frustrated grower in your life the gift of light!
Can't decide? Gift vouchers are always a welcome gift if you are unsure of what to get the gardener in your life. You can purchase an email or print voucher to whatever sum of money suits your pocket