Last-minute Thanksgiving table contribution ideas for the outdoors set
Maybe the kitchen isn’t for you. Maybe you’re more of an outdoors-type person. Or maybe you're a both kind of person you just need a breath of fresh air. We don’t blame you; the Thanksgiving preparation scene can get pretty gnarly. But you don’t want to catch any flak for not helping out, so how can you contribute to Thanksgiving without putting anyone at risk of salmonella or, worse, a dry turkey or stab wound?
Here’s an idea: make a found and foraged bouquet! Flower season (yes, flowers have seasons) might be pretty much over for most of the Northern Hemisphere but there are definitely some lovely flora still out there, even in its northern-most reaches (like here in Maine), for those who are willing to go out and look. Plus, you'll be able to put those hard-earned pocket multi-tools to good use.
Head out to your nearest woods or local plant patch or roadside ditch or even your backyard and start poking around. Pines? Spruce? Fir? Maple leaves of all colors? Are you a good enough botanist to spot wintergreen creeping along a forest floor? A few ornamental crabapples still clinging to their branches? Roadside rosehips? All of these things can make an attractive (if amateur) table decoration, and no one will be able to accuse you of lounging around all day or of being in their way. It's a win-win.
We used fallen branches (thanks, windstorm!) and small plants from the yard to make this totally late fall/early winter found flora bouquet, with the help of WildCard's serrated blade edge when we needed it. Coloring oak leaves, fragrant pine twigs, yellowing Solomon's seal, green and drying ferns, and dried flowers and seed pods all came together in this nice little arrangement. Plus, it only took about 20 minutes of searching, cutting, and picking to put it all together (arranging time not included). Add a little extra flair to the vase and hide your unattractive stems and branches by shoving some extra conifer in the bottom and you've got a centerpiece that's dressed to impress!
And please, always remember to be a responsible forager. Only clip from healthy-looking plants; and for small ones, only take ones that have plenty of friends around. You don’t want to deplete vulnerable populations, or put a plant at risk of survival. Do some reading up on responsible foraging (this post sets out some useful guidelines) before you head out into the wild, but we bet you can create a fun, seasonal table arrangement with clippings from your yard, roadside trees, and other low-impact locations. You can do it!