Winter 2012 Mercantile: Gifts and Supplies for the Season

By Staff
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Find the goods to assist you in your garden, or the supplies you need for seasonal gifts and decorations.

Winter 2012/2013
By the Heirloom Gardener Staff

We poured our hearts and souls into our vegan cookbook and we hope it becomes a favorite for all vegetable lovers. With more than 125 vegan recipes ranging from Asian to Appalachian, many of the recipes are those served in the restaurant at Baker Creek’s Bakersville Village. Cook up Heirloom Apple Pie, Blueberry Pancakes, Heirloom Spaghetti Squash with Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti Sauce, Cambodian Yellow Cucumber Salad with Crispy Shallots, Edamame Hummus, Quinoa- and Tofu-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Vegetable Tempura with Tai Basil, Smashed Parsnips and Turnips with Roasted Garlic Scapes, Melon Sorbet, or any others that strike your fancy. Don’t miss the  chapters on canning and preserving, and vegan kitchen staples.

Our friends at Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine, sell the best certified organic potatoes, potato seed, and other garden goodies. A family run business, Jim Gerritsen is President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and they are active in OSGATA v. Monsanto, the landmark organic community lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s GMO/transgenic patents. The Maine Potato Sampler of the Month is their most popular item since you’ll receive three distinctive potato varieties each month (September through April) of different colors, tastes, and textures.

Save the Childrenis an organization that provides life-changing programs to those in need around the world. If you would like to gift those truly in need this holiday season, the organization offers everything from seeds and tools ($50); to mushroom bags ($20) that provide protein to malnourished families; fruit trees for schools ($150); treadle water pumps that rejuvenate dry crops ($150); and latrines in underdeveloped countries ($50). You could even opt to stock a library in the United States with new books ($100). Save the Children is recognized by the American Institute of Philanthropy, the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and other organizations for financial and organizational accountability.

We enjoyed meeting Lauren Brandt of The Bulk Herb Store at the National Heirloom Expo last September. This family business, based in Lobelville, Tennessee, sells a huge array of bulk herbs, plus herbal remedy mixes ranging from Arthritis Salve and Heart Health Herbal Smoothie to Stress Zapper and Beautiful Hair natural hair dyes.

In the stack of catalogs that arrive in our mailboxes from October through December, we couldn’t help but admire these sweet painted glass “veggie” ornaments from Poland. Broccoli, radish, tangerine, fig, and pomegranates are available to adorn your tree with the gardening spirit.

Self-taught woodworker Dan Gallagher, whose studio is in Port Perry, Ontario, Canada, began making these deceptively simple-looking wooden garden trugs to sell at the Toronto organic farmer’s market. The frame and handle of this traditional, handmade bent-wood English garden basket are steambent around forms, then each of the slats are hand shaped then steamed and individually fitted into the frame. Each piece is held together with solid copper or brass cut nails. Constructed from a combination of woods, the color will vary from trug to trug. A functional and beautiful carryall for your heirloom produce or daily egg collection.

Find him on by searching “GallagherCarving” or go to

These berry baskets require a double take when you find out they’re made from porcelain. If you love farmer’s market chic but need something that will hold up longer than pulp fiber, take a look at these works of art. Use them in summer for keeping your heirloom tomatoes on the countertop, or use them as the base for a holiday gift basket of homemade comestibles from your pantry.

Living wreaths are not only enchanting, but they’re eco-friendly. Made from succulents which are hand assembled, this wreath includes crassia, lichen, and other comparable varieties that thrive for years, with minimal watering every 6 to 8 weeks.

Mother Earth Gardener
Mother Earth Gardener
Expert advice on all aspects of growing.