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Whether you’re a homesteader looking for the best prices for your own essentials, or you just have a homesteader on your shopping list, I’ve got a list of what you need. Beginner? Intermediate? Advanced? I’ve got all the homesteaders on your list covered.
Simply find your level of homesteading to find the best gifts of the year.
Canning lessons: Canning is an essential skill when it comes to preserving your food for a self-sustainable life. Whether you want to learn the art of hot water bath canning or pressure canning, this 28 video series has got you covered.
Cheesemaking lessons: Getting a family milk goat or cow and want to know what to do with all that milk? You’re definitely going to want to know how to make some cheese. Mastering Basic Cheesemaking is the most affordable resource I can find that walks you through lesson by lesson how to start with the basics, and work your way up to the most delicious cheeses you are already familiar with. The best part? You can get started in less than an hour.
Gift of knowledge for aspiring women farmers: So you want to start or expand your farm–or you know a woman who does? You need this toolkit for women farmers: Soil Sisters walks you through all the basics–from farm history, to where to start, to the finances (even finding loans and grants).
Basic dehydrator: Dehydrating is the easiest way to put food up that doesn’t require a lot of freezer space. You can start with a simple dehydrator until you start dehydrating a lot of food.
Basic pressure canner: Although I have my grandmother’s pressure canner, the first one I bought for myself was the Presto Pressure Canner, and I still use it to this day. You don’t need something fancy and expensive to start off with.
Sewing classes: Google “sewing classes” if you want to watch some tutorials and classes, or go down to your nearest sewing & craft store and ask for a list if you want to take some in-person classes.
My newest book: Raising Young Children On The Homestead was just released December 9. In this book, I tell you how to still get all the chores done with baby in-tow. We talk about all the specifics of being a new mother from the unique viewpoint of the homestead (and off-grid) mother, and all the challenges that come with it. From prenatal to toddlerhood, it’s in here.
Foraging resources: Gardens fail, especially when you’re a newbie. You’ll want to have some safe and informative foraging resources to get you through these years and supplement your food supply. Here are my favorites.
Chainsaw: We use our chainsaws year-round. Not only do they help us with our wood collecting, but they help us with many of our construction projects on the farm and homestead.
Cast iron: Cast iron is like gold to a homesteader–but it can be expensive. Read how to build a collection without breaking the bank here.
Hoss garden tools: We’ve always used hand tools in our off-grid garden. But we had no idea how pampered we would be and how much easier things would get once we upgraded to our double wheel-hoe and some of the attachments that go with it this year. For some ideas on where to start, see my review of some of their tools here.
Cheese press: You don’t need a press for your basic cheeses, but if you know someone who’s mastered the basics and is ready to move on to the next level, they are definitely going to need a press.
Wood stove thermometer: Our woodstove is the original built into this house, and we’re very blessed that is has a thermostat on it–but some don’t have this feature. This is the one I bought to check it out and see if it was working correctly, and I use it occasionally when we cook outdoors as well.
Fermentation jars: I still have not gotten into fermentation much, but it’s on my list. It’s one of those easier skills to learn that changes the way you preserve foods significantly. I need to get on this, I know. This is on my wish list right now to get into it more. (If nothing else, watch the 41 second video at the bottom. I need to do this.)
Excalibur: After a few years with my basic dehydrator, I knew I needed to upgrade. I’ve now had this Excalibur for about 10 years and it still works like new. With 9 trays, it’s what I call top-of-the-line. With all the dehydrator options out there, I would say that 99% of all serious homesteaders will tell you to get this one.
Survival supplies: Anyone with an outdoor lifestyle is always in need of new supplies for their packs. You can see what our family keeps in our packs here. We take these packs with us multiple times a week.
Water barrels: You can usually find 50 gallon drums at your local farm and ranch stores. What I suggest doing is signing up through Giving Assistant, which will connect you with your nearest store. You can then order your supplies on-line, and then pick them up in store without waiting. When you’re all done, Giving Assistant gives you a percentage back based on where you shopped. If you want to see more details on exactly how that works, read Saving Money In The Garden And In The Homestead.
Dress form: I love my dress form for when I need to make my own clothes–which are hard to tailor on myself. And since I do most of the kids’ sewing when they are asleep, it helps to have a child’s form too. Since child forms are expensive, I make my own. Here’s how.
Sewing machine: In the winter, I’m super busy making as many of my family’s clothes for the next year as I can. Having sewing machines is essential.
Axe: Mostly, we use axes for limbing and chopping ice (on frozen ditches, etc.) but it’s a good back-up for splitting wood, or even cutting it if we get desperate. This is the one that’s on the Farmer’s wish list this year–it’s small enough to be versatile, and big enough to do what it needs to, and it’s made here in the states. It also comes with a premium leather sheath, and has a lifetime guarantee.
Well Seasoned Homesteaders:
Over the fire stand: It’s a blessing to have these outside with you during good weather. Your work time can feel like it’s doubling when you cook dinner outdoors, while you keep on doing what you’re doing.
Sun oven: Yet another skill I have to try out. I think this would be good for smaller families, and mine is so large that I doubt I’d be able to cook much with it. This would be a good gift for couples or smaller families.
Solar panels: I admit, this is an expensive gift. But…if you and your spouse are trying to figure out what to get each other, this might be the investment for you. Do a google search for solar panel installation and your area.
Treadle sewing machine: Check local on-line ads to find one near you. I don’t use mine on a regular basis, but if the grid were to ever go down for a long period of time, I can’t tell you what an overlooked blessing this thing will be for those trying to wait it out.
Off-grid washing machine: Scrubbing laundry on the board is not for sissies, I promise. Depending on the personality of the person doing all the laundry, having a hand-crank washer could be a nice alternative to doing laundry the old fashioned way.
Berkey filter sets: When you find yourself in a situation where you start with questionable water (such as from a local water area), and you need to trust you’re filtering it sufficiently enough to give to your family, your first thought is usually Berkey. Berkey just came out with new DE premium filters that I can’t wait to try out myself. I would suggest if you are thinking of buying this as a gift, to check out the Travel Berkey, or the double Travel Berkey to save some money. Both use the new Berkey Earth (DE) filters. (Subscribers, check your inbox before ordering these.)
Hunting knife set: Whether you hunt, or you harvest your own animals, or both, you need a quality knife set that you use for your animals and nothing else.
Weather station: Weather dictates your life when you live on a farm or homestead. Having a weather station lets you know which way the wind is blowing (and how hard), the barometric pressure, rain fall and outdoor temperature all without having to go outside. Many will even link to your computer or smart phone.
Camp Chef: With no air-conditioning, or fans, and only three windows in the house that even open, having a Triple Burner Camp Chef set up outside is perfect for my summer and fall canning. Occasionally, if it’s raining outside and we can’t cook over a fire, we’ll use the Camp Chef to cook on as well.
Cash: Isn’t cash always the perfect gift? Most homesteaders are low on space and only keep the essentials around. If you don’t know what to get the homesteader on your list, this is the perfect way to give them the cash they need to get their own necessities.