All Things Garden,  Food & Ferment

Gift Guide: 32 Useful Garden & Homestead Gift Ideas

‘Tis the season! The holidays are fast-approaching, and many of us are left pondering what useful gifts we can make or share with our loved ones this year. We have you covered! This gift guide is packed with over 30 ideas to help you find the perfect gift for the special gardener, modern homesteader, real food lover, or plant person in your life!  From humble and homemade to slightly more extravagant gifts, this list includes a little bit of everything.

Nearly every item in this gift guide is something we personally love and use to keep our homestead running, and to nourish our bodies For example, our top tools to grow, prepare, and preserve food. While the holiday season obviously isn’t about presents, it’s nice to give or receive something that serves a purpose and will be put to good use! We consider ourselves pretty conscientious consumers and do our best to choose high-quality, safe, durable, ethical, and practical products – that we can rely on for years to come.


For your browsing ease and pleasure, the following home and garden gift ideas are broken up into four categories:


  • Homemade and DIY Gift Ideas (1-5)
  • Kitchen Tools & Gadgets (6-12)
  • Garden & Outdoor Gift Ideas (13-27)
  • Miscellaneous Homestead Goodies (28-32)


To shop this article, use the links provided throughout it! Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, but at no additional cost to you.


HOMEMADE & DIY GIFT IDEAS 


1) Calendula-Infused Oil

Between digging in the dirt and being out in the sun, gardeners and homesteaders are hard on their skin. Perhaps they could use a little extra TLC? Calendula to the rescue! When infused and turned into an oil, calendula can be applied topically to soothe dozens of skin ailments, including acne, scars, eczema, wounds, burns, rashes, stings, and more.

Many people (myself included) use calendula oil as a nourishing, natural daily moisturizer. It is also incredibly easy to make! All you need is a carrier oil (such as jojoba oil) and organic dried calendula flowers – homegrown or purchased. You could give away finished calendula oil, or even a cute “kit” for the lucky recipient to infuse and make their own. See this article to learn how to make and use calendula oil.


A pint mason jar is shown full of calendula infused oil. A stainless steel funnel sits atop the jar, there is cheesecloth lining the inside of the funnel and calendula flowers have been strained out from the oil that is now in the jar. Dried calendula flowers litter the area around the jar.


2) Give the Gift of Health – Elderberry Syrup or Fire Cider

We ALL need to stay healthy to keep up with our families and responsibilities, and maybe even more so when you have a busy homestead or bountiful garden to look after as well! So give the gift of health. Homemade Fire Cider and Elderberry Syrup are both packed with natural immune-boosting, cold and flu-fighting, and inflammation-reducing healing ingredients. Between the two, we haven’t been notably sick in almost 3 years! Find the recipe to make your own homemade Fire Cider here, and our Elderberry Syrup recipe here


A two way image collage, the first image shows five swing top lid bottles full of finished Fired Cider immunity tonic. The second image shows two swing top lid bottle full of finished elderberry syrup immunity tonic. In front of the elderberry syrup there is a hand of ginger, a handful of dried whole clove, and a pile of dried elderberries, all the ingredients needed to make elderberry syrup aside from the honey. A useful gift for anyone who cares about their health.


3) Fruit & Veggie Stamped Tea Towels 

Who couldn’t use some fresh dish or kitchen towels? Garden and plant lovers will especially appreciate these handmade fruit and veggie-themed stamped tea towels. They are unique, heartfelt, beautiful, and useful! Check out this tutorial to learn how to easily make your own, along with the towels and paints we recommend. Hand-stamped tea towels are one of our favorite things to give to family, friends, and co-workers for holidays or special occasions!


Four sets of of fruit and veggie stamped tea towels sit atop a table. Each set is folded into a square and it has a piece of twine wrapped around it as one would a present. Each one is adorned with a paper card that has been attached with the twine.


4) DIY Aromatherapy Hot or Cold Rice Pack 

Do you happen to sew? This is another one of my favorite DIY gifts to give, and to use myself! After a long day working in the garden, my sore muscles love cuddling up against a homemade hot (or cold) rice pack. Truth be told, I use them year-round regardless of garden aches and pains! They’re perfect for heating up or cooling down the bed too. Made with organic rice, up-cycled cotton fabric, and optional organic essential oils – DIY heating pads are a perfect sustainable gift. Learn how to make homemade rice packs with our super-easy pattern and tutorial here.


A finished hot or cold rice pack is shown atop a table, the pack is made of cloth that is grey with white floral and plant designs. A hand is holding up one of the corners of the pack to display the pack better. In the background there is a sewing kit and a sewing machine.


5) Homemade Preserves 

Consider giving that special gardener in your life some of your own homegrown or homemade preserves – such as jam, dried fruit, sauerkraut, fermented hot sauce, or canned pickles. Sure, they may have plenty of their own homegrown goodies already in the pantry – but perhaps you’ll introduce them to something they haven’t made or grown before, and inspire them to do the same! Get creative and mix dried herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, or whatever you have on hand to create a special blend, like seasoned salt.


KITCHEN TOOLS & GADGETS GIFT IDEAS


6) Food Dehydrator  

As a gardener myself, I can’t tell you how endlessly useful, easy, and FUN it is to have a food dehydrator. Aside from fermenting foods, dehydration is our go-to way to preserve homegrown food – or even excess goodies from the farmer’s market, friends, or neighbors! Make seasonings like garlic powder, lemon powder, onion powder, chili powder, and dried herbs. You can also create “sun” dried tomatoes, apple chips, fruit leather, homegrown herbal tea, or even meat jerky – if that is what you’re into!

I can’t say enough good things about the Excalibur brand of dehydrators. They’re a California-based company, made in the USA, high-quality, high-capacity, quiet, BPA-free, and even have stainless steel options. But there are also more basic, affordable options like this trusty Nesco dehydrator as well! 


An Excalibur food dehydrator is shown  with its stainless steel drying racks pulled out in a stair step fashion. Each tray is lined with apple slices that have been sprinkled with cinnamon. These will soon be dried apple chips. A dehydrator is a perfect gift for the budding homesteader in your life.
Our Excalibur, fully loaded with back yard apples – soon to be apple chips!


7) Herb Drying Rack

In addition to an electric dehydrator, many gardeners and homesteaders also rely on screen herb drying racks to passively dehydrate and preserve goodies from the garden. While an air-drying rack is usually not fast or strong enough to safely preserve most fruit or vegetables (unless you live in an extremely hot and air climate) it is a great tool to dry herbs, flowers, or even cannabis at home! 


8) Compost Crock

Many gardeners or homesteaders likely already have a compost bin set up outside. After all, compost makes amazing free organic fertilizer! But what about storing kitchen scraps inside before they’re brought out to the compost? We have been using this stainless steel compost crock under our kitchen sink for over a decade. With a carbon filter in the lid, it keeps smells inside and the fruit flies out. This makes it really easy to collect and dispose of food waste without things getting gross. We bring ours out to feed the worm bin weekly.


9) Cast Iron or Stainless Steel Cookware

Health and quality control is a huge motivation for many gardeners and homesteaders to raise and provide their own food. We want organic food, free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, right? But what kind of pots and pans is our precious, nutritious food being cooked in? I hope we’re all moving way from chemical-coated “non-stick” cookware. 

We received this Lodge cast iron wok for our wedding in 2011, and have used it dang near every day since! It is perfect for sautéing or stir-frying huge (or small!) batches of homegrown veggies. We have also replaced all of our old skillets with cast iron skillets of various sizes. Aside from cast iron, the next best thing is high-quality stainless steel – like this stock pot, perfect for making soup, chili, and more.



10) Kraut Source Fermentation Device

If you have been around this blog a bit, you’ve probably heard me rave about the Kraut Source fermentation lid before. If not, here is the scoop: the Kraut Source lid is an all-in-one stainless steel device that fits on the top of any wide-mouth mason jar, easily converting it an air-lock fermentation vessel. With it, you can safely and easily make homemade sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented pickles, dilly beans, hot sauce, and more. 

Did you know that fermentation is actually the healthiest way to preserve food? We have been using Kraut Source to ferment and preserve our garden goodies for over 5 years! Check out some of our ferment recipes here.


A quart mason jar is shown full of soon to be fermented beans. They are arranged in the jar lengthwise from top to bottom to fit the most beans possible. Some are green, purple and white, purple and red, as well as dark purple. The jar has a Kraut Source device lid on top of it, these are used to ferment produce items safely and easily.


11) Reusable Food Storage Supplies 

Gardening and cooking go hand-in-hand, am I right? We often find ourselves spending more time in the kitchen than we do outside! With all that meal prep also comes the need to store things. Reduce waste and keep food fresh with reusable beeswax wraps (so rad!), silicone bags, mesh produce bags, BPA-free reusable freezer storage containers, and of course – mason jars! Plenty of mason jars. 



12) Sourdough Baking Supplies 

Nothing completes a delicious homegrown, home-cooked meal like a crusty, chewy loaf of homemade sourdough! One awesome tool we use to make sourdough is a cast iron combo cooker. Baking bread within a combo cooker is the closest you can get to artisan bread made in a commercial oven. It traps steam to produce an excellent rise and crust! A dutch oven does the same, but it is easier (and safer) to get the dough in and out of a combo cooker. 

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could make your own sourdough starter from scratch and give away portions of it as a gift! View the complete list of supplies we use to bake sourdough at home here.


Fresh baked sourdough bread sitting in the bottom portion of the combo cooker, the top portion is sitting in the background. A combo cooker is a great gift for anyone who is interested in baking.


GARDEN & OUTDOOR GIFT IDEAS


13) Garden Gloves

I don’t know about you, but I could almost always use a fresh pair of gardening gloves! We really put ours through the wringer. Also, we love to have different pairs for different projects… The really durable, thick ones for landscaping and hardscaping projects, or more flexible and dainty types for dealing with potted plants or seedlings. Long gloves that don’t allow soil in around the wrist are the BEST when it comes to planting, digging in the soil, harvesting potatoes, or any other project when you’re getting deep in there. 


14) Pruning Shears

Like gloves, us gardeners can put some serious wear and tear on our trimming snips and shears! Investing in nice quality pruning tools will help them last a lot longer though. We personally love and use Fiskars brand, of all shapes and sizes! These big boys are awesome for keeping shrubs and vines in check. Medium size pruning snips are a great all-around tool. Smaller fine snips are perfect for thinning seedlings, trimming cannabis, and other precise work.



15) Mushroom Growing Kit

Organic homegrown mushrooms? Enough said. That is probably a dream come true for most gardeners! You could gift a kit to grow one type of mushroom, or a fun combo pack that allows them to grow several types of shrooms – like brown, pink, and white oyster mushrooms. This speciality trio kit is highly-rated, made in the USA, pre-inoculated with fungi spores, basically fool-proof… and away you grow!


16) A Greenhouse

This is one of the special “splurge” items on this gift guide, but would make an amazing and extremely useful gift for any enthusiastic gardener! We purchased our greenhouse kit as our major holiday season gift several years ago, and haven’t regretted the investment for one moment. Our only regret was that we didn’t get a larger one!

Having a greenhouse allows us to start nearly everything we grow from seed, protect tender plants and extend our growing season, and also provides a special sheltered place to hang out “outdoors” during the winter! To learn more about choosing and setting up a greenhouse, check out our article “A Beginner’s Guide to Using a Hobby Greenhouse”.



17) Compost Tumbler

A compost tumbler is a great way to compost at home! They’re compact, enclosed, vermin-proof, and easy to maintain. This makes tumblers a perfect choice for any location, size, and style of garden or homestead. We love our two-compartment compost tumbler. You actively “feed” one side with browns, garden debris, and food scraps, while the other side rests – breaking down into rich compost. Once it is ready, harvest it and switch sides!



18) Potting Bench

As I get older, I appreciate my handy potting bench more and more! Working at the potting bench makes it very comfortable and convenient when I am puttering with seeds and seedlings, potted plants, and other garden projects. We built our own potting bench, and if you’re feeling crafty and able – you could build one as a gift as well! There are many simple potting bench plans available online. Or, you could choose to gift a pre-made potting bench or kit. This Suncast potting bench is beautiful, functional, and highly-rated.


A handmade potting bench is shown, it has a bottom shelf and the main top work surface. An old window has been connected to the back of the bench for decoration while keeping things from falling off the backside of the bench. Old barn wood has been used for the table and shelf surface while it has been framed out with 2x4 and 4x4 boards which have been painted and sanded to make a worn or vintage look. A potting bench would be a useful gift for any gardener.
Our DIY potting bench


19) Harvest Baskets 

I am always toting several baskets out to the garden with me, especially for large harvests. In addition to hauling food inside, baskets can also be used for storing excess produce – such as potatoes or dried onions. If your special gardener enjoys photographing their harvests, baskets are a great way to put them on display.

Visit your local thrift stores first to see if you can find some cool baskets second-hand! I have also had great luck at stores like Home Goods or TJMaxx. Even better, you could gift a beautiful harvest basket full of other useful goodies, like gloves, trimming shears, and seeds.


DeannaCat is holding two wicker baskets that are overflowing with garden greens. She is standing in front of a raised garden bed that is overflowing with bok choy  and lacinato kale. She is wearing a white shirt that says Plant Lady and there is a sign hanging from the house wall that reads "garden". There are two chickens at her feet pecking around.


20) Raised Garden Beds 

Raised beds are the backbone of our homestead and garden space. Functionally, they give us the ability to grow organic food at home, block burrowing gopher pests and weeds from below, and have precise control over the soil quality we fill them with. Ergonomically, our bodies love them. Aesthetically, they bring character, structure, and style to the garden.

Give your partner an I.O.U. – a promise to go shopping for the materials and build the beds together! See this tutorial to learn how to design and build a raised garden bed. Or if you aren’t up for building your own, there are some really nice, durable, well-made kits out there! Like these cedar raised bed kits from Gardener’s Supply Co. I love that they’re made with long-lasting cedar wood, and are deep enough to provide excellent root space for happy plants.



21) Safe Hoses & Irrigation Supplies

Let’s be real. Unless you have ample free time in your schedule, watering can be one of the most dreaded and time-consuming “chores” in a garden. Furthermore, many irrigation supplies are made with questionable materials that may leach chemicals, thwarting our efforts to grow organic and healthy! Therefore, we choose to invest in quality, BPA-free irrigation supplies that enable us to easily and safely water our garden. 

I highly recommend these BPA-free, drinking-water grade soaker hoses. We have them in almost all of our raised garden beds (lightly covered with mulch), and connect a lightweight BPA-free, kink-free garden hose to supply water to them. When paired with a hose timer, you can set it and forget it! For areas that we still hand-water, a good watering wand makes the job much easier. To see more garden irrigation solutions, check out this article.


A wood raised bed is shown after it has been planted out with you summer seedlings. There is a 50 foot soaker hose that has been evenly snaked across the surface of the garden bed. There are various perennial plants, shrubs, garlic, and vines in and around the raised garden bed.



22) A Good Hose Reel Cart

As much as we have tried to automate our watering systems, we still find ourselves dragging the hose in and out of the gardens a couple times a week. A sturdy, hassle-free hose reel makes the effort so much easier! This Eley hose reel is one of the best garden investments we’ve made. Seriously. It is well-made (in the USA!), easy to use and move, compact, leak-free, comes with flat-proof tires, and has a 10-year warranty.  And let me tell you, we’ve been through more than our fair share of hose reels and carts over the years! Rust. Flat tires. Leaks. Inadequate size for longer hoses. Been there, done that. We’re not looking back. 



23) Fabric Grow Bags 

I don’t think any gardener would snub their nose at some nice grow bags! Fabric pots, also known as “grow bags” allow you to keep on growing, anywhere! They are great for container and patio gardens with limited space, or for overflow planting in a larger garden. We use these ALL over our garden to grow potatoes, peppers, turmeric, garlic, tomatoes, cannabis, and more – despite having dozens of raised beds too. 

Fabric pots are lighter and more mobile than standard pots, and can be moved to locations with the best sun or protection as needed. Furthermore, plants love them! The non-solid sides enables the roots to be “air pruned”, rather than winding and becoming root bound. Grow bags also provide superior drainage, and come in a variety of sizes. Smart Pots are some of the most well-made and durable, and will last for many growing seasons.


A woman wearing a blue dress with floral print is standing amongst three cannabis plants that are growing in 25 gallon fabric grow bags. They are all much taller than she is and the sun is shining in through the plants, illuminating the area in a warm glow.
Fabric bags can be used to grow all sorts of things! Learn more about growing your own organic cannabis here.


24) Gifts for Wildlife

Gardening or homesteading shouldn’t be all about how it can feed and benefit us. Consider sharing gifts that support local wildlife and/or pollinators too! Admittedly, we benefit from their presence and vitality as well. Some ideas for wildlife-friendly gifts include a bird bath, wildflower seeds, bird seed feeders, hummingbird feeders, bird houses, or even a bat box!  Adding these types of things to your yard may help you qualify to become a certified wildlife habitat, which is a pretty rad goal to work towards if you ask me! Learn more about creating a wildlife habitat in any size yard here.



25) Grow Lights & Seed Starting Supplies

To grow your own food from seed is a goal that many gardeners and homesteaders strive for. However, that usually entails starting seeds indoors (or in a greenhouse) during times when natural sunlight isn’t abundant enough to keep seedlings growing healthy and happy. Without adequate light, seedlings become leggy and weak, or can even die. Good grow lights enable us to start 99% of our homegrown food from seed!

In addition to grow lights, gardeners use a variety of other supplies to start seeds – such as seedling trays, nursery pots, heat mats, and more. You can find a list of our favorite seed starting supplies here.


a view inside a small hobby greenhouse, showing slatted redwood benches full of containers of seedlings.


26) Solar Lights

A garden should be a functional place to grow food, but also a welcoming place to relax and enjoy all the hard work accomplished! Solar lights throughout the garden create a magical and inviting atmosphere. They also enable us gardeners to stay out past dark – to both work and play. We have various solar pathway lights strewn among the garden, in addition to whimsical solar fairy string lights wrapped around the raised beds and along the fence. Those are my favorite! We also love these bulb string lights and rustic caged bulb lights for around the house, though they aren’t solar.


A view a dusk, there are four raised garden beds full of various leafy green vegetable plants, beyond that are many perennial plants, and beyond that is a house that is lit up with string lighting along its roofline. There are various plants on the porch. There are also solar powered string lights strung around the outside of the garden beds.
Lights really set the mood in the garden after sunset!


27) Seed Storage Container

Most gardeners are seed addicts. They may even be closet addicts, with an impressively messy, large pile or cardboard box stuffed full of seed packets hiding away somewhere. That used to be me! While I am still a seed addict, I am now an organized one!

Years ago we discovered that these awesome photo storage containers also happen to be the perfect size and design for storing seed packets. Group together all the tomato, carrot, or pepper packets into one individual labelled box. This makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, and also keep track of what you do or don’t need during the next round of seed shopping. The container is very well-made, in the USA.


A hand is holding a small plastic photo storage container that is full of radish seed packets. And below there are two large plastic photo storage containers that have many smaller storage containers that fit neatly into individual slots. Each individual container is marked with what vegetable or flower seed is inside.


MISCELLANEOUS GIFT IDEAS 


28) Garden or Nature-Themed Calendar 

Anyone could use a nice calendar to start the new year, right? Gardeners and homesteaders especially rely on calendars to keep track of important seasonal garden tasks. I know I do at least! So this year I created a 2020 Homestead and Chill wall calendar, complete with nature-themed artwork and tips related to the photo of the month. The colorful high-resolution photos are printed on ultra-thick card stock paper, and also includes the cycles of the moon!

A portion of all Homestead and Chill proceeds is donated to wildlife & environmental protection non-profits.

Homestead and Chill's 2020 calendar is shown, the month of June is the part of the calendar that is depicted and the image is a Monarch butterfly drinking nectar from a Lollipop Verbena.

29) A Vaporizer

If someone in your life is a cannabis enthusiast, I highly suggest looking into a high-quality vaporizer for them to use. Vaporizing whole organic cannabis flowers (buds) is much healthier and safer on your lungs than smoking. It also enables you to get the most therapeutic and enjoyable experience from the cannabis.

The Firefly Vaporizer is a one-of-a-kind on the market, leading the industry in dynamic convection heating – which allows you to experience the full terpene, THC, and CBD profile of the bud. It is also the only one that is glass from bowl to mouthpiece, eliminating risk of heavy metal or plastic fume contamination common with cheap vaporizers. We absolutely love our Firefly! Read more about the safety and science of vaporizing cannabis here.


A Firefly 2+ vaporizer is shown, a hand is holding it up in front of marijuana plants, the sun is shining through the plants creating a ray of sunshine that streaks across two thirds of the image.


30) Books

One of the best things about gardening is that there is always something new to learn! The same goes for cooking, preserving food, and trying new recipes. Books always make for very useful and thoughtful gifts. Check out a few of our top home and garden books below, or see a full list of our favorite resource books here. The list includes guides on composting, kombucha, gardening, herbs, wildlife, recipe books and more. 



31) H&C Farmers Market Tote or T-Shirt

Gardeners have an appreciation for locally-grown food. Hopefully, they visit their local farmers markets to pick up produce that they aren’t growing at home. Perhaps they’d love a Homestead and Chill farmers market tote to carry home their goodies in! It is made from organic cotton canvas, has interior pockets for organization, and one long, thick, sturdy strap.

We also have logo t-shirts, which are all printed on organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, or even fabric made from recycled bottles! A portion of all Homestead and Chill proceeds is donated to wildlife & environmental protection non-profits.


A Homestead and Chill canvas market bag  is shown. The circular logo is on the center of the bag and there are vegetable greens poking up out of the top of the bag which is slung over a persons shoulder.


32) Gift Certificates

Last but not least, the trusty gift certificate. While this may not be the most unique or personal gift idea ever, gift certificates are always useful! Support small businesses and give a gift certificate to a favorite locally-owned nursery, garden center, or hardware store. The lucky recipient can pick out plants or tools that they need, fun garden art or decor, or use it towards their next big garden project! Another great option is a gift certificate for garden seeds. You can find our list of top 12 places to buy garden seeds here.


A display is shown at a local nursery, there are various shade loving plants in one gallon containers displayed throughout three tiers. There are ceramic pots, fountains, and wooden driftwood art in the shape of stars and hearts mixed in throughout. Any of which would make an excellent gift for the plant or nature lover in your life.


Well, did you see a few things that interest you?


I hope this article helped you find the perfect useful home and garden gifts for the holiday season, or for any special occasion! For even more ideas, browse our complete Amazon list here. It includes sections on organic pest control, compost, cannabis, kombucha, and more! Feel free to pin and share this post, and enjoy your holidays!

Above all, be sure to give love, smiles, respect, and kindness – always.



DeannaCat signature, keep on growing

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