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Nutley’s Advent Calendar

In anticipation of a Christmas unlike any other, Nutley’s has gathered up their creative minds and crafty products to bring you Nutley’s Advent Calendar!

From homemade gifts for your loved ones, to novel ways of decorating your home and garden, we’ll be giving you a new idea to try out every day leading up to Christmas.

For each day of advent, we will be updating this blog with a festive activity or idea to keep you and your little ones entertained throughout the holiday season.

We would love to see your inspired creations from these fun-packed ideas, so be sure to send us your photos to hello@nutleyskitchengardens.co.uk or on social media using the hashtag #NutleysAdvent and we will make sure to give you a big online shout out.

Quickly navigate this page by clicking on the titles below to collapse or expand the text.

 

Do you love the look of a real Christmas tree?

If so, have you considered hiring a tree for the season? There are businesses that replant the tree for the rest of the year, ready to adorn your home once again next year. It is one of the kindest things you can do for the planet.

If you are looking to replant your tree after Christmas, make sure the tree has good roots, and is kept away from heat sources whilst indoors. If you want to buy your tree, an FSC certification shows that the seller complies with the highest social and environmental standards and responsible practices.

 

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Bring your loved ones year-round cheer with a ‘Grow Your Own’ kit. This present has real longevity to it and will suit every level of gardener - from the beginner to the veteran.

Our fantastic array of Nutley’s gift kits include ‘Herbs seed collection tin’, ‘Heritage seeds growing kit’, and our favourite ‘Sloe Gin in a Tin’, which comes with two beautiful glass bottles as well as seeds for your own sloe bush. Not to mention the ‘Grow Your Own Chillies’, and our ‘Old Peculiars vegetables’ kit - we reckon that you will be spoilt for choice.

Show someone you love them with a homemade gift this Christmas. This fabulously fruity, natural lip balm kit is 100% vegan, easy to make, and doesn’t require any specialist equipment!

This kit has everything you need to make five lip balms, which make great stocking fillers, and can easily be slipped in the post.

As well as being completely natural, with no additives or synthetic chemicals, all the ingredients are vegan and not tested on animals. Furthermore, the box and all the contents are 100% biodegradable or recyclable.

Stuck for Christmas ideas? Take 10% off our site at the checkout with the discount code ADVENT10.

Whether you’re shopping for a beauty fanatic or green-fingered gardener, we have a gift for everyone. You can filter our Christmas range into gifts under £10, £25 and £50 to find the perfect present for your loved ones. This discount code is valid until the 25th December 2020.

 

Have you considered making your own gift hamper this year?

Fill a trug, plant pot or hessian grow bag with various gifts, completely personalised for the gardener in your life. We pulled together some Nutley’s present ideas below to get you thinking about the perfect gift set.

Make sure to send us photos of your DIY hamper to hello@nutleyskitchengardens.co.uk or on social media using the hashtag #NutleysAdvent and we’ll give you a big online shout out!

Pictured below:

Ready to mix up your holiday décor? Decorate your Christmas tree with popcorn tinsel – yes, you read that right.

This is a lovely, biodegradable way of decorating your home this Christmas. Simply heat some popcorn kernels in a saucepan and wait until the popping slows down to one or two every few seconds. Then let the popcorn cool while you thread a needle - white or cream thread is best. Using a thimble is advisable too, as the popcorn can be difficult to thread without poking yourself!

It is always advisable to have a bowl of sweet or salty popcorn on hand too, as tinsel making can be hungry work.

The tinsel can last for up to 3 years if stored carefully in zip lock bags, and then put out in the garden for wildlife once you are finished with it!

 

From seed to table, give the gift that keeps on giving.

You can grow your own Nutley's Thomas Etty Tomato Seeds, then harvest and make them into a delicious festive chutney in our Nutley's 280ml Square Jars. You could even give the chutney to your loved ones next year! We’ve even found you an easy recipe you could follow right here.

Stockings and Santa sacks are a staple of any Christmas day, but why not use a hessian sack this year instead?

Not only are hessian bags biodegradable and environmentally friendly, but they can also be used in the garden year-round! That’s right, hessian bags are for life, not just for Christmas.

Looking for a tasty way to use up your winter crops? Try out this creamy winter warmer recipe for a delicious parsnip sauce.

Peel and chop your parsnip, then put it into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until the parsnip is soft. Drain, then put the boiled parsnip, 100ml of single cream (we used Alpro), a splash of milk and a roasted garlic clove into the food processor, and blend until smooth.

This makes a lovely accompaniment to a roast dinner, or to your Christmas menu.

Top with paprika and melted butter for the ultimate Instagram-worthy finish.

If you’re looking for activities to keep little ones busy during the Christmas holidays, why not make a homemade snow globe?

Simply glue your snowman, Santa, or any other character to the inside of a jam jar lid. You can even make your own Christmas character using play-doh or polymer clay and baking it in the oven.

Fill your Nutley’s jar with water, then spray edible glitter, fake snow or other decorations into the jar.

Finish by screwing the lid back on, flip, shake, and enjoy!

Add the personal touch this festive season by infusing alcohols for your friends and family – allowing some for yourself too of course!

This recipe requires: 500g sloes, 250g golden caster sugar and 1 litre of gin.

Rinse the sloes in water, then prick the skins using a knife. At this point, the sloes can be frozen and defrosted again when you are ready to use them.

Tip the gin into a large clip top jar. We recommend the Le Parfait 1 Litre Round Clip Top Jar. Shake the jar to mix the ingredients, then leave to stand for two to three weeks, shaking once a day to ensure the sugar dissolves.

When you are ready to decant your gin, strain it through a muslin cloth into a clean, dry bottle, then seal and label.

The sloe gin is now ready to drink, but it will improve over time, so if you have the patience, make your gin this year to enjoy next Christmas!

We also recommend infusing gin or vodka with grapefruit and jalapeno, but you can try it with any ripe fruit you like. The more creative, the better! Let the alcohol steep for two days in Nutley’s clip top jars, then strain and pour into Nutley’s 1 litre fluted bottles.

Become the envy of your street with a handmade show-stopping wreath.

This is a great activity to do with your family and friends, even if it is over Zoom this year. We would suggest you spend this weekend leisurely, beginning with an afternoon gathering moss, fur, holly berries and other sprigs of beautiful wintry plants.

As the light begins to fade, settle down at your kitchen table with some soft wire, a wooden or plastic frame, and some material to protect your table. You can decorate your wreath with dried fruit, cinnamon sticks or ribbons. Make sure you have an impartial judge to declare the winner!

Share your handiwork with us by sending it to hello@nutleyskitchengardens.co.uk and we’ll make sure to give you a social media shout out.

Get cozy and crafty this Christmas creating festive candles for your family & friends following these simple tips:

  • Grab a glue gun or superglue to stick the candle wick to the base of your jar.
  • Clamp the top of the wick using a clothes peg that is large enough to balance on the top of the jar.
  • Make sure you put some newspaper down so you don’t spill hot wax on any surfaces.
  • Slowly melt your wax in a large pot, stirring to ensure it is properly melted.
  • Add in a few drops of your favourite essential oils, until you reach your desired scent.
  • Carefully pour your hot wax into a prepared jar, and leave to cool until the wax is solid. You can even add dried fruit or pine needles by sticking them to the outside of the jar.

    Why not double up the present and the wrapping this Christmas? As well as reducing the amount of waste, you can give an extra gift, a present within a present!

    For the gardener in your life, wrap your gift in a hessian sack that they can use again and again throughout the year. You can also use scarves, clothes or lengths of material that can be reused and repurposed.

    We tied ours with the Nutscene Striped Twine, which can be used again in the garden.

     

    Seed bombs are a fun and unusual present to receive, so why not make your own?

    • Simply combine 1 cup of seeds, with 5 cups of compost and 2-3 cups of clay powder, or clay soil.
    • Combine the ingredients in a bowl or bucket and splash some water on to moisten. Be careful not to over-wet.
    • Roll together with your hands until the mixture forms balls.
    • Leave near a radiator for a few days to dry out.

    Why not pop them in a paper bag and fasten with ribbon or string?


          Jars with tealights inside make beautiful outdoor lanterns. It is as simple as winding some wire or string around the lip of a Nutley’s glass jar and popping a tea light inside.

          Or, for some indoor lanterns, you can make a Christmas scene with fake snow and figurines.

            Why should the decorations stop at the front door? Take your Christmas decorations outside this year, with Christmas themed treats for birds.

            • Melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil and mix in one cup of birdseed.
            • Stir until the birdseed is completely coated, then carefully spoon into a cookie cutter that is on some baking paper.
            • Make sure to make a hole for the string.
            • Put the mould in the fridge until it is set

            If necessary, flip the decoration over and pour some more melted coconut oil into the mould, to help it stick together.

             

            Looking to take your festive décor up another notch? Get your rosemary plant involved! You can dress it up to look like a miniature Christmas tree using…

            • Star anise sprayed with edible gold glitter
            • Little decorations hung using green thread
            • Dried cranberries as baubles

            How would you decorate yours? Be creative!

            Creating festive tea towels with the little ones is a wonderful way to give meaningful presents guaranteed to brighten up your friends & family’s kitchens.

            Make sure to put some newspaper or other table covering down, as this can get messy!

            Dip your favourite cookie cutters into fabric paint, and print your unique design straight onto the tea towel. The paint normally takes a few days to dry, but can then be run through the washing machine as normal.

             

            Put the fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs from your garden to good use this Christmas by creating scented sachet bags as gifts.

            This would make a thoughtful gift for loved ones and could be put together in as little as 30 minutes!

            Either make your own sachet bags from a hessian sack, old clothes or spare length of material, or buy them online. You can fill the bags with various scents, including:

            • Traditional lavender
            • Festive cloves
            • Dried fruit peels
            • Cinnamon sticks
            • Pine needles.

            Pop a scented sachet bag in your wardrobe or drawers, in your luggage, coat pockets or with your wrapping paper so all your presents smell festive!

             

            Fruit garlands can make a fun and festive addition to the Christmas table, around the fireplace or in the Christmas tree! Just follow these simple steps:

            • Preheat your oven to 140 degrees celsius
            • Cut 1cm slices of your fruits of choice (we recommend orange, pear, grapefruit, lemon and lime!)
            • Place onto a wire rack on a baking tray into a preheated oven for half an hour
            • Take the fruit out of the oven, flip over, then place back into the oven for another half an hour
            • Check on the fruit regularly, as it can quickly start to blacken
            • Leave to cool for ten minutes

            These timings will vary depending on the thickness of the fruit and your desired result.

            Finally, run a needle and thread through the rind - make sure to loop around the rind an extra time, so the fruit stays in place and doesn’t bunch up.

             

             

            Treat Rudolph (and his friends) to some wildlife-friendly festive food this Christmas Eve.

            Combine a handful of wild bird seed, some rolled oats, dried apricots and cranberries (make sure not to use grapes, raisins, sultanas or currants as these can be toxic to dogs), some grated cheese and a hint of chilli powder – this helps to keep Rudolph and his friends nice and warm, and will stop squirrels and rodents from stealing the reindeer snacks! 

            This can be sprinkled in your garden or placed just outside your windowsill for the *reindeer* to tuck into whilst Santa does his job.

             

            Looking for an Instagram-worthy centrepiece this Christmas?

            Chill wine using frozen cranberries! Just pop berries into the freezer or buy a bag pre-frozen at the supermarket. You can either pour the frozen berries into your ice bucket, like in the photo, or spread them out in a shallow tray and cover with water.

            Freeze the tray, then break into pieces using a rolling pin but be careful not to hit too hard! Add to your ice bucket a chilled bottle of fizz.

             

             

            Sometimes it is the little details that make the biggest impact. We know that some of your usual traditions might have been postponed or changed this year, so why not try something new? 

            Filling your window boxes with sprigs or fur and holly, dried cranberries and mistletoe, make a beautiful festive addition to your home. Go on a Christmas Eve nature walk with a trusty pair of secateurs to snip the prettiest sprigs you find. When you get home, arrange them in your window boxes, adding any leftover dried fruits or cinnamon sticks for added detail.  

            Alternatively, you can make a beautiful centrepiece for your Christmas table. Trim the stems using your secateurs and fill your favourite vase with your foraged goods. 

             

             

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