2021 Good Gift Guide
Tuesday, 7th December 2021 by Rachel
christmas tree decoration

In the spirit of supporting local, we wanted to offer you some inspiration for Christmas gifts that support the local economy and reduce your impact on the environment. Wave goodbye to fast fashion, plastic wrapped everything and mass-produced tat and say hello to the Growing Communities top tips for eco gifting this year! We asked the veg packers, delivery workers, growers and office staff for their recommendations for local, meaningful presents and they've come back with such a wonderful array of ideas for food (of course), experiences, subscriptions, local crafts, books and more.
 

The Growing Communities Farmers' Market

Saturday 11 and 18 December @ 10am – 2.30pm

St Paul's Church, N16 7UY

Of course we think our market is the best place to start with your Christmas shopping! Not only can you stock up on seasonal food for all your feasting needs, you can also buy lots of great, ethical, local, handmade gifts in the weeks running up to Christmas. If you're thinking of gifting festive hampers to your loved ones, then you'll find all you need here!

  • Ceramics, plus beeswax candles, jams and chutneys from Alison's Organics.
  • A special Christmas granola mix, made with fruit, nuts and spices from The Breakfast Collective. It comes in a lovely kilner jar and would make a perfect present.
  • This Saturday 11 December Tim Cowen will be back with his beautifully turned bowls, cups and cheeseboards made from fallen local trees.
  • Local honey – The Honey Hydrant will be selling Hackney and Tottenham honey on 11 December, and Becontree Bees will be there on 18 December.
  • Free-range high welfare meat – Fabienne is taking advance orders for turkeys, geese, pies and other cuts of meat. For details, check out our website.
  • Astons Bakehouse – all the usual delicious bread on sale plus mince pies and other festive treats
  • Radical Tea Towel Company on 11 December with all proceeds to Phone credit 4 Refugees
  • Organic cheese from the Bath Soft Cheese company
  • Vegan cheese from Nettle on 11 & 18 December
  • Luxury Chocolates from Niko B


Build you own hamper

Consumable gifts are one of the most eco presents you can give, and what says “comfort and joy” better than a festive hamper of organic foods. There are so many delicious things you can fill a hamper with at the market – pears from Pear Necessities, apple juice from Peach & Pippin, honey, jams, seasonal kimchi and kombucha from Re: Organics, dried mushrooms from the Mushroom Table, Bath Soft Cheese and Nettle vegan cheese. Sorted!

 

Experiences

If you want to move away from giving people more stuff that they probably don't need, what about gifting them an experience?

 

Made in Hackney

Brush up your cooking skills with online classes from Made in Hackney. They also offer gift cards.

 

e5 Bakehouse classes
Choose from a range of sourdough courses, flatbreads, fermentation and jam-making.

 

Make Town

Learn to sew, weave and knit at Make.town studio in Hackney Central – they offer a range of courses and sell craft kits and materials.

 

Migrateful

Learn delicious and authentic recipes from around the world, practise a different language and meet new people for a cultural exchange online and in person.  

Migrateful’s cookery classes help support migrants and refugees struggling to rebuild their lives. They also offer gift vouchers.

 

London Green Wood @ Hackney City Farm

This not-for-profit cooperative and community of green woodworkers brings heritage crafts to the heart of the city to make basic woodcraft skills available to all. They run courses for adults, families or group bookings.

 

 

Books

Vicki hird rebugging the planet book

Who doesn't want to snuggle up with a good book after all the festivities are over? Here's what the GC staff team recommend:

Rebugging the Planet by Vicki Hird – Chelsea Green UK

This brilliant new book from environmental campaigner Vicki Hird (and huge GC supporter) shows us the small changes we can make to have a big impact on our littlest allies – bugs!

 

Designing Regenerative Food Systems by Marina O'Connell

Marina used to sell at our market - she's a super talented biodynamic farmer and she's been a brilliant teacher and mentor to many budding agroecological growers. She's written a book called Designing Regenerative Food Systems. It isn’t out till January, but you can pre-order it.

 

Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer

With the seventy-five recipes in The Green Roasting Tin - half vegan, half vegetarian - you simply pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven do the work. With four recipes for every vegetable and helpful infographics, there is something for everyone. The recipes, which span super-greens to indulgent chillis, take flavour inspiration from around the world.

 

One Pot, One Pan, One Planet by Anna Jones

Hackney's very own Anna Jones has produce a new cook book this year all vegetarian and vegan, geared to minimise waste and maximise taste. She limits the pans and simplifies the ingredients for all-in-one dinners that keep things fast and easy
 

Do Earth: healing strategies for humankind by Tamsin Omond

Do Earth is about collective action and community engagement. It's about healing our relationships with nature, each other and ourselves; and feeling inspired about what the next phase of human evolution might be. With practical guidance and gentle encouragement, Do Earth provides a blueprint for reimagining the world and reviving our beautiful planet.
 

The Garden Jungle by Dave Goulston

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Dave Goulson explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.

 

The Variety of Life by Nicola Davies & Lorna Scobie

A glorious celebration of diversity within the Animal Kingdom with something to delight on every page. This exquisite book will encourage children to treasure the world's biodiversity and help to stop it slipping away.

 

There are bugs everywhere by Britta Teckentrup

Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of animals can be found and all the weird and wonderful things about them that they never imagined were true.

 

Local and ethical products

Hackney Herbal

Hackney Herbal teas

This local social enterprise grows herbs in a patchwork of sites around Hackney and from these they create unique herbal tea blends. The funds from the sales go towards free community activities in Hackney, which bring people together to learn, share knowledge and be inspired by the power of plants.

 

Hempen: hemp & CBD products

Hempen used to be regulars at our market. They're still producing a whole range of organic CBD and other hemp products, and have some of the highest quality around, at comparatively reasonable prices.

 

Radical Tea Towel Company

If you can't make it down to the market on the 11th then you can always purchase their excellent range of tea towels, aprons, tote bags and other household items, adorned with iconic images and quotes from the progressive leading lights of our radical history, from the suffragettes to Nelson Mandela. A perfect gift for the radical in your life.
 

Vegan Outfitters

Ethically crafted apparel with quirky designs that are sometimes lighthearted, and sometimes provocative. With each purchase a donation is made to a UK animal sanctuary! Perfect gift for the vegan in your life.

 

 

Support people changing the food system

Landworkers alliance calendar

Landworkers Alliance 2022 calendar - "Working the Land, Cooling the Planet", featuring 12 beautiful, original lino cuts by Rosanna Morris. Profits are used to fund the brilliant campaiging work of the organisation.
 

Vital Seeds – a seed company working to reverse the decline in seed biodiversity by producing UK-grown organic and open-pollinated seeds you can save your own seed from them year after year. They have a lovely Christmas gift section for the horticulturalist in your life.
 

Permaculture Association - membership, manual, courses T-shirts. Learn about and promote farming that regenerates people and communities.

 

Real Bread campaign - cookbooks, T-shirts, bags and more for the sourdough lover or soon-to-be baker in your life.