Gift buying is challenging. In an effort to help you with some gift suggestions, I asked homesteaders what was on their wish list. Here are some of the more UNhelpful responses:
- A mate for an angora rabbit
- A four-wheeler
- Two cords of wood, delivered and stacked
- A good man
- A good woman
- A tractor
- A root cellar
- A copper still
- A chicken coop
- A greenhouse
- Solar panels
So now that you’ve gotten a chuckle out of the way, you’re probably still left needing some good ideas. Homesteaders are independent, practical sorts. Chances are that they will appreciate something useful, so I’ve gathered some eggstra special gift ideas for you.
Fresh eggs are a natural work of art. The crazy chicken lady (or man) on your gift list might enjoy an egg dispenser for their counter where they can enjoy the fruit of their hens’ labor, and where they’re handy for whipping up some scrambled eggs or a cake. (Eggs that haven’t been washed or refrigerated can be safely kept at room temperature for up to two weeks.)
Also for the chicken-lover in your life, I’m proposing that you surprise them with a xylophone. Why? On the homestead our livestock double as entertainment. Watch these videos of chickens making music: “Musical Chickens” or “BACH, BACH Chickens”
My husband and I each have a pair of Muck Boots. When we were new homesteaders they came highly recommended, and now it’s my turn to recommend them to you. They keep my feet amazingly warm and dry during the winter. They are very durable – I’ve had mine many years and they’re in great condition. When you have to get outside to tend to animals, tromping through mud and manure, filling water tanks, and such, you’ll be glad to have a pair of these. You can even wear them with your nightgown to go out and close up the chickens in the middle of the night. They come in different styles and sizes.
Wool clothing was on one homesteader’s list. Merino wool is considered the best because of it’s ability to absorb moisture without becoming damp and clammy. It also acts as a natural insulator. Socks are not only affordable and fit a range of sizes, but they’re one of the most practical gifts you can give. They’re perfect for anyone who wants warm cozy feet in the winter.
Even though winter isn’t a gardening season for many, it’s a good time for reading and planning for the upcoming season. Lasagna Gardening is the method I’ve used for my raised-beds. Straw Bale Gardens is a new method that some gardeners are trying with good success.
I think most gardeners can usually use some new tools. I know I’m always misplacing my pruners and wearing holes in my gloves.
Okay, I admit it, this is on my wishlist. I would love a Garden Scoot to creep along on in the garden. I appreciate having a spot to put a container to collect weeds or my harvest. There are a lot of different options, but this one has some nice features: Red so it can be spotted quicker in the garden, a handle for when it needs to be relocated, and a swivel seat with tool storage underneath. Gardeners with mobility issues would appreciate something like this to help them move around the garden easier.
Most homesteaders preserve the foods they raise. Dried foods take up less space to store and don’t require electricity for keeping. Excalibur makes the cadillac of dehydrators in a range of sizes. A nine-tray model helps dry a large amount of food per batch. I’ve had mine several years and have really enjoyed preserving foods from my garden.
Excalibur also offers equipment and seasonings for making jerky.
The Dehydrator Bible has over 400 recipes for dehydrating all sorts of foods. It’s a great reference to have on hand to maximize the use of your dehydrator.
A Brother P-touch label machine is handy for labeling jars and other containers with the contents and date, making it easier to organize and use stored foods. This is the model I have. The labels adhere well in the freezer and yet are easy to remove. It can be used anywhere that you want to be more organized. Think pantry, workshop, craft room, etc.
After the critters are all taken care of on a cold, snowy day, how about cuddling up by the fire with some hot chocolate and a good movie? My pick is Greater. I loved it so much that I saw it three times and I’ve already pre-ordered the dvd. Although it’s based on the story of Brandon Burlsworth, who played for the University of Arkansas, it is about so much more than football. Even if you aren’t a sports fan (I’m not) you’ll enjoy this movie. I wrote about it in “Greater Inspiration ~ An Interview with David Hunt.”
Even homesteaders need to get away from it all at times, and many enjoy fishing. I can personally recommend Cedarwood Lodge in Flippin, Arkansas. We visited with some friends a few months ago and were very impressed with this small, locally-owned facility. It was very reasonably priced, well-appointed, and the owners were friendly and accommodating. I wrote all about it in Cedarwood Lodge – Worth the Drive. Why not surprise your significant other with a trout fishing excursion? They have enough space for family get-togethers, too.
For the naughty homesteader I suggest a Bag of Coal Soap. It’ll fit nicely in their stocking and help them clean up their act. Better luck next year!
Hopefully, there has been a new idea here to help you. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year!