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Ask Garden Eats: Have A Very California Healthy Gift Idea?

Q: My husband’s grandmother is from southern California and now lives in Florida. I think she really misses it because it is all she talks about. You guys always talk of your love for SoCal-what’s a fun gift for a native that enjoys gardening, food, travel and eco-friendly ideas?

Janis Coral Gables Florida

Garden Eats: Oh, that’s an easy one! Especially since we recently took a trip to a great southern California treasure, Santa Barbara! Here are a few items I returned to San Diego with in my bag.

From top to bottom:

1. Edible Santa Barbara: seasonal magazine featuring the food, wine and community. Edible has one for almost all major US cities by the way!
2. Clean Well Natural Sanitizer: I carry this alcohol free natural hand-sanitizer on all trips!
3. Dwell Magazine: features modern design and eco-living from all over the world, but often features the SoCal region.
4. Viva Oliva: carefully hand-crafted vinegar made locally in the Santa Barbara region. We chose a vanilla and jalapeno infused variety.
5. Zaca Mesa Wine: one of our favorite wineries-we love them for their beautiful vineyards and small-batch, on-site creations. We chose the Viognier and the vintage Cab.
6. Organic Seeds: these pockets of seeds were a gift to us from the botanical garden in Santa Barbara. California varieties grow quite well in Florida as well.

Although you might not be in California, all can be readily purchased online and in fine specialty stores. Tell them Garden Eats sent you!

This entry was posted in: Ask Garden Eats


C H R I S T I N E Dionese, co-founder of flavor ID and Garden Eats is an integrative health & food therapy specialist, medical & food journalist. She has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. To balance the more serious side of her work, she loves to concoct, write about and connect people through food & drink. You can check out her latest work at The Chalkboard Magazine, The Fullest and Rochester's Boomtown Table. Christine lives, works and plays between Southern California & Upstate New York.


  1. Send her some food. California is a top producer of almonds and walnuts, among other things that they probably don’t grow in Florida. Sun-dried tomatoes.

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