WRITTEN BY DIANE WHITTEN, NUTRITION EDUCATOR,
REBECCA DEVANEY, MASTER GARDENER COORDINATOR, HORTICULTURE EDUCATOR, AND NICOLINA FOTI, AGRICULTURE EDUCATOR
Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga and Warren Counties
GIFTS FOR THE FOODIE ON YOUR HOMESTEAD
WiFi Freezer Alarm $14 - $125
If you have a separate freezer that stores hundreds of dollars of meat and produce, you can protect your investment with a WiFi Freezer Alarm that will monitor the temperature and humidity.
Starting around $14 you can get a basic monitor that will alert you through an in-home monitor, so if you’re usually home you’ll hear the alarm. If you’re often not home, for $45-$125 you can get a WiFi monitor that has an app for your smart phone, so you can be alerted anywhere, anytime.
Cider/Fruit Press $150 - $850, grinder extra
Many homesteads have fruit trees or grape vines, so a great gift would be a Cider/Fruit Press. The whole family can have fun making home-made cider or fruit juice which is a great way to use up large quantities of fruit. The type and amount of fruit you plan to press will determine which kind of press you buy, and whether you also want a fruit grinder. Soft fruit, such as grapes, won’t require a grinder, but apples need to be cut up before pressing, so a grinder is worthwhile. Prices vary depending on the size, starting with small table-top models, so do your research and consider buying a used one. A good quality press should last for generations.
Fermentation Vessel & Accessories $20 - $150
Fermenting is a great way to reduce food waste and extend the life of your produce by 4-6 months. Fermentation is easy, but having the right equipment will lead to success in making sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, hot pepper sauce and more. Traditional fermentation vessels are ceramic, these come in sizes ranging from 1 to 10-gallon crocks. Two main types are available: water-sealed or open. You’ll want to purchase weights for the crock, if it doesn’t come with them, to keep the produce submerged during the fermentation process.
Today fermenting in wide-mouth quart canning jars has become popular, so many options are on the market for that. Obviously, the amount of produce you can ferment is limited in a quart jar, but it’s a great use of canning jars that you may already have. A lid system with weights is all you’ll need to create a healthy fermentation vessel. You’ll find several brands by searching online for “fermenting in quart jars.”
GIFTS FOR THE GARDENER ON YOUR HOMESTEAD
Pruning Tool Set $15 - $100
A new set of quality pruning tools are always a practical gift for gardeners at any experience level. They are sure to come in handy as we begin cutting back those perennials and putting our gardens to bed for the winter season. Sets that come in a tote or carrier are even more convenient for easy transport throughout the garden. There are a variety of toolsets to choose from, making it simple to select one that fits your specific gardening needs.
Gardener’s Hand Scrubbing Lotions $6 - $25
After a long season of planting, pruning, and harvesting, it's vital to take care of our most important gardening tools – our hands! Moisturizing hand scrubs and lotions are a great gift for gardeners who could use a little extra nourishment and self-care as the temperatures drop and our hands begin to dry out. Lots of them are made with natural and botanical-inspired ingredients like rosemary, chamomile, lavender, and lemongrass, which helps to make us feel like we are still in the garden even after the growing season has come to an end.
Indoor Herb Growing Kit $15 - $100
An indoor herb kit is an easy way to keep the fun of growing and add some extra aromatic greenery to your home through the winter. Different kits come with various container options, such as biodegradable, ceramic, mason jars, and windowsill planters. They also come with all the supplies you would need, making it simple to enjoy this hands-on learning opportunity with family or friends!
Solar-Powered Garden Pots $20 - $200
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box gift idea for a container gardening enthusiast in your life, consider a solar-powered garden pot. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, solar-powered garden pots soak up sunlight to illuminate your plants and space at night. They come in a variety of materials and sizes, and some even change color!
GIFTS FOR THE KIDS ON YOUR HOMESTEAD
Kid-Sized Wheelbarrow $20 - $70
As a kid growing up on a farm the most satisfying part of my day was being able to help. We could argue about how helpful I actual was, but I always wanted to pull my own weight. One of the most memorable gifts I received was the little red wheelbarrow. My parents still have it in the barn. This gift made me feel important, as now I was able to help out more, plus it made for fewer trips when feeding the animals!
One to Two Gallon Chore Bucket $5 - $10
Whether it was feeding the animals, hauling tools around, or odd and end chores around the farm, it usually involved a big ole 5-gallon bucket. As a kid I did all I could beside dislocating my shoulder to carry a full one. Carrying a half empty bucket was not an option, a half empty bucket was a half-done job. It seems silly, but a smaller bucket made all the difference. My dad chuckled as I made more trips, but I was able to keep up and I stayed cleaner. (My mom appreciated that!) A gallon size bucket for a two-gallon kid!
Toy Barn & Farm Animals $20 - $200
There was always work on our homestead, but we did leave some time for play! A wooden barn was something I circled in every toy catalog when the holidays came around. Deciding as a kid how I was going to lay my fence out to create the pastures around my toy barn, and deciding which animals were going to go in which field to be friends with, was endless fun. I spent hours lying on the floor putting my toy horses in the barn for the night, and letting them back out. It is something I plan to hand down to my kids someday. I will probably have to show them how to properly rotate their toy animals’ pasture, but I look forward to it!
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