Homesteading gift guide
seems to be the trend this year for every blogger to post a holiday
gift guide, so I guess we'd better follow suit! I'll include some
specials on our own top products, plus a few gifts I heartily recommend
from the outside world.
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But first, don't forget home-made crafts! My mother's fire-starter tin
is still my favorite gift of the last year, and there are other good
ideas in the comments section of that post. Mark and I tend to
give gifts when the mood strikes rather than around any particular
holiday, and gifts that have been well-received this year include honey,
home-made jams, sweet potatoes, rooted fruit plants, and garlic.
Why not dig around the edges of your gooseberry bush and see if you've
got any baby plants to share with friends? Raspberries,
blackberries, comfrey, and perennial herbs are also likely to have
Okay, I know, some loved ones expect gifts with no dirt on them --- crazy people. We just put our homesteading calendar up on Amazon,
and we recommend this as a low-key way to trick non-homesteaders into
liking dirt. (Then you can give them one of the dirty gifts above
in 2014!) At the moment, our calendar is on sale for $5.99 + $3.99
Or why not contact a
local farmer and buy some pastured meat for a loved one? The taste
alone will go a long way toward winning them over to the idea of
non-factory-farmed protein, and it will definitely boost their
health. If you live kinda close to us, my brother got some
pastured pork from these folks and it was delectable. You can also contact our pastured lamb supplier,
but I'm not sure if they have anything available at this time of
year. No matter where you find the pastured meat, it might be a
good idea to cook it up and invite your friends over for a holiday meal
and then send them home with the leftovers --- that way you can be sure
the meat will be cooked just right and will startle their taste buds.
about people who have been won over to homesteading, but who are just
getting started? A great option is a high-quality hand tool that
will last them the rest of their lives. The Trake is a cast-metal trowel that I use daily during the growing season, $22.65 on Amazon with free shipping on orders over $35. The Felco F-600 Hand Saw is so sharp it makes hand-cutting a breeze ($29.97 with free shipping available) and Mark's new RUKO knife looks like it's going to be our new favorite tool for butchering chickens and deer ($23.52 with free shipping available).
Vegetable seeds are
another good choice to give beginners. For people who have never
gardened before, I recommend leaf lettuce (mixtures are always fun),
Swiss chard (Fordhook giant is most winter hardy, but the ones with
colored stalks are striking), okra (Clemson spineless is our favorite),
summer squash (yellow crookneck avoids stem borers), and green beans (we
love Masai). This post will give you an idea of where to buy the seeds.
Of course, if your loved ones have chickens, you know what I think you should get them --- chicken waterers. We have a hidden sale going on right now just for our most loyal readers --- 10% off our top products.
Do order these ASAP, though, since we can't guarantee they'll reach you
by Christmas unless you order this week! (Barring floods,
waterers you order early next week should arrive in time too.)
Which brings me to books. The up-to-date homesteader could benefit from this year's top reads: Paradise Lot and The Resilient Farm and Homestead. If they're dreaming about livestock, it's hard to go wrong with the Storey Guides. And, if they've got a kindle you can browse all of my ebooks here. (As a side note, my publisher let me know that my paperback
is out of stock on Amazon because they're currently changing
distributors and shipping all of their books from one warehouse to the
other, but hopefully it'll be back up there soon.)
I hope that's enough
brainstorming to get you thinking on a homesteading track this holiday
season. And if you didn't see your favorite gift here, leave a