Local Unique Homegrown Holiday Gifts You'll Feel Good About Giving! #smallshopSaturday
Today is Shop Small Saturday! You can use this guide to support local, small businesses. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to support local makers, purveyors and artisans, rather than checking off our gift list with generic mass-produced items. But how do we choose among the many local options for brightening the holidays of our closest friends and family?
While it’s easy to turn to the safe staples—bestselling books, gift cards and big-name brands—our sprawling community of accomplished cooks, farmers and artisans encourages us to choose something more special and unique.
My Texas Market—Monthly Subscription Boxes
My Texas Market is the gift that keeps giving. The online market organizes a small-batch box of purveyor vittles and farmers market provisions, delivered every month. Wondering what you’ll find inside the mysterious boxes? Think raw Texas honey, natural bug repellent, handmade cards, savory bacon jam, chewy soft caramels, ghost pepper and blueberry hot sauce—let your imagination run rampant.
What’s more, a portion of My Texas Market’s proceeds feeds right back into the community to benefit the Houston Food Bank, so you can relish in your monthly goods with the knowledge you’re giving back to those who need it most.
Subscription gift-boxes range from $35 for one month to $195 for six months.
Urban Harvest—Gardening Courses
The Texas harvest is a complicated trade. Understanding the state’s unpredictable climate, peak growing seasons and dependable and notso- dependable produce requires time, attention and practice. Instead of purchasing a high-price bottle of imported Spanish wine or those impersonal J. Crew cashmere sweaters, consider giving the gift of knowledge.
Urban Harvest offers a plethora of informative, affordable courses for the Houston community. Students have the opportunity to learn about Texas citrus, seed shopping, vegetable gardening, composting, small space gardening and much more.
Garden Dreams Houston—Jams & Jellies
Garden Dreams, an award-winning jam maker, whips up a host of preserves using homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs from their verdant farm and from other local vendors, including Animal Farm and Plant It Forward.
Utilizing small-batch preparation, sustainable food practices and lesser-known produce such as pawpaw, Atomic Red carrots and wild persimmons, Garden Dreams creates such flavors as Texas Sunrise Marmalade, Drunken Tomato Jam, Carrot Cake Jam, Wine Jelly, Strawberry Fields Forever Jam and Heavenly Hibiscus Jelly. See also page 18 for cheese pairing suggestions!
Garden Dreams Houston are a weekly vendor at Urban Harvest Eastside farmers market, Saturday 8am–noon.
We thought we had our fill of homemade soaps and their elaborate shapes, scents and sizes. Art Soap, however, has taken us by surprise. Owner Rona Rollins utilizes essential oils and all-natural ingredients devoid of detergents and animal testing to produce these soothing, fancy-free local soaps.
An array of patterns including horses, boots, Celtic knots, geishas, pigs and more fill the confines of our favorite purchase: the soap cigar box. This versatile box features a personalized collection of soaps and their signature essential oils, perfumes and molds.
Layne Victoria Lynch—Houston-born, Houston-raised—seeks out culinary adventures whenever and wherever they present themselves, often documenting her curiosities and discoveries in publications like Texas Monthly, Food Network Magazine, and Edible.