NOTE: I love this illustrator’s style! Clicking on the image will take you to his portfolio on iStockphoto.com
December 20, 2012
NOTE: I love this illustrator’s style! Clicking on the image will take you to his portfolio on iStockphoto.com
December 22, 2011
Not in the xmas mood yet? I’ve got two tricks under my Santa hat for you:
1. Get your rhythm going with Peter’s 2011 Squirrel Christmas song, The Family Tree.
2. And if you’re the silent type, head over to google.com and type into the search box, let it snow, hit return and sit back with your hot cocoa.
Now go get your Merry on!
December 7, 2011
[UPDATE: After reading Colleen's excellent post on the relationships between corporations and bloggers, I felt the need to update this post since it is a gift guide that lists products I am recommending. My update is at the end.]
Buying gifts for vegans may be challenging enough but what if your favorite vegan is also an avid gardener? What do you need to know?
First I’ll list some of my favorite groovy gifts that I think are perfect for gardeners, especially vegan gardeners. Then I’ll give you a few pointers to help you stay out of trouble while shopping for your favorite vegan gardener. And BTW, I’ve listed some extremely affordable items and some that well, shall we say, may be so nice you’d get lucky this season ;-P
Ethel Gloves makes a special vegan gardening glove that I actually own and absolutely love. It’s the Garden 4X, a tough and classy glove that even I can’t wear through. I’m really hard on gardening gloves, typically going through 2 pairs in a season. My fingertips generally poke right through because I like to make holes for seeds with my hands rather than a trowel. But after a full season, my pair of Garden 4X black bamboo gloves are holding up just fine. No sign of letting my middle finger loose in the dirt. These gloves also use vegan latex that does not use casein during manufacturing. A very thoughtful gift for a vegan gardener. (And if black isn’t your vegan’s style, all their other colored bamboo gloves are also vegan, they just don’t have the reinforced fingertips that the 4X does.)
D. Landreth Seed Company is the oldest continuously running seed house in the US and one of the oldest companies. In fact, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both Landreth customers! Landreth ran into financial hardship this year and most of the gardening world has fretted about it for months. So any gift you buy from them will go towards saving this American institution. I’d recommend the catalog of course, as it’s a work of art and full of gardening information. They also have little “Seeds In A Sack” that make great stocking stuffers. They’re all awesome so there’s no way I can single out just one. Besides, you know your gardener best: would they like the Olde Fashion Zinnias collection, Antique Vines for the Garden or Heirloom Tomatoes?
Weck canning jars are a totally BPA-free and beautiful option for organic gardeners. Yes, I said BPA-free. You know that white rubbery liner in the lid of traditional canning jars in the USA? Yeah, that—don’t go lick it now—it’s made with BPA. The Weck jars use an old fashioned rubber and reusable gasket instead. How well do they work? I’ve heard stories of German great grandmothers still using their jars from the beginning of the last century and they haven’t killed anyone yet. The only problem with these jars is that I don’t want to use them as gifts. No, I’m kinda selfish that way. Oh, if you’re in the Chicago area, you can buy these at Green Home Experts.
Vetegabowls makes insanely cool food serving bowls that look exactly like garden fruits and vegetables! They are slip cast and glazed to match the colors and actual textures you’d find in a cantaloupe, tomato, grapefruit, onion, honeydew melon, oranges, etc. I adore these bowls and think a set of these would be an awesome gift. (DH, that’s a hint dood, just in case that wasn’t clear ;-)
Autonomie Project Inc. has a lot of great products but I’m especially excited about their new fair-trade and vegan rain/gardening boots! The rubber in these boots is certified by the FSC for sustainable forestry and the makers receive a fair trade premium on their wages. When looking for gardening boots, remember these things: they are often labeled “rain” boots, consider the calf fit (if your vegan may have large calves, best to skip this item or buy a gift certificate), and the pattern/color.
Fun gardening socks from Garden Shoes Online come with lady bugs, bees, turtles and sunflowers. The more colorful selections are also vegan because they’re made with nylon, CoolMax® and Lycra® rather than latex. Latex is made with casein from cow’s milk so steer clear of anything with that fiber as well as wool and silk.
Veganic Agriculture Network has a nice book list of tomes that would be appropriate for a vegan gardener. If you can’t score an out-of-print copy of Veganic Gardening by Kenneth Dalziel, I’d snag Growing Green which is also a source of info for organic gardening without animal products.
Moxie Organix has some really nice soaps and lotions that would help a gardener maintain soft hands after a long day digging in the soil. Lavender or rose petal would be great scents for a gardener.
A brick or two of coir fiber makes a great gift for the gardener who starts seeds indoors for Spring. The bricks are small enough to even fit in a stocking while causing a lot of funny head scratching over what could that be? I get my bricks at Green Home Experts in Oak Park, Illinois. When checking your local source, compare pricing with sizes (big box stores sell smaller bricks for a full brick price) and compare the source of the coir itself.
Chamomile tea, believe it or not, would be a nifty stocking stuffer for a gardener because not only can they drink it when pests are bumming them out, it’s a great fungal deterrent. In fact, many professional growers spray it on the soil’s surface to fight Damping Off in tomato seedlings. A great little crafty gift could be a box of chamomile tea bags and a spray bottle. You could even craft up your own Healthy Seedling or Fight Damping Off label for the bottle.
Barbara Sanderson is a glass artist specializing in hand-blown art glass for gardens. Her Fiddlesticks and Flowers are amazingly beautiful. You can often find Babara at various flower and garden shows around the country as well as art shows. She’ll work with you to combine glass, water, light and gardens to create lovely and stunning outdoor spaces. If you can’t afford her larger works she also creates Christmas ornaments and other holiday glassworks. Her Halloween pumpkins are always groovy and I’d love to have some of her originals in my garden.
And finally, the Holy Grail! Whether you wanna be rewarded with sex from xmas until New Year’s Eve or simply awesome food for the rest of your life, I’d totally recommend giving your vegan the new Blendtec’s Total Blender Designer Series. It’s a super badass blender that can handle anything your organic gardener can grow. Seriously. But check first to make sure your vegan hasn’t already ordered it or that ‘other’ brand of blender. The Designer Series model is so badass, it includes the WildSide jar which is a patented 5-sided jar allowing a better vortex during blending and wider at the base for easier removal of thick nut butters, a nearly 4-inch diameter blade, and a new touch interface like on the iPhone. AND a 7-year warranty! Oh yeah baby, it can handle just about anything including those twigs and leaves you think your vegan eats.
And THAT my fine fiends, is the best of the best, the most unique, and perfectly vegan-friendly gifts for organic gardeners!
Read onward for some tips on what to avoid when shopping. It seems tricky sometimes but it all makes sense, I promise.
So, now that you’re prepared, what are you waiting for? You’ve only got 12 more days until Christmas! Get the compost out!
Below I will note any relationship I have with any of the companies making the products I’ve included in my gift guide for gardeners:
November 29, 2009
I’m sure this won’t be the end of my holiday gift list, I’ll add more as they occur to me or as the sales are announced.
Ethel® Gloves has launched a Bamboo Glove in time for the holidays. Not only are they made from eco-friendly bamboo fabric, they are VEGAN, containing no latex. Most latex contains casein to ostensibly give it that little extra stretch. Not only do vegans have to seek out vegan condoms, we also have to consider the latex used in clothing items. Ethel has eliminated that worry for us by also converting their regular line of gloves to contain no latex as well. BUT, there may be some of the old model Ethel gloves still in stores. If you want to ensure you get a vegan pair, contact Ethel directly, at least until the retail stores turn over all their merchandise. SPECIAL DEAL: enter BAMBOO in the coupon code box and get 20% off your orders from now until end of December. This includes non-bamboo items.
In case you haven’t heard, gardeners have been all abuzz this year about the latest weeding tool, the CobraHead®. Comes in long and short handled versions. The CobraHead is actually an very ingenious little design and actually looks kinda like a snake. Weeds will cower in its path.
And gift certificates or unusual seeds from favorite seed catalogs are always welcome. After gardens are put to rest in November, gardeners love nothing more than scoping out seed catalogs in preparation for Spring. My favorites are family-owned, small seed companies such as:
Allow your gardener to bring the fragrances of summer indoors this winter with Strawberry Hedgehog’s handmade soaps (vegan of course). Fragrances include pumpkin spice, lavender, spiced tea, tea-tree rosemary, and orange clove.
And finally, for gardeners of wee things, you can’t go wrong with a hand crafted fairy door from Nothin’ But Wood.
I’ve blogged about this vinegar before and it’s still my favorite: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from The Olive Mill. This is a small shop in Geneva, Illinois and while they do offer many more items than the traditional balsamic, it’s still my favorite.
Most vegans I know can’t really afford expensive delicacies like Dr. Cow nut cheeses. This is why Dr. Cow’s products make nice gifts (hint hint).
Send your sweet-toothed vegans on a shopping spree with gift certificates from The Bleeding Heart Bakery who make awesome vegan pastries and cakes.
To-Go Ware makes some of the coolest lunch containers and eco-friendly bamboo cutlery. They’re also offering 30% off all purchases from now through Cyber Monday. Just enter THANKS30 into the coupon field when placing your order.
Earth First Farms rents organic apple trees and sells shares in their annual apple CSA. They do have awesome apples and IMHO, make the best organic apple cider, period. For those who don’t know, ciders are special blends that are unique to each orchard. THAT’s why they all taste different and the crap you get at Jewel is, well, crap. Personally, I’d love to have a share in Earth First’s annual CSA because it allows you to taste all the apple varieties they grown AND snag some of their awesome cider.
Make a donation on behalf of your favorite vegan via Farm Sanctuary or adopt a turkey. This is the one time where the recipient will actually appreciate donations made on their behalf. You can also buy t-shirts, buttons and other items in the Farm Sanctuary store, proceeds benefit all critters of course.
That said, you might consider giving some twisted and sick artwork from Cuddly Rigor Mortis, specifically, take a look at Lychee Zombie and Peppermint Gimp.
And of course, very cool dishware from Folded Pigs.
Forget the Tofurky roast and look for Match Meats to win serious points with the vegans of your family. Match is ramping up sales of their holiday roast so check out their website for locations of the roast or order their products from Cosmos or VeganEssentials.
And just in case you’re serving wine with your holiday feast, check it against Barnivore’s list to ensure your vegan guests can drink it.
Babeland.com is offering free shipping on all holiday orders over $50 from now until December 10, midnight PST. Unless of course you live in one of those unfortunate states that infiltrates your bedroom by banning adult toys (guess you can tell how I feel about THAT level of government snooping). Babeland is owned by Claire and Rachel, two real-world gals who are all about empowerment of women and couples—not a sleazy, icky, bigass company hocking cheap junk near truck stops. They also offer educational classes and workshops for women and couples. Claire and Rachel have even written an encyclopedic book on adult toys and um, yes, it is, um rather in-depth. Yeah, I’ve read it, ok I own it. The kind folks at Babeland are here to take the fear and embarrassment out of sex while ensuring you have a safe and friendly source for whatever toys and information you’ve been wanting.
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!