So spurred on by the plethora of gift idea posts for homesteaders from instagrammers I follow in the US and Canada, I thought perhaps you’d enjoy one that was UK based.
I will put my hands up and say that on the scale of ‘homesteader’ or ‘small holder’ we are ‘small’. We have chickens, an allotment (next door so it feels like our garden!), produce as much of our own food as we can, we keep bees and have an orchard and produce our own apple juice and cider. We have solar power and an air source heat pump and wood burners, but we also have an oil boiler for our heat. We don’t have any larger livestock and, as I have a job outside the home, we don’t rely on this to exist at this point in time. So I sometimes feel I’m a bit of a fraud to label myself a homesteader or small holder, but, I’m not that into labels, so stick that in your pipes!
Anyway, back to the post in hand:
Gifts for the bread baker:
This would be the ultimate of gifts for me. It ensures the humidity of the bread is kept constant while cooking. They’re not cheap, the cheapest is around £35, but the quality of the outcome is priceless. I get alot of my cooking ware from amazon or my local cooking store in town, but this website is particularly great and has some beautiful gifts: Bakery Bits
Other gifts for bakers could be proving baskets for bread, or lames (they do go blunt after time).
How about this gorgeous apron ???
I confess to owning a linen apron from Daylesford AND this one from The Happy Moth on Etsy. I like to support crafters wherever I can and she ships really quickly. Etsy is a great place to find really interesting and fun things but I have been burned a couple of times and had to follow a complaints procedure through paypal, so I am a little more reluctant than I have been in the past. I would say 99% of Etsy sellers are genuine, however, there are a few, so just check them out first.
Don’t forget the simple things for a baker. I like to make my bread with organic good quality French bread flour as well as strong bread flour (also organic). I probably go through a bag every couple of weeks. Make a ‘flour hamper’. I get my flour from my local farm shop who are really good at supplies and choice, however, bakery bits also have some great flours as do Doves Mill
A few other bits I love and have (all these things are tried and tested!) are:
to the left, some gorgeous glass canisters from Brew Tea Company I have several of these as we use loose leaf tea for most of our tea. They are currently £10 and you can get them in a gift package with the tea, or even sign your Christmas recipient up for a subscription of tea. The candle on the right is from Daylesford
I love these as an alternative to cling film. They also keep food fresh a whole lot longer. I have got them from different places over the years, but these guys (Beeswax wraps) were the pioneers and do some great designs.
Other smaller gifts you could dig around for are things such as
-Cotton bags for the supermarket both totes and drawstring for loose produce (they also work for keeping bread).
-Straws, bamboo or metal are great and some places do ones in cotton bags you can keep in your handbag for out and about. With that in mind, I also have a set of cutlery (just metal from my own drawer) in a mini roll up cotton bag
-Reusable cups. We have some amazing ones from amazon called Emsa. I make my tea at 6.30am and it is just drinkable by 11am! It stays warm until around 3pm! There are so many choices out there though. I also own a collapsible one for my bag on times I may forget!
Gifts for the waste conscious
I also love this deodorant if you feel up to giving deodorant to a friend or relative for Christmas (good luck with that one!) and my fave is the coriander and lime. It’s from The Natural Deodorant Company.
Perhaps you can put together a package of waste conscious gifts such as some non-plastic encased body products, a bamboo toothbrush, some metal straws and a bamboo hairbrush or comb? Quite often I get products from Holland and Barrett, but also look around online. I like to support my local high street, but apart from H & B, we don’t have an awful lot of choice. We have one small independent Health food/product store.
Clothing for the smallholder:
One of the things I really need and use all the time for chicken sorting out, digging, walking the dog etc, are a pair of decent muck boots. I could buy wellies for a fraction of the cost, but I like mine for all day use and find wellies either rub blisters or just feel rubbish after a while. Therefore I like a good pair that look cute too. My darling hubby has bought me a new pair for my Christmas this year, so I can show you the ones I chose:
I’ve gone for these Dublin River boots with a wide calf (I have fat calves guys!). I like the look and they’re totally waterproof. Just shop around, the prices vary incredibly. They come in different colours too, but I went for Chocolate.
Another thing I really like is my boiler suit (I know, that’s like confessing something really sinful…yes, I own a boiler suit for throwing on in the morning to melt chicken’s ice water or other chores over my work clothes. I quite simply don’t have enough time to wear old clothes, do chores, come in, shower, change into work clothes. Throwing this boiler suit over the top is my compromise. Mine is from Dickies and is just a chuck over job, cheap and cheerful. However, if I had the finances to feel I could justify, I might go here (Carrier Company) for dungarees (overalls for my US pals).
Other bits and pieces:
Here are a few other websites that we use in the UK that you might find something fab for a farmer or homesteader pal.
Thornes – we use for some of our beekeeping supplies. My hubby got a pair of lovely long gloves last year from the kids.
Vigo presses – not to think that they JUST do presses. We have both our press and pasteuriser from here.
Secateurs and tool belts are always a hit as I’m constantly putting my secateurs down somewhere and forgetting them, however, this year my secateurs have been brutally forced by my hubby using them to cut the bottom of the Christmas tree, so they have died! We also love these plastic buckets for feed, weeds, apple pulp and collection, you name it.
Seeds are always a hit or mason jars (you can never have too many, I freeze, store, put gifts in mine).
Obviously there might be things you could make or reuse or recycle and I’ll try to add a post soon with a few things I’ve done this year, but as my recipients might read this, I may have to hold fire until later in the year 😉