A selection of festive gift ideas which support small independent businesses – including an exclusive 50% off discount code for Huw Richard’s online course, a discounted voucher for online plant based cookery courses and 50% off a backyard forest gardening course!
Kt Shepherd’s Art
Kt Shepherd designed the illustrations for my website and other publicity for me, and now you can buy her beautiful garden and permaculture themed artwork as cards and prints, directly from the artist. Printed in her locality on recycled card, you can buy her artwork here.
Always welcome as a gift, these books are also available from the usual online places. If you can, buy from the authors’ own websites – this means they get more of the profits (and not you-know-where!) Click on the title to purchase.
An inspirational story of a gardening journey from bare field to bountiful harvests, Grounded is an ideal cosy beside the fireside winter book to enthuse gardeners. From a worn out grass monoculture to a thriving market garden in just over four years on a very tight budget, this is also the story of how liz Zorab overcame chronic illness and transformed her life. Liz has this amazing You Tube channel too.
Making a wildlife pond in your garden is an excellent way to increase biodiversity, support the creatures who share your garden with you, and attract beneficial predators (including slug eating frogs and toads!) Kate Bradbury explains everything you need to know about making your own pond, whatever size plot you have; how to plant it out and maintain it year round. Kate is a garden writer, broadcaster and TV presenter, specialising in wildlife gardening. She is a patron for Froglife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
This book offers solutions for growing a climate change resilient garden, in a positive and practical way (not doom laden!) The Climate Change Garden guides you through how to create an environmentally friendly garden including improving your soil, water-saving measures, creating a resilient veg plot and designing a garden that can cope with extreme weather events.
Kim Stoddart is a gardening journalist and editor of The Organic Way magazine. She runs climate change gardening courses in her garden and also online. Sally Morgan is the editor of the Soil Association’s Organic Farming Magazine and has written many books on the environment, farming, food and gardening.
Wood chip is an excellent resource for gardeners, and fantastic for the soil life, especially fungi. In this book, Ben explains how to use this sustainable resource as a mulch, propagation material and even as a heat source for greenhouses. The Woodchip Handbook includes how to source wood chip and ways of producing your own, using traditional techniques. Ben Raskin is the Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry at the Soil Association, and has over 25 years of practical horticulture experience.
It’s surprising how much you can grow even on a balcony or in a tiny paved yard, and Anna’s beautiful book is an excellent choice for gardeners growing in smaller spaces: organic crops for pots and small plots. It includes her top 30 edibles to grow and a year round planner for seasonal harvests. An experienced grower, Anna Greenland was head gardener at Soho Farmhouse and is currently turning her own garden in Suffolk into a productive market garden and potager.
Alan Carter’s practical and informative book explains how to grow a forest garden from small plots to large scale food forests. If you’d like to grow your own seasonal food year round in a low maintenance, wildlife friendly garden, this well researched and illustrated book will show you how. Alan Carter has worked in forestry, gardening, conservation and green space management, and grows in Aberdeen, Scotland.
My books! Signed (and dedicated if you wish) copies are available from me via my website.
No Dig gardening saves time and work. In their award winning book, No Dig experts Stephanie Hafferty and Charles Dowding explain how to set up a no dig garden. They describe how to: make compost; enrich soil; harvest and prepare food; and make natural beauty and cleaning products. These approaches work as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The author’s combined experience gives you ways of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, including delicious vegetable feasts and many recipes and ideas for increasing self reliance, saving money, living sustainably and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round.
In this plant based seasonal recipe book, Stephanie shows you the advantages and pleasures of cooking seasonally and making organic products for you and your family’s health and happiness. Learn how to be resourceful, creative and inspired by what is seasonal and close to hand for a 100% organic home.
Online courses make an excellent gift. It’s lovely to learn new skills and these courses all offer lifetime accessibility so they can be returned to again and again.
Exclusive discount code for readers of this blog! Get 50% off this course with the code: WINTERSPECIAL
Sam and Huw’s new online course explains how to use fermentation to preserve your homegrown and foraged harvest (it is fine to use ingredients from the shop too!) Fermentation is easy and fun. Over 12 lessons, Huw and Sam teach you everything you need to know to get started with fermentation, and the skills and confidence you need to adapt the recipes to suit what is in season.
Sam Cooper is a chef, illustrator and fermenter. Huw Richards is the author of three books and created his hugely successful You Tube channel when he was 12, with over 493,000 subscribers. Together they have created Farmer and Chef, a website connecting sustainable growing and food.
Buy it here. Remember to use the exclusive discount code WINTERSPECIAL for 50% off
Experienced vegan chef and author, Anastasia Eden has created two gorgeous online courses to inspire people to eat more veg. Learn how to make healthy, wholesome, delicious healthy food in The Magical Life of Salads and Essential Vegan Meals. All of the recipes are gluten and refined sugar free.
Not sure which to choose? Anastasia solved this problem with a gift voucher, which is offered at a special discounted price with £20 off. Anastasia Eden has been eating a plant based diet for over 26 years and is the author of paperback and ebooks: The Kind Earth Cookbook, Angelicious, Superfood Sweet Treats.
Buy them here.
*** Exclusive 50% off the Backyard Forest Gardening course with this link! ***
Create a lush forest garden whatever size your plot with this in depth online course. Jake lives in rural Wales on a 2 acre smallholding and teaches forest gardening across the UK. The course includes how to plan the forest garden, ground preparation, the design process, plantings for all layers and ground cover.
There’s a free mini taster course too.
Buy the course here
Sara Venn brings 25+ years of horticultural experience, including running Incredible Edible Bristol and food growing courses, to her Patreon membership, which offers three levels of support for home growers including podcasts, newsletters and one-to-one monthly tuition, depending on the level chosen. This is ideal for people wanting regular guidance on their grow your own journey.
Find out more here.
A calendar reminding gardeners what to sow and harvest, with space to write their own notes and observations makes a wonderful gift.
Here are two suggestions, both created by no dig gardeners who run their own small businesses. Click on the titles to buy.
Adam Jones’ Calendr Garddio 2022 – A Welsh Gardening Calendar that guides us through the months of the year sharing gardening tasks, advice and sowing dates. It is in Welsh – my ambition for 2022 is to be able to read most of it by the end of the year! Adam is a television presenter on S4C, author and inspirational speaker. He has a you tube channel and social media with the name adamynyrardd
The Grow Calendar 2022 from Ben Thornton, including a month by month guide and planner, seeds to sow, weather guide and Ben’s hand drawn illustrations. Ben has featured on BBC Gardeners’ World and won Britain’s Best Gardening Influencer in 2021. Paralysed on holiday, Ben turned to gardening to help his physical and mental health. Ben posts on social media as The Young Grower.
Useful products for home gardeners
Eco friendly recycled seed packets designed by Jack Wallington
Available in two sizes, these compostable seed packets can be reused over and over again, and are perfect for collecting and storing your seeds. Available from Jack’s online shop, where he is also selling copies of his excellent books – I especially recommend Wild About Weeds.
Bustaseed Propagation Tray
Made by a small company in Northern Ireland, this practical 35 cell propagation tray with its innovative design is ideal for the home gardener. It includes 7 tip out 5 cell rows, a strong base and clear propagation lid, and is great for starting seedlings off on windowsills at home – the base is watertight.
The rows are very easy to remove, just lift up and gently tip the transplant out, ready to be potted on or planted out – beneficial for those with different abilities, children and people who find the traditional style of module tray too fiddly.
Whilst we are all trying to use less plastic in the garden, it is not always possible for people to use homemade paper pots and the like to start off their seeds. This is a durable product which comes with a five year guarantee (with care I think it should last much longer) and all of the components are recyclable. Buy direct here.
One gardening tool I would not be without (I’ve been using them for about 10 years), the carbon steel sharp blade and slender shape of the Hori Hori is ideal for all kinds of weeding jobs – it is especially satisfying for removing bindweed. Indeed at my talks and workshops, it is now known as the “bindweed tool”!
I use it for harvesting too, it’s great for asparagus. Complete with a canvas holster, you can wear it on a belt and feel ready for anything (obviously don’t wander round the shops wearing it, you’d most likely get arrested!) The Hori Hori is super easy to keep clean and sharp, using a crean mate and oil.
Niwaki have brought out a new style with a serrated edge for sawing, but I haven’t tried that one yet.
What would you add to this list? Feel free to make your own suggestions for gifts from small businesses or inspiring authors in the comments, so that we can support each other.
I reserve the right to decline any comments which are sponsored or unsuitable for an organic no dig themed blog – eg: “the chemical gardeners’ guide to extreme digging” wouldn’t really be our thing here!!
The books, courses and items here were my own choice. I have not been sponsored by or paid for their inclusion here.