By Ashley Steel
It may be the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean you have to bury your gardening aspirations. Chances are, you know someone with a green thumb, or at least someone with visions of green thumbs dancing in their head. Surprise the green thumb on your list with these great gift ideas for gardeners, (and maybe even ask for one yourself):
1-Year Seed Savers Exchange Membership — $40
Gift the gift of preservation with a membership to Seed Savers Exchange, one of the largest seed banks in North America. This gift allows members to exchange and grow heirloom seeds in an effort to protect endangered plant types from America’s botanically diverse heritage.
Eat More Dirt —$ 7
More than just a book about cultivating a healthy and environmentally friendly garden, Eat More Dirt is a fun and enjoyable read that caters to a wide array of audiences. With techniques, tips and wit that you can apply in any garden — and so many different aspirations to create a better, safer world — this book is one that no gardener should go without.
Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden — $100
Let’s face it, some people just don’t have a green thumb. Or perhaps they do, but they lack the time to maintain their garden. This smart garden by Click and Grow does the work for you. Simply add water, plug in the device and watch the technological miracle unfold. LED technology provides the right amount of light for the plants to thrive and the water reservoir only needs to be filled every three to six weeks.
ZipStrip Herb Stripper — $8
Picking and chopping herbs can be a tedious task for many cooks. But with this herb stripper, you can collect the aromatic leaves from herbs such as thyme, rosemary and tarragon with just one quick pulling motion.
The Heirloom Life Gardener — $30
Get back to basics with The Heirloom Life Gardener, a book that will inspire you to grow your own foods free of pesticides, chemicals and genetic modifications. An accessible read, this book offers up seed saving tips so that you can cultivate heirloom veggies, the likes of which extend far beyond common vegetable varieties.
Back to the Roots AquaFarm — $60
Learn the ancient art of aquaponics, a sustainable growing method that reaches as far back as the Aztecs. A cyclical growing system, this aqua farm operates when the plant roots feed on fish waste from an aquarium, thereby cleaning the tank so that both the fish and plants are well taken care of (with the exception of fish food, which will still need to be manually provided). This type of farming utilizes as much as 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods — pretty cool!
Hydroponic Chalkboard Planter — $139
A soilless growing system, this hydroponic planter has a reservoir that delivers water, nutrients and oxygen on a pre-programmed schedule. Whether overwatered, or under-watered, this system is mostly self-sustaining and only needs to be fed every couple of weeks. Utilizing very little space, less water than traditional growing methods and no soil, hydroponic systems are a new standard in organic gardening.
Standing Garden — $180
Gardening can be tough on the aging body. With so much bending and kneeling, it can cause aches and pains. But don’t let that stop you from pursuing your passions. Standing gardens offer a great solution to continue your hobby no matter how old you are. A gardening bed on an elevated platform, there’s no bending required to tend your garden.
Suncast Tumbling Composter (6.5 Cubic Ft.) — $80
Who doesn’t love the sound of creating less waste while providing a nutrient-rich and chemical-free fertilizer for soils? This composter can produce a usable product in just a few weeks and dual-latching lids keep this barrel tightly sealed so no nasty critters will be hanging around.
Herbsicle — $8
Your herbs may be ready for picking, but you may not be ready to use them. Enter the Herbsicle, a syringe-like device where you can pack in herbs and seal them in the freezer so that they retain their color and flavor for when you’re ready to throw them in a soup or sauce. Great for single herbs or herb blends, this device is a time and herb saver.