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Giving the Gift of Herbs

Giving herbs this holiday season can be a great green gift. There are lots of different ways to upcycle containers to make the gift personal and special, and a theme such as herbs can make creating a personalized gift easy, useful, and local.

String with bundles of herbs hanging from it with wooden pegs, on a blue board background.
The Gift of Herbs

DIY Window Fresh Herb Gift

Here is a quick way to upcycle empty containers into beautiful gifts for the holiday season.
  1. Select your container, remove any labels, clean of all residue and let dry

  2. Choose your design and method of decorating (see below for some ideas)

  3. Add small pebbles at the bottom for drainage, then add the herb plant, with or without extra soil depending on your container size.

  4. Don't forget your label (if you keep the label the herb came with the recipient will know how to take care of the plant)

Here are a few examples of easy upcycling containers for herb gift giving.
  1. Glass sauce jar stenciled with glass paint and glazed with Modge Podge

  2. Small metal can label removed and course ribbon and string wrapped around

  3. Thrifted mug paired with herb by theme or color

  4. Large metal can painted with all-surface paint and gold sharpie leaf

  5. Glass jar with washi tape wrapped around

Add this to make a perfectly paired gift set

More Herb DIY Ideas

Infused Cooking Oil

You can use either dried or fresh ingredients to infuse the oil. Dried ingredients will have a more concentrated flavor and will therefore give you a more intensely flavored oil. Also, by drying them out you’re getting rid of any moisture, which means there’s less chance of your oil developing molds so you can store your oil for longer.

A good-quality, mild-flavored oil, such as sunflower or avocado is good for cooking oils so as the taste of the oil doesn’t compete with the taste of the herbs. But olive oil works really well especially if you are using it for drizzling over finished dishes.

To Make:

Place the oil and herbs together in a clean jar and put the jar into a saucepan of water to warm gently for 20 minutes. Leave to cool before straining and placing in bottles (sterilize them first by boiling them for 20 minutes in a pot of water). Label with the date to use by, 2 weeks if using fresh herbs but up 6 months with dried.

Herb Garden Growing Kit

Bundle seed packets in a glass jar to give to the gardener in your life. Add handcrafted label sticks to make springtime gardening a snap.

Local Sources for Seeds

Mahoney's Garden Center (Winchester)

Pemberton Market (Cambridge)

Custom Spice and Herb Blends

Do you have a special blend of herbs that is your go-to for flavoring soups, curries, or pizzas? Make an extra batch and give it as a gift, you can also attach your favorite recipe.

This also applies to herbal teas, which you can give with a locally made or personalized mug.

Add a book

Lastly, there is the wonderful world of books. Check out your library holiday book sale or independent book store for helpful guides to growing and using herbs.

Here are some of the wonderful books I have picked up over the last few years. They all have different approaches to herbs, from using them to create products, learning more scientific information, to beautifully painted illustrations that celebrate the folklore of herbs.

Happy Herb Gifting!

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