11 Dec 2020

Feather Your Winter Nest

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Whether shopping for your own home, or looking for a gift for a friend, choose Real Maine.  Maine agricultural businesses, such as farm stores and farmers’ markets, are convenient locations to find unique items. You can also find locally made agricultural products in retail stores in your area. It’s easy to get cozy at home this winter with Real Maine agricultural products! Here are a few items we suggest to raise anyone’s spirits during the dark days of winter:

Great scents for your home:

Close-up of a crate full of in bloom lavender bundles
Dried sprays of lavender look pretty and smell wonderful. They look lovely displayed in a basket or vase, or hung for display.

With houses buttoned up to keep out the cold, natural products can help keep things smelling fresh and pleasant. Soaps from local producers are readily available at farm stores, shops, and even feed stores, and can be used for cleaning up or to freshen a closet, drawer, or even the car! Lavender is an increasingly popular crop in Maine, and many farms offer dried lavender in bouquets and wreaths, or in products like sachets and potpourri. Some farms, like Moore Manor Lavender in Stetson, make online ordering easy.

Local soaps are available in delightful scents.

Get cozy:

Angora and wool are among the fibers dearest to connoisseurs, and both are produced in Maine. Wrap yourself up on a cold winters day in warm Maine fiber products. Wool blankets or soft socks are just what you need when the snow starts to fall. Is there a crafter on your gift list? They might love some gorgeous, locally made yarns dyed in rich, natural hues. (Check out our our “Gifts for the Knotty or Nice” post for more ideas for the crafters in your life!)

Flowers and greenery:

By mid-December the outdoor colors have faded and there is little color in the landscape. However, it’s easy to bright your home with plants. Poinsettias come in a range of red, white, and pink tones, and many sizes. Looks for them at greenhouses and garden centers in your area.

Some garden centers and florists also offer bulbs for winter color. Amaryllis bulbs are often sold potted and ready to go. Paper white narcissus bulbs are easy to plant in pebbles or soil and bloom quickly. Hyacinths and tulips can be chilled in the refrigerator for late winter forcing. And for the gardener in your life, pick up some packets of seeds for winter gifts. Nothing is more encouraging than planning a future garden on a cold winter’s night!

Amaryllis bulbs produce stunning flowers to offer as gifts or decorate your home. With proper care, they will bloom year after year. (These are from Lazy Acres Farm.)

Local Wines
Local wines and ciders make your holiday meal particularly special. The labels and packaging tend to be colorful and unique, making them perfect for gift-giving.

Sip and relax:

A quiet evening at home in the winter months is the perfect time to relax with a glass of your favorite Real Maine wine. With varieties from traditional red to light and fruity pear or apple aperitifs or an emerging favorite wild Maine blueberry sparkler, Maine wineries have something to pair with every meal and mood. A special bottle of wine also makes a memorable gift. Or try a selection of ciders to give as a gift. You can find Maine wines, ciders, and brews at locally owned groceries (like TradeWinds markets), at cooperative markets (like the Blue Hill Co-op), health food stores (like the Natural Living Center), and at some liquor stores.

Soothing teas and tinctures:

For yourself or the friend who has everything, consider selecting an aromatic tea or herbal syrup. A steaming cup of a traditional herbal tea (also called a “tisane,”), such as chamomile or mint, is soothing on a cold day. Or look for something more exotic, with fruits, flowers, and spices, to stimulate the senses. Many herbalists offer shrubs, tinctures, and syrups that are flavorful and may offer health benefits as well. 

Herbal teas bring the scents and flavors of summer to your favorite mug, to warm your hands and heart. (Try teas from Great North Woods for the flavors of Aroostook County!)

Find ways to buy these items and more at www.RealMaine.com, where you can search for particular products, seek local places to shop, look for online purchasing options, and more. Get cozy at home this season with Real Maine winter home products!