Are you looking for interesting, locally made, locally inspired, nature-oriented holiday gift ideas?
Nature is front and centre these days! Holiday gift giving is a perfect way to celebrate and enjoy nature’s offerings in our marvelous Okanagan Valley.
When I put the word out for ideas, I was overwhelmed.
Here are some of the most thoughtful and heartwarming suggestions:
• Make a gift card and offer to take a friend on a birding walk, with lunch to follow.
• A thoughtful offer of garden help or a share of garden produce, come spring.
• All those jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, pesto and herbal teas made from plants you tended, or Farmer’s Market vendors you visited…they only need a ribbon and a card to be a treasured gift.
Gift certificates are available everywhere and easily mailed. Why not pick up one or two, or more for these timely, pollinator and nature friendly ideas…a clover based lawn revitalization, xeriscape installation, pollinator garden or even a wetland restoration.
Gift certificates can also support innovative local businesses and demonstrate your nature centric perspective:
• LocalMotive, Apple Plaza, Penticton, where reduced plastic packaging, local garden produce, and bulk household cleaning products make a statement.
• Replenish Refillery & Zero Waste Store in Summerland that offers “everything that you need to switch to an environmentally-friendly home.”
• CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes of seasonal farm produce is the gift that keeps on giving. Check with www.localmotive.ca/ or your favourite Farmer’s Market vendor.
How about making a pledge or a donation on behalf of a friend or family member? There are dozens of close-to-home conservation projects and nature organizations that welcome a membership or donation in these challenging times.
• Save Sickle Point wetland preservation campaign, kaledencommunity.com/sicklepoint
• Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society, the folks who help private and public landowners conserve, enhance and restore wildlife habitat www.osstewardship.ca/
• The Osoyoos Desert Centre, desert.org/index.php/support.html
• SORCO, South Okanagan Raptor Rehabilitation Society, sorco.org/
• BC Parks Foundation, bcparksfoundation.ca/
• En’owkin Centre’s ECOmmunity, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m sure you know of many more!
Looking for something big and bold? Have you considered a garden composter or a rain barrel? Or something small and productive like seeds from Naramata Seed Company?
Let’s not overlook hand-made artistic creations, re-imagined from found objects and recycled almost anything. Long Gallery in Penticton features Balaclava’s toques from repurposed sweaters.
The Penticton Art Gallery Gift shop has a fascinating collection of wood and glass fabrications.
I’m tempted by original Okanagan landscapes and wildife art via #LoveLocalArt Online Directory at pentictonartscouncil.com.
What about nature guides and books? Drop in at the Book Shop on Main Street in Penticton for a fine collection by our resident authors and world-renowned nature people. A personal choice are Dick Canning’s recently updated field guide, Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, and Eva Durance’s Cultivating the Wild, Gardening with Native Plants.
Above all, be creative. Have fun. Think local. Think re-use, regift, repurpose and all the wonderful ways you can make your gifts unique and nature friendly.
Dianne Bersea writes a monthly column called NatureWise.