Valley Bounty: Homemade Gifts

If you like the idea of giving homemade gifts using local ingredients, but didn’t stock your pantry all summer long, never fear! There are lots of delicious gift ideas using what’s in season now. Options range from sweet to savory to crunchy, including pumpkin or apple butter, caramelized onion jam, or pickled carrots, daikon, or radishes. Thinly sliced apples, dried to crispiness in a low oven, make a treat for kids or teachers.

By Margaret Christie


Find your ingredients at winter farmers’ markets or at retailers that prioritize local sourcing.

Here’s our guide to local gift giving — at the top you’ll find links to producers of all kinds of prepared foods made with local ingredients.


 Pumpkin butter recipe, plus an explanation of why this one should be refrigerated or frozen, not canned.

Apple Butter

Balsamic Onion Jam

Pickled carrots and daikon, plus a good explanation of the principles of pickling vegetables at Food in Jars.

Oven-Dried Apple Chips