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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A ‘Plant-Based’ Gift Guide

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If you didn’t know a Plant Person before, chances are you do now. The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a botanical boom: A new crop of victory gardeners resulted in a run on seeds; sales of plant-based meat alternatives and other foods soared; as did sales of plants both legal and quasi legal.

Eleven Madison Park, regarded as one of the world’s best restaurants, debuted an all-plant menu (that didn’t delight every diner) in June. And fashion houses from New York to Paris have made commitments to use more plant-based materials in their collections.

The current craze began to take root even before the pandemic, though, with millennials, in part inspired by a cottage industry of “plantfluencers,” spiking purchases of plants in the years leading up to 2020. Like the youngest social media users, some plantfluencers have migrated to TikTok, suggesting that an appreciation for plants may be one of the few things the app’s many Gen-Z users have in common with their elder cohort.

All this to say: A plant-related gift would seem a relatively foolproof option this holiday season. Whether actually plant based or just based on plants, the selection here includes things to satisfy tastes both garden variety and eccentric, from goods made of plant-based materials, to gear for gardening and growing, to fashion for those who would rather wear their plants on their handbag (or feet).

For those who like to consume their plants

Oli & Carol’s broccoli teether.Credit…via Oli & Carol (teether), Gheorghe Mindu/Alamy (background)

“Edible Flowers,” by Monica Nelson, $35

Instead of wrapping up actual edible flowers, Ms. Nelson’s book, published this month, features original photography by Adrianna Glaviano that will teach a reader how to find some themselves.

The Qi Rosy Ritual Set, $70

The flower-based teas from The Qi “bloom” when you brew them inside this set’s included ceramic mug, which is handmade in Brooklyn.

Oli & Carol “Brucy The Broccoli” teething toy, $18.99

For getting little ones into veggies early. This toy is made of natural rubber and there are more options (mushrooms, kale, an avocado) if broccoli isn’t their thing.

“Super Natural Simple,” by Heidi Swanson, $28

A follow-up to The New York Timesbest seller “Super Natural Cooking,” Ms. Swanson’s 2021 cookbook features recipes that Nikita Richardson, a senior staff editor for NYT Food, describes as “bare bones vegetarian cooking with flavor.”

Taika Coffee Sampler Box, $36

The sampler includes Taika’s canned black coffee, oat milk latte and macadamia latte, which contain mushrooms and other adaptogens extracted from plants, making them more plant-based than coffee derived from beans alone. Each can has 100 milligrams of caffeine and is gluten-free and naturally sweetened.

For those who like to wear their plants

Plasticana’s clogs are made of a plastic derived from hemp.Credit…via Salter House (clogs), Alamy (background)

JW Anderson Veggie Belt Tote, $530

Lined in suede, the radish on JW Anderson’s tote bag is portrayed on a canvas made from recycled plastic bottles.

Valley Cruise Press Plants Champion Sweatshirt, $62

A cozy layer for vegging out.

Plasticana Gardening Clog, $62

Plasticana’s clogs, meant for gardening but wearable for most anything, are made in France with a hemp plastic that’s recyclable.

Today Glitter, Silver, from $12

Perhaps you’ve read that most glitters are made with microplastics that can take 1,000 years to biodegrade? This cosmetic glitter is not most. It’s made of BioGlitter Pure, a substance derived from wood harvested to standards set by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, which allows it to safely biodegrade in freshwater, according to even more standards set by TÜV Austria, one of two independent certification agencies authorized by the European Bioplastics association.

Gabriella Kiss Amethyst Plum Earrings, $900

A refined take on stone fruit, Ms. Kiss’s amethyst “plums” are accented by delicate leafs made of gold. There’s a pair of carnelian “peaches,” too.

Ten Over Ten The Celery Oil, $26

This nail treatment’s vegan formula includes celery seed, meadowfoam seed and chia seed oils. Packaged in a roll-on applicator, the brand bills it as “green juice for your nails.”

Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Coin Purse, $120

Ms. Kusama’s takeover of the New York Botanical Garden, in the Bronx, was a highlight of its programming this past year. The pattern on this pouch recalls the dots on the artist’s “Dancing Pumpkin” featured in the exhibition.

For those who like to smell their plants

HA KO’s set of paper incense.Credit…via Rikumo (incense), Aleksandra Kossowska/Alamy (background)

Loewe Large Tomato Leaves Candle, $404

One way to extend tomato season? By burning Loewe’s candle, which lasts for 80 hours and smells, according to the brand, like “the fresh, verdant aroma of the vines just before they burst into fruit.” Medium ($189) and small ($94) sizes are also available.

Binu Binu The Big Block Shaman Charcoal Soap, $75

A one-pound block of soap to plant next to a sink or bathtub that has a base of boricha, a roasted barley tea with antioxidants, and is infused with lavender, cedar and sandalwood essential oils.

HA KO Paper Incense Wooden Box Set of 5 with Incense Mat, $34

Crafted from Japanese washi paper, the five incenses in this set look like fallen tree leaves. Each has a different scent, which include jasmine, cinnamon, sandalwood, citrus and agar wood.

Demeter Dirt, from $6.38

Smelling dirty is gross. But smelling of dirt is evocative. The black-thumbed can use Demeter’s fragrance, first released in 1996, as a way to suggest they’re more capable gardeners. The green-thumbed can use it to transport them to their favorite growing patch.

For those who like to grow their plants

Bamboozle’s Bamboo Compost Bin, in terracotta.Credit…Ty Mecham/Food52 (compost bin), Rachanon Intharasakul/Alamy (background)

Lomi Kitchen Composter, from $499

This sleek countertop composter from Pela, known for its purportedly biodegradable phone cases, turns scraps into soil with the push of a button. Available for pre-order, it will ship domestically by February 2022.

Bamboozle Bamboo Compost Bin, $50

The analog may prefer Bamboozle’s minimalist bins, which come in three matte colors and are made of a bamboo material that the brand claims will biodegrade.

Potting Shed Creations Seed Saver Kit, $27

Seeds, it has been noted, have lately been harder to come by. This kit includes tins, labels and other materials needed to harvest and store those from your own plants.

Sprout Pencils Pack of 8, $15.99

Another way to acquire seeds, each of Sprout’s pencils has a pod at one end that you can plant when you’re done using it. They’ll grow into either herbs, flowers or vegetables.

Haws Indoor Watering Can, $134.95

Arguably the best there is, the watering can has a spout that mimics natural rainfall and a copper body that makes it look like an heirloom.

Snow Peak Camping Bucket Jumbo, $59.95

Constructed to withstand the elements but chic enough for urban gardeners, Snow Peak’s bucket can be used to forage for mushrooms in a forest or transport vegetables from rooftop garden to apartment kitchen.

For those who like to decorate with their plants

Cereria Introna’s candle is made to look like a bulb of fennel.Credit…via Fruit and Flower Shop (candle), EyeEm/Alamy (background)

John Derian Toadstool Clip-On Ornament, $43

Speaking of mushrooms, they’ve had their own moment amid the larger plant boom: People are growing them, designing clothes and accessories with materials made from them, and promoting the health benefits of certain kinds’ psychedelic properties. Simpler than all that, this toadstool is for anyone who enjoys decorating a tree.

Lorena Canals Washable Rug Monstera Leaf, $191.30

Some monstera varieties have sold for four figures. This one would perk up a living room or kids’ room and can be sat on, stood on or drowned (in the washing machine) and it won’t even so much as wilt.

Xnasozi Studio Bogolan Bauhaus Twist Planter, $50

Your everyday terra-cotta planter with a Bauhaus-inspired twist. The graphic lines can be painted in white, black or blue and are done by hand.

Cereria Introna Fennel Candle, $26

The family-run Cereria Introna has been making candles in Italy since 1840. While some take the classic taper form, the most delightful, like this bulb of fennel, are more whimsical.

The Green Vase Poinsettia Plant, $550

A traditional holiday flower, except this one, made of paper by the artist Livia Cetti, can be whipped out year after year.

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