The Brewing Shed The Veg Plot

Bunch of fives: digging and swigging Christmas gifts

Gardening gifts for Christmas

If you’re anything like us then 51 weeks just isn’t long enough to buy Christmas presents. With the festive clock taunting with every tick, Santa’s sack barely has a bulge in it and we’re already thinking about handing out the goodies ‘when we see you in the new year’. So in the season of goodwill we would like to share with you our last minute Christmas offerings for those digging and swigging pals.

1. For the beer drinker
You could buy them beer. It’s not exactly hard to find at this time of year. But we suggest you show a bit more imagination and serve up the latest book from our favourite merry-maker, Andy Hamilton. Brewing Britain: The Quest for the Perfect Pint documents where to find the best beers and how to make your own.
Available here

2. For the veg grower
A trawl through our website will show we’re rather fond of growing unusual veg, such as oca and huauzontle. And the place we invariably turn to for these other worldy delights? Sowing stalwarts, Real Seeds. Fill your basket with whatever curiosities take your fancy and demand you get a share of the harvest.

3. For the home brewer
We buy most of our drinks making kit from online warehouses and dingy home brew shops. Perfectly acceptable practice, but rarely do they have items fancy enough for gifts. So we’re pleased to have discovered Oak Homebrew, who create handmade kits with natural ingredients and thorough instructions, all delivered in beautiful packaging. What better way to give someone the brewing bug.

4. For someone fruity
Fruit plants are the gifts that keep on giving. And as winter is the perfect time to get some fresh air and bury their roots in the garden or container, they make an excellent seasonal gift. The masters of all things fruity are the good folk at Blackmoor nurseries – their site is rammed with every from of fruit available and their growing advice is second to none.

5. For charity
This Christmas we’ll be knocking back plenty of our boozy concoctions with a mixture of delight and caution – mainly because we’re still unsure how most of them have turned out. But for many folk, alcohol is no fun matter. So if you’re really stuck for a present for someone that has everything we suggest you make a charitable donation instead. And this year we’d like to recommend alcohol concern as a worthy recipient of some festive good will.


Note: since writing this piece we’ve also been contacted by Rehab 4 Addiction asking us to mention their services. So here goes…

Rehab 4 Addiction offers a free helpline dedicated to assisting people suffering from drug, alcohol and mental health problems. Rehab 4 Addiction was founded in 2011 by people who overcame drug and alcohol addiction themselves. You can contact Rehab 4 Addiction on 0800 140 4690.


  • Some great ideas there, I’ve passed them on to the wife and kids just in case. The Oak Homebrew, kits are very good and ideal for the BIAB all grain brewing method that I use.

    We are all set for booze here this Xmas, all country wines made by ourselves bottled and ready, all 32 of them (750ml bottles) “Hic” not to mention the BEER!!!

    Merry Xmas guys, soon be time for us all to start planting down on the allotments.

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