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Holiday Gift Ideas from UF/IFAS’ “Shop Around the Corner”

The holidays are almost here, and many of us are already making plans to see friends and relatives, shopping for gifts, and settling in with a cup of warm cocoa (even if it’s 80 degrees outside) to watch some classic holiday movies. One lesser-known gem is “The Shop Around the Corner,” with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, a romantic comedy set in a small shop in Budapest preparing for the holiday rush.

Here on the University of Florida campus, tucked away on a quiet side road, UF/IFAS Extension has its own little “shop around the corner” that houses some of the most engaging and useful gifts available in the state of Florida.

The UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore has hundreds of books, ID decks, posters, stationary, clothing and other items related to gardening, landscaping, nature, cooking and Florida living. We just might happen to have the perfect gift, especially for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.


And if you have trouble finding the bookstore, don’t worry—you can visit our website at

For the Chef

The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning — Canning is a great way to preserve garden-fresh foods and carry on family traditions. This is the quintessential guide to safely and effectively select, prepare, can or pickle fruits, vegetables, poultry, red meats and even seafood. $19.00

Pickled, Fried, and Fresh: Bert Gill’s Southern Flavors—Bert Gill is a Gainesville legend whose special talent is for capturing the delicious essence of north Florida’s cookery. Be sure that the person you give this to invites you over for dinner. $26.95 

Other items: UF/IFAS Extension apron; UF/IFAS reusable grocery tote

Gift set: An autographed copy Pickled, Fried, & Fresh cookbook with an UF/IFAS Extension apron.


For the Gardener

Florida Gardeners Handbook—There are so many choices for gardening in Florida that it’s hard to know where to start. This guide by central Florida’s leading experts will introduce the gardener on your list to over 300 Florida native plants, with water-wise gardening tips and to-do calendars to make their gardens flourish. $24.99

Your Florida Landscape—This perennial favorite is the complete guide to planting and maintaining landscapes the Florida-friendly way. The person who receives this will be thanking you with backyard barbecues and garden parties for years to come. $19.95

Other items: Master Gardener fishing hat; Master Gardener flower pot mug

Gift set: Florida Gardeners Handbook and Master Gardener Sunhat or Climate-Wise Landscaping and a Master Gardener flower pot mug

For the Outdoor Adventurer

Backcountry Trails of Florida – Open a path to discovery for the trekker who receives this guide to 100 off-the-grid trails, the ecosystems they wind through, and plans for the perfect outdoor adventure. $19.95

Florida’s Edible Wild Plants – The amateur botanist or curious epicure on your list will appreciate this identification guide and recipe book for beautyberry cake, sea grape jelly and other wild edibles that are as safe as they are delicious. $16.95

Other items: UF/IFAS stainless steel water bottle; UF/IFAS safari hat

Gift set: Backcountry Trails of Florida and UF/IFAS stainless steel water bottle

For the Budding Naturalist

Florida Butterfly Encounters – The next Jane Goodall or David Attenborough could be exploring your backyard this holiday. This set of easy-to-read booklets introduces lepidopterists of all ages to 50 common Florida butterflies, butterfly watching basics, creating a butterfly garden, and more. $8.00

Helpful, Harmful, Harmless – This sturdy pocket identification guide can help anyone tell a good or harmless bug from a destructive or stinging bug at a glance. It also makes a great gift for the gardener. $18.00

Other items: Sustainability stickers; Freshwater Plants Jigsaw Puzzle

Gift set: Freshwater Plants Jigsaw Puzzle and a set of Sustainability stickers

For Turtle Lovers of All Ages

One in a Thousand: Those Amazing Sea Turtles – This lovely book is written for young readers, but it’s filled with research-based information about the only remaining sea turtle species, their biology, ecology and efforts to save these beautiful creatures from extinction. $15.00

Gift set: One in a Thousand, Give Sea Turtles a Safe Path poster, sea turtle plush toy

For Florida Lovers

Journal of Light: The Visual Diary of a Florida Nature Photographer – John Moran is a name that will quicken the pulse of any true Florida lover. This book is Moran’s definitive statement on his life, art and philosophy, illustrated by his breathtaking photographs of Florida’s majestic beauty.

A Land Remembered—Patrick Smith’s best-selling historical novel is the sweeping saga of three generations of Florida pioneers. Those who want to know what the state was like before Disney, NASA and the I-4 corridor will come away amazed. $14.95

Judge Platt: Tales from a Florida Cattleman – Florida cattle country used to be the “wild west” of the South, and Judge Platt’s yarns make the sights and sounds of the cracker prairie come to life. A worthy non-fiction companion to A Land Remembered.  $14.00

Other items: gator lapel pin

Gift set: A Land Remembered and a gator lapel pin

The UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore will have an open house on Friday, December 7 on the University of Florida campus at 1374 Sabal Palm Drive in Gainesville. We also visit Master Gardener events and plant sales around the state. To see about future events, get directions or order online, please visit, or follow us on Facebook at @UFIFASNews and on Twitter at @UF_IFAS.