Have you finished your Christmas shopping for this year? Are you still struggling to find that perfect gift for your loved one that’s a little on the weird hippie side (you know, like the one you always buy goat milk lotion for or something chicken-related because you can’t think of anything else; and let’s be honest, do they really need another set of hand trowels just because they love plants)?
Is your loved one interested in cooking, gardening, livestock, farming, and/or creating or making things from scratch?
The most cherished gifts are those that keep on giving, and that’s how I feel about all the gift ideas in this 2022 Gift Guide for the Aspiring Homesteader. The best part about this gift guide is you don’t have to use it just for Christmastime either! What about a birthday, anniversary, or Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? The sky is the limit.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
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2022 Gift Guide for the Aspiring Homesteader
For the Kitchen
1. Hand made by Melissa K. Norris
This cookbook is more than a cookbook. If your loved one is interested in cooking and craft projects, then Hand Made is for them! Melissa K. Norris provides wonderful insight into how to start cooking from scratch. The section on baking and making bread is chock full of information.
Personally, this book was informative because I had never really thought about baking with different kinds of flour before reading this book. Her troubleshooting tips for sourdough are the best I’ve found so far, too. I used her method when starting my very own sourdough starter.
At the end of the book, she shares ideas for making gifts for loved ones as well. If your loved one is just starting to get into the idea of homesteading or making things from scratch, then this book is foundational.
Check out melissaknorris.com or the Pioneering Today podcast for more from Melissa K. Norris.
2. The Prairie Homestead Cookbook by Jill Winger
Hand Made was my introduction into the world of homesteading, but Jill Winger’s The Prairie Homestead Cookbook has solidified my skills so that I can hopefully achieve my goal to have a completely from-scratch kitchen.
The recipes are delicious! Jill provides some unique spins on old-fashioned favorites. These extra ingredients aren’t necessarily earth-shattering, but she adds just that extra pinch of spice here or an extra step there that really makes all the difference.
In the back of this cookbook, she also gives tips on gardening! Jill has her own milk cow, too, so she gives the reader a few more ideas about how to use fresh milk to make your own cheese, cream, and yogurt.
I especially love the little excerpts she writes before each recipe. These include helpful tips and also a little a bit of humor! The Prairie Homestead Cookbook will forever be a staple in my kitchen.
If you’d like to learn more about Jill, you can check out theprairiehomestead.com or listen to her Old Fashioned On Purpose podcast.
3. Bread Proofing Basket Kit
Have a loved one that’s getting into baking their own bread? Then this bread proofing basket kit may be a great gift!
I’ve been baking bread fairly consistently for the last few years, and the one thing I haven’t had in my kitchen was a proofing basket. I usually let my bread dough rise in a greased bowl. However, with a few artisan style no knead recipes, I’ve found that I wished I had a proofing basket so that my dough would hold its shape better while it rises, especially when I go to bake it in my cast iron dutch oven.
This kit also comes with a scraper for the dough and some blades for carving the loaf before baking. Your loved one will enjoy perfecting that extra crispy crust on their artisan loaves by using this kit!
For the Garden
1. Hori Hori Soil Knife
I will never not share how much I love this little tool. Skip the hand trowels altogether and just put this guy in the cart. I use my hori hori knife for everything. It’s attached to my hip for most of the season.
Planting bulbs? Hori hori knife. Planting transplants? Hori hori knife. Need to dig out a weed and get rid of the roots? Hori hori knife. Need to cut something? Saw it off with the rough edge of the hori hori knife. Need to open a box? Hori hori knife. Need to measure the distance between transplants? Use your hori hori knife.
Need to seek revenge against cutworms, grubs, japanese beetles, voles, moles, and creepy garden gnomes? Stab those mo-fos with your hori hori knife. BAM. (Okay… that was dark. But hey, this thing is as much of a weapon as it is a tool. It’s a knife for Pete’s sake. Use it to defend your food!)
I personally love the measurements on the blade, and how those measurements continue up the shaft of the knife. Each metal dot on the shaft is an inch apart. The whole knife is 12 inches long. See? Easy measuring between plants and easy measuring for planting depth.
Mine came with a leather holster and a sharpening stone, too. You can’t beat this tool–I’m tellin’ ya!
2. Leather Garden Tool BElt
This is one item that I could never bite the bullet on myself. Not because I didn’t want it… Oh, I really wanted it. But because of the expense.
However, my mom graciously purchased one of these for my birthday when I first started flower farming. Let me tell you–I LOVE THIS LEATHER TOOL BELT.
It’s slim design is perfect because sometimes tool belts can be so cumbersome. I carry my flower snips, rubber bands, and my phone on my hip easily, and I can still bend and maneuver the way I need to when I’m out working in the garden.
The snips pockets are great too because I don’t need to close and lock them shut. I simply squeeze them so the blades are closed, holster them until I’m ready to cut again, and then I slide them out of the holster and they’re fully extended open, so I can quickly make a cut.
Another perk is that this belt doesn’t have to go through your belt loops. I work in the garden a lot of the time wearing leggings, so I don’t necessarily have belt loops for individual holsters. It’s easily adjustable, too. No fiddling with plastic tighteners in order to change the size of the belt.
I love that this leather tool belt is stylish. And because it’s leather, you know it’ll hold up for a long time.
3. Canvas Garden Tool BElt
Funny story, here.
In the same year that I expressed I wanted the leather garden tool belt and then my mom gifted me one, my husband had also bought me a tool belt, too. However, his was much, much cheaper. And much dorkier looking.
However, when I opened his gift, sort of snarling inwardly at this big, bulky canvas tool belt, I decided I should probably still try to use it.
And that season I learned how incredibly wrong I was for my hoity-toity attitude towards this canvas garden tool belt.
While the leather garden tool belt above is my staple while I’m pruning and cutting flowers, this canvas garden tool belt is my staple during planting season. It can hold a ton of stuff! No more trips back and forth to the garage or shed or having to carry all your tools around in a bucket.
I use this belt to hold hand trowels, my garden gloves, pruners, seed packets, garden stakes, garden markers for labeling, my phone, some gum, garden staples, my hori hori knife, drawings of my garden layout, cool rocks I find, snacks for the kids, an occasional sippy cup my kids abandoned in the yard two months prior, and more… all at the same time.
The belt is adjustable and easily snaps on and off. The canvas material has held up really well, too. And the best part is, you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing this tool belt!
4. Felco Pruners
While you’re at it, just go ahead and add these Felco No. 2 pruning shears to your cart to go along with one of your garden tool belts!
Again, this is an item that an aspiring homesteader or gardener is probably going to want, but they just won’t want to pull the trigger on due to cost. These are expensive pruners, but they are worth it. I eventually did buy them for myself (as a tax write-off for my flower farm), but I digress.
In the past, the pruning shears I’ve bought from big box stores have just not cut it. (See what I did there? HA.)
They’re either not sharp or they’re not very ergonomic. It’s very important to have tools that help take some of the work load off of us! We don’t want a tool that takes more work to use, which is how I’ve felt in the past when my pruners won’t open fully or can’t cut worth a darn no matter how much I try to sharpen them.
Felco pruners are the bomb diggity! They would make a great gift.
1. Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
If your loved one is an aspiring homesteader (or farmer), they’re sure to enjoy Gabe Brown’s Dirt to Soil.
Gabe is not only a great storyteller, he’s also great at breaking down the science behind soil in a way that isn’t confusing or boring.
How can we rebuild the land we have in order to produce enough for our families and our customers for years to come? How can we think outside the box when it comes to working the land? How do we rebuild our soil into something healthy and productive? Gabe Brown answers these questions and more in Dirt to Soil.
2. The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
Sometimes it’s just really neat to learn about people’s journey to farming and homesteading. That’s how I felt after picking up The Dirty Life several years ago in college.
Kristin was a writer in the big city when she met her future husband, a man with farming in his bones. She fell headlong into the world of vegetable farming and never looked back. In her memoir, she shares stories about purchasing their first team of horses to use on their farm and also shares anecdotes about starting their family while providing diverse CSA subscriptions and their milk cow, too.
The Dirty Life was very inspiring to twenty-two year old me who was ready to get out in the world and start my own farm! It made me realize that you don’t have to have much to get started, and that sometimes the old way of doing things can also be very rewarding.
(Also–farming with horses? I thought the Amish were the only ones that did that nowadays!)
3. The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs by Joel Salatin
If you or your loved one haven’t been introduced to Joel Salatin and Polyface Farm, then you’ll find his books (and thoughts!) intriguing undoubtedly.
In The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs, the reader will enjoy “the Creator’s take on animal husbandry”. Joel is an entertaining writer with bold thoughts, and because of his writing style and voice it makes this book an easy and fun read. If you’ve heard Joel speak in videos or social media posts, you’ll know that he’s quite the character.
Hayden especially liked this book because he said it shows that God does care how we farm, what we do, and how we make a profit farming. He has struggled throughout his life with reading, but he thoroughly enjoyed this book!
4. Homegrown Berries
I LOVE this book.
If your loved one is looking for a comprehensive gardening guide for small fruits, then Homegrown Berries would make a great gift!
First of all, the pictures are wonderful. Secondly, the information is invaluable. So many times I’ve pulled this guide out! It has information from preparing your garden beds for planting, what varieties to choose, how to set up a trellis system, how and when to prune, and pests and diseases to look out for when growing.
This book is packed with good information from beginning to end. Highly recommend!
Gift giving can often be difficult for those weird homesteader people, am I right?
You know the ones I’m talking about… They’re always talking about their plants or their chickens or their bread. Sheesh, enough with the goat milk lotion, alright? Let’s graduate to some gifts that are even better for those weirdos.
And now, you don’t have to worry! Because you’ve read through this post and you have some ideas to at least get you into the mind of an aspiring homesteader/gardener/farmer.
Merry Christmas, y’all.
P.S. I mean… canning jars are always welcome, too. Wide mouth quart, please. And don’t be a cheapo. Buy extra lids.
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