With Christmas just around the corner, time is of the essence if you still haven’t wrapped up your gift buying for the season. If you haven’t yet found a special gift for the homesteader, gardener, or home cook in your life, I’ve got a few ideas to help you finish off your list.
The main thing to keep in mind when buying a gift for a homesteader or someone who wants to start living a “from scratch” lifestyle is that practical gifts, such as tools and supplies, while being a no-no for a lot of people, are actually a big “yes, please” for homesteaders.
Homesteading can look different for different people, and there’s probably an aspect of homesteading that your friend or relative focuses on more than others. Are they obsessed with their vegetable garden? Do they keep a variety of animals? Do they hunt or fish? Do they keep bees? Are they most often found in the kitchen making meals for their family from scratch? Knowing your loved one’s focus is key to finding a gift they will enjoy.
Here are a few gift ideas for homesteaders who love to garden, cook, or raise poultry.
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Gifts for Gardeners
- Gift certificate to a reputable online seed company. You know, gift certificates can sometimes feel a little impersonal, as if the person giving it just couldn’t come up with anything or doesn’t know the recipient enough. But, honestly, for a gardener, the gift of being able to browse the seed catalog with a little more in the budget for buying the seeds that will ultimately help feed their family is pretty awesome. Jung Seed Co. is a tried-and-true seed provider for our home. And for the homesteader who grows only non-hybrid, heirloom varieties so that they can save seeds, a gift certificate from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds might be just the right gift.
- Gardening books and planners. While gardening at its core is simple – all you need is good soil, seeds, water, and sun – gardening to feed a family and getting the most out of it for your effort takes a fair amount of knowledge and planning. Anyone who’s not a master gardener already will probably appreciate the extra resource, especially if it’s on a topic that you know they’ve been meaning to learn more about. For family garden planning, check out Melissa K. Norris’ The Family Garden Planner or The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook.
- Gardening tools. A good pair of gardening gloves might just be the gift they’ve been wanting without knowing it. Even good gloves wear out after a few years, and they’re one of those things a gardener can forget to replace (because they’d rather spend the money on seeds). Pruning shears are another handy tool for gardeners to have since there seems to always be something just a little too thick for scissors to cut through. If you know your friend or relative starts seeds indoors, they may appreciate seed starting supplies, such as a grow light, heat mat, or starter cells. For seed starting beginners, there are many styles of starter kits available.
- Fresh flowers. The winter months can be rough for a gardener who loves to be surrounded by growth and green life. While we often think of sending flowers for funerals, Valentine’s day, and birthdays, there’s nothing saying you can’t send them for Christmas. Local florists are still in business when the snow flies thanks to indoor growing, and many offer special holiday-themed bouquets and gifts. You can also try ordering flowers online and sending them directly to your recipient with a company like BloomsyBox, or if you plan on doing it yourself and making several bouquets to hand out to friends and family, you can buy flowers in bulk from sites like Blooms by the Box.
Gifts for Home Cooks
- Wooden cutting boards make a beautiful, yet practical, gift for someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Giving one made by a local craftsperson will make the gift extra special.
- Dish towels and decorative tea towels. They might not sound like the most exciting gift, but a quality set of dish towels or a few decorative tea towels are nice gifts for home cooks because the dish towels that get used daily can end up stained, and it’s always nice to have clean towels and decorative towels to use when company is around.
- High-quality knives. Having a sharp, high-quality knife can make life in the kitchen a lot easier. It’s a gift that will be used daily.
- The Instant Pot. This versatile tool is a huge timesaver in the kitchen. Besides making whole meals, you can also make your own yogurt, cook rice, make salves, and more.
- A dehydrator. While it’s not necessary to have a dehydrator to dry herbs, it makes it fast and easy to dry large volumes of herbs at a time. Plus, it allows the home cook to preserve a wide variety of other foods very quickly while still being able to use the oven for daily cooking.
Gifts for Homesteaders Who Raise Poultry
- Chicken coop heater. If you know that your friend or relative doesn’t have one already, and you know they have a way of plugging it in, a chicken coop heater can be a great gift that helps them keep their beloved flock warm during the cold, snowy months.
- Bag of mealworms. This one probably sounds a little gross to give as a Christmas gift, but the birds love them. Whether your friend is the “crazy chicken lady” or “crazy duck lady”, they’ll be happy to be able to give their flock a nice treat.
- An egg-collecting apron or an egg basket. If your friend has a nice big flock of ducks or chickens for the eggs, they’ll appreciate a convenient way to collect all the eggs.
Choosing a Gift for a Homesteader
Homesteaders tend to appreciate very useful items – the ones that make life a little easier, including homemade food items, soaps, and personal care items, tools, kitchen gadgets, utility knives, axes, ammunition, really good boots, such as Muck Boots, socks, and a whole lot more.
If you don’t know your homesteader well, you can stick to homemade food items, cutting boards, and the like, but if you know a little bit about what makes the person tick, the sky is the limit because you can give things that will truly make a difference in their day-to-day life.
What’s the best useful gift you’ve ever received? The worst? Let me know in the comments section.