Good Gift Giving for the not-so-Crafty

  • By Good Earth
  • 03 May, 2017

Put down the glue gun and no one will get hurt...

In a perfect world, we would remember every birthday, holiday, anniversary, or special occasion, and have ample time to create a thoughtful, handmade gift specifically designed with the recipient in mind.

Admit it: we don't always have the time for that! Life has a tendency to get in the way of crafting. But you musn't berate yourself if your Pinterest boards go untouched for another season; if you don't have the time to design, shop for, and create a gift by hand. The art of gift-giving is knowing who is receiving the item(s) and choosing that which will be meaningful to them.

Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week: May 8 - 12

School is almost out for the summer, and our educators have worked so hard all year - it's time to show them how much we appreciate them! Good Earth has a wide selection of local products that teachers can enjoy during their well-deserved summer break! We've put together some fun, thoughtful gift ideas based around activities that teachers may not have time for during the year.
"Eating a leisurely breakfast" - almost as good as breakfast in bed

Palmetto Farms cornmeal pancake mix
Byne Blueberry Farms syrup
Black Porch Coffee Co. organic coffee
The Dutch Kettle jams, jellies or nut butters
Assorted fresh fruits
"Dinner and a movie at home" - pasta meal ingredients and munchies

Amish Made pasta
Oliver Farms nut oil
Fresh basil potted plant
Assorted heirloom tomatoes and other fresh vegetables
Troyer popcorn
Rackroad Country assorted candies and snacks
"Going for a hike" - trail mix ingredients for a day of activity

Stone Mountain Pecan Co. pecan halves
Watanut Peanut Butter & Jelly Time nut mix
Rackroad Country sesame sticks
Rackroad Country chocolate raisins
Verdant Kitchen cristallized ginger
Assorted dried fruits
"Vegging on the couch" - snacks (because you are an adult and you can)

´╗┐
´╗┐Cheerwine cola
Chinaberry cheese straws
Proper Pepper pimento cheese
Amish Made kettle-cooked potato chips
"Spending time in the garden" - bask in the peace and quite of nature

Mix and match:
Potted herbs (various sizes)
Potted vegetable plants
Potted flowers
Gardening tools and gloves
Terra cotta planter pot
Assorted vegetable seeds
"Shopping for yourself" - the freedom to choose 

Gift cards are always a good idea. By giving a teacher - or anyone! - a Good Earth gift card, you will be allowing them to choose from any area of the store. From the gardener to the gourmand, we have something for everyone!
The art of gift giving is truly that: an art. These gift ideas were inspired by teachers, but they are not limited to the educator crowd. Know anyone who likes to hike, garden, cook, snack, or shop local? Turn to Good Earth, and we'll help you out! Sure, handmade gifts are as fulfilling to receive as they are to make, but for the time-pressed or crafting-challenged, a well selected gift is even better.

Good Earth Summer Series

By Good Earth 24 May, 2017

I'm talking about y'all. And about me, for that matter.

I am new to Augusta. My family are part of the wave of military families flocking to Fort Gordon. I have two kids, a job, hobbies, interests, and no experience in a garden whatsoever.

When I arrived in Augusta last June, Georgia was experiencing a particularly hot summer. In fact, every person I met kindly pointed out that the summer of 2016 was exceptionally stifling. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only one suffering, but it did not make me want to venture outside much. 

My handy husband, on the other hand, found himself bit by the Pinterest bug. While I was alternating between AC and pool time, he went to work building me these pretty impressive raised garden beds .

By Good Earth 24 May, 2017
Add that to the list of things you never thought you'd say (but will).

I mean, come on. Who really pays attention to the quality of a baking potato? Potatoes just are what they are: brown, kind of lumpy, and really delicious with butter and salt. 

That's what you likely think until you talk to a potato farmer. "I had no idea there were different grades of potatoes," Good Earth owner Rick Catts admits, echoing what the rest of us are thinking. "The truth is, in the same way there are different types of apples, there are also different types of potatoes!"

Indeed, until you have tried a Pink Lady or a Honey Crisp apple, you may think that the Red Delicious  is the only (and therefore the best) apple on the stand. 

The Burbank baking potato is like the Honey Crisp of the potato family. It's flesh is more flavorful and buttery than any Idaho or Russet you'll ever bake. 
By Good Earth 12 May, 2017
I'm a big fan of anything that falls under the "fix it and forget it" category. Because the truth is, I usually do anyway.A busy mom of two, I basically have two treatments for vegetables: roasted or grilled. Recipes that involve both of these techniques tend to involve the same simple ingredients: vegetables, oil, salt and pepper. The prepping process, too, is minimal. 

Lend me your ears
It's now May, and corn on the cob season is underway. Corn on the cob as a side dish is the epitome of simple. Growing up I always had it boiled, rolled in butter, and generously coated in table salt. My mom had these corn holders that looked like little ears of corn, themselves, and they stuck out of either side of the cob so we could hold them without getting our fingers coated in butter. Funny: they never seemed to work that well, and I recall quite a bit of finger-licking occurring once the kernels were eaten.

Anyway... Now that I'm the mom, I don't have the time or patience that mine did to boil corn - let alone to shuck it. Enter: Good Earth.

Now, I have heard about grilling corn, but I hadn't even got on board. However today , because 1) the price was right, and 2) it's in season,  I grabbed a few ears of pre-shucked corn and a few still in the husk. (I also picked up zucchini and squash , portobello mushrooms, and a "broccoflower," because as long as the grill is on, I might as well toss on some extras veggies.)

By Good Earth 11 May, 2017
Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is easy to grow in a home garden, so everybody does. When summer rolls around, zucchini and squash are abundant and available at great prices at your local farmer's market. Suddenly, everyone's got tons of zucchini and only one or two ideas for how to transform it into something edible (think: zucchini bread). 

I love zucchini bread as much as the next person. After all, I have two children, and sometimes adding a vegetable to a baked treat might be the only way to get it past them at all. (Note to self: make zucchini bread)

The thing is, I just don't have time to bake right now. Still, I do have a food budget, and when zucchini is available at a bargain, I just can't pass it up. And because its cute little yellow squash cousin is almost always the same price - and it adds a splash of color - I'll grab a few of those as well. 
By Good Earth 03 May, 2017
In a perfect world, we would remember every birthday, holiday, anniversary, or special occasion, and have ample time to create a thoughtful, handmade gift specifically designed with the recipient in mind.

Admit it: we don't always have the time for that! Life has a tendency to get in the way of crafting. But you musn't berate yourself if your Pinterest boards go untouched for another season; if you don't have the time to design, shop for, and create a gift by hand. The art of gift-giving is knowing who is receiving the item(s) and choosing that which will be meaningful to them.
By Good Earth 29 Apr, 2017
Wait...is that a joke?

Okay, so tomatoes and mangoes aren't a classic duo, but they do have a few things in common: they are both fruits (yes, even you, tomato); they both taste great in salsa; and they are both essential to this unique recipe that was conceived by Good Earth's resident chef. Props to you, Carmen!

If you have not yet been bitten by the salty/sweet bug (think: salted caramel - or chocolate!), this recipe will bring you over to the dark side. Crispy phyllo shell cups, a bed of melted cheese - always a winner! - and a heaping helping of the aforementioned fruits, marinated in local honey. What more could you ask for? If you say "basil," then you are ready for the full recipe! 

Here it is, y'all!

Recipe:
Makes 15 cups
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 min

1 package mini fillo shells (we recommend Athens brand)
1 ripe mango, finely diced
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, finely diced
2 tbsp Byne Blueberry Farm local honey
1 lemon
4 oz Troyer mozzarella cheese, grated
8-10 basil leaves, julienned
kosher salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While oven is preheating, combine diced mango, tomatoes, honey, the juice of 1 lemon in a bowl. Allow ingredients to marinate and flavors to meld. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the filling is prepared, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fillo cups on baking sheet and fill with 1 tsp grated mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, until cups are crispy and cheese is melted. 

Remove cups from oven and allow them to cool slightly. Fill cooled fillo cups with tomato-mango filling. Top with a few strips of julienned basil.

Enjoy at room temperature!



By Good Earth 14 Mar, 2017
Broccoli and casserole seem to go hand-in-hand. But sometimes, even a casserole requires too much effort. Roasting broccoli is incredibly simple; the result is impressive and unexpectedly good. Serve with grilled salmon or steaks, and you'll be hooked on this side dish. It's actually healthy (but no one will notice).
By Good Earth 13 Mar, 2017
Asparagus has gotten a bad rap. For years it was served blanched or boiled to death, which is hardly appealing. But, like so many other green vegetables, even delicate asparagus spears can be roasted. The heat gives the tips a crispy texture and a smoky, caramelized flavor. When you are tired of green beans, roasted asparagus are a perfect, classy alternative.
By Good Earth 13 Mar, 2017
It's been said that bacon makes everything better. In this recipe, bacon's Italian cousin dresses up simple asparagus and turns it into something fancy. After a simple drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of S&P, and a quick trip into the oven, your next favorite appetizer/side dish is ready to serve. The best part: this is one of those super-simple recipes that will dazzle your dinner guests - and it takes almost no effort at all to make!
By Good Earth 10 Oct, 2016
Not only is it fall, but it's apple season! Depending on your use of the apples you purchase, you may need some guidance on which apples are best for: baking, sauces, butter..the list goes on. ...Or maybe you're wanting to get several different kinds of apples but aren't quite sure what the taste or texture is. 

Well, you've come to the right place. We've jotted down descriptions of each of the apple varieties to make things a little easier!

Red Delicious : A creamy texture and a sweet, tart flavor; this relatively soft apple is quite the all-purpose apple. You can bake it, cook it, or just enjoy it raw.

Fugi : Hailing from Japan, this sweet fleshed apple is great for storing.

Jonathan : A classic American heirloom, with a crisp bite and lots of juice. Its flavor is mildly sweet with a subtle hint of tang and spice. Great for baking!

Granny Smith : A native of Australia, this large, firm, tart apple can be eaten alone, or baked into a delicious dessert.

Gala : Aromatic and juicy! Great for slicing or just sinking your teeth into.

Rome : With its thick and firm flesh, this apple is primarily used for baking, as cooking will only cause its flavor to deepen.

McIntosh : This soft fleshed apple is perfect for making apple sauce or butter; but not necessarily for baking.

Golden Supreme : An all-purpose apple! Ideal for salads, sauces, freezing, or just taking a big bite out of.

Honey Crisp : A sweet, firm, tart apple that explodes with flavor when eaten raw. 
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