Foraging, preserving and growing your own food is a way of life for me and many people. It’s a nice way to get back in touch with what mother nature has to offer. Finding the perfect gift during the holiday season can be difficult. Giving the right gift can spark an interest in a new hobby or lifestyle. Foraging can be a fun way to get outdoors and look for wild food. Growing your own food is an excellent opportunity to eat healthy and organic. There is a misconception that you need a lot of space to grow food. You can grow vegetables in a limited area successfully. Preserving your harvest or foraged finds is a nice way conserve your food for later consumption. Let’s look at some gift ideas that anyone interested in these activities would enjoy.
Gift Ideas for The Gardener, Forager and Preserver
Gifts Ideas for The Gardener
Gardening has many benefits. It can be a relaxing and peaceful way to spend a few hours of your day. Growing your own food is a healthy and wholesome way to live your life. I spend many hours in my vegetable garden seeding, weeding, watering and harvesting. These are some of the must-have tools for any gardener.
Gardening tools are a must. They are ideal for a variety of tasks including digging, weeding, loosening soil and aerating.
Gardening gloves keep your hands clean and protected. They are also good for ripping weeds out of the garden. A good set of gloves will give the hands better grip.
A good gardening book can give the advanced or beginning gardener ideas. As an experienced gardener, I am always learning new techniques and methods to grow and get higher yields from my vegetable garden. Mini Farming is a great book that describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre.
Portable Green House
A greenhouse can get your gardening season started early and also extend your season. If you live in a cooler zone it is a nice luxury to start your seedlings early. I like to use mine to start an early crop of lettuce, radishes and scallions right before spring. You can really get a jump start and have some fresh lettuce before you know it. A greenhouse will keep all your seed starts warm and protect them from low-level frost. They are easy to setup and store during the offseason.
Seed Starting Kit
Another way to get a jump start on the growing season is to use a seed starting kit. Basically, it consists of a seed tray, soil and a growing light on a timer. I have an article explaining how I use mine to get my seedlings started and the transplanting into my raised beds.
Gifts Ideas for the Forager
Foraging is a fun way to look for wild food. It’s the way many of our ancestors found food. You would be surprised how much edible food is all around us. Once you become educated in identifying and finding wild edibles you get hooked. It becomes an adventure trying to find hidden patches. Getting started in foraging is very easy. There are many books and resources available. Let’s look at some gifts for a budding or experienced forager.
Books on foraging are probably the best gift to start out with and many of these books are quite comprehensive. It is an excellent way to learn how to identify and pick wild edibles. This is the way I learned. You should stick with foraging books in your particular region. You can check out my foraging page for a full list of books I recommend.
Foraging tools can be helpful when it’s time to harvest. A good backpack, knife, multi-tool and small shovel are go-to items for any forager. The Opinel 3-in-1 foraging tool set is excellent knife set that is sharp and fits nicely in any backpack. You can see what I like to carry in my backpack when I go out foraging.
Gift Ideas for The Preserver
Water Bath Canning Kit
A water bath canning kit can make a great gift for someone who just started out gardening and wants to preserve their vegetables. Canning is easy to do and you can enjoy your harvest for years to come. Get your loved ones or friends started in the right direction with a canning kit.
Water bath canning is good for high acidity foods like tomatoes, pickling, and jams. When it comes to other things like low acidity vegetables, soups and stews you will need a pressure canner. Pressure canning processes the food at a higher temperature to ensure proper sterilization. It is a nice gift for those looking to can many types of vegetables from the garden, not just tomatoes. See more about how to pressure can here.
An avid canner is always in need of canning supplies. Jars, lids and rings regularly need to be replaced. If you are new to canning I have an article on canning 101. It is a comprehensive guide on how to use a water bath canner step by step.
Books on preserving offer great recipes, tips and methods of canning and preserving your harvest or wild edibles. These books have many recipes for all kinds of jams, pickles, soups and preserves. They can be a treasure trove of information.
Dehydrating food with a food dehydrator is another excellent way to preserve fruits and vegetables from the garden. Dehydrating food takes all the water content out and increases the shelf life. There are endless types of vegetables, fruits, meats and herbs that one can dehydrate. It’s as simple as cutting your food, placing them in trays and turning on the dehydrator. Check out my article on food dehydration to learn more.
Any of these gifts can be a thoughtful way to express yourself to a loved one. Foraging and preserving is a sustainable way of living. Anyone can learn to do it. Please see my recommendation page for other products that I use.