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So you know some homesteader types who are getting married? Some folks who are into gardening, self-sufficiency, and DIY? Wondering what to get them that they'll really love?
Or maybe you ARE a homesteader getting married, and you're wondering what to put on your registry or tell your family and friends when they ask what to get you?
Here's the first thing to know about folks who share these common interests around simple, self-sufficient living: we usually don't want a lot of STUFF unless that STUFF is going to be useful for us.
I may have gotten married more than 10 years ago, but sometimes I think about how my registry would be different if we were getting married today. It would probably be much more practical, full of useful things that would contribute to us living the life we dream of.
It would also be non-traditional - including things that some people might not consider "gifts" but that we would consider amazingly generous and personal.
Here are six categories of gifts that would probably be on our "most wanted" Homesteaders' Wedding Gift list!
1. Your Time
As part-time homesteaders, time is one of our most valuable resources. There never seems to be enough of it to do all of the things that are on our "must do" or "want to do" lists. If someone told us that they would spend a weekend helping to prepare our garden beds or build a fence or a chicken coop with us, we might be touched to the point of tears.
In fact, many family and friends have done this for us, and we couldn't be more honored. When we look at the things they have helped us to build, we remember our time with them with so much appreciation.
2. Living Things
Whether we're talking about apple trees, chickens, or a cow, living things that will contribute to a homesteaders' lifestyle as they create their life together are an amazing choice. Of course, we don't mean you should give a cow to someone who wasn't planning on raising cows, but if you can find out the things that are on the "someday" list of your soon-to-be-wed homesteader, these gifts are an amazing and lasting contribution.
Just think, ten years from now you could look at their blueberry patch that is producing so many fat, juicy berries and think to yourself, "I made that possible."
The tools of the trade in homesteading go beyond the workshop in so many ways. We want tools that are multi-taskers and hard workers; tools that make our work easier; tools that last forever.
Maybe its that post hole digger that is going to make fence installation a breeze for many years to come, or our favorite Smart Splitter that allows us to create kindling for our wood stove to keep us warm and cozy.
If you're an experienced homesteader yourself, think about what was useful for you and gift it to the couple who is just starting out. What did you wish you had?
4. Books & Learning Resources
Being a homesteader means you are ALWAYS LEARNING. While libraries and online sources are awesome for tips and tricks (check out our sister site, Homestead How-To!), sometimes you just want to hold a book or magazine in your hand or keep it next to you for frequent reference.
Some of our favorite go-to books are things like The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Northeast Fruit & Vegetable Gardening, and The Beginner Guide to Beekeeping.
(Read more about our favorite homesteading books here).
If the couple-to-be is in the exploration stage, consider books like 52 Homestead Skills, Made from Scratch, or The Backyard Homestead.
For a gift that will last even longer, consider a subscription to Mother Earth News, one of the most useful and practical homesteading magazines in existence!
5. Kitchen Equipment
If the homesteading couple includes cooking among the things they like to do to be self-sufficient, kitchen tools should definitely be on their list. And we're not just talking about the common blenders and food processors you'll see on many registries. We're talking about tough, practical tools that will help them to prepare and preserve their food for many years to come.
Consider items like food dehydrators, canning equipment (pair it with the Ball Home Preserving Book linked above!), cast iron pans (seriously a must-have), and dutch ovens. These are all staples in a homestead kitchen.
For food lovers, consider a food-related gift like a set of spices that will last for their first year - we won this spice rack from Simply Organic and we absolutely love it!
For even more exciting and in-depth projects, think about bread-making equipment or a home grain mill! But don't buy something that the couple isn't invested in using or heavily interested in trying. We don't need gadgets just for the sake of gadgets!
6. Gardening Supplies
Almost every couple or family who is into self-sufficiency is going to try their hand at growing their own food. Whether they are novice gardeners or quasi-farmers, even the simplest gardens require a few key tools and pieces of equipment.
For the couple who wants to start a big growing operation, there are some bigger ticket items that could take them a while to save up for. Consider joining with others for these big purchases, or (if its your registry) setting up a fund for them. For example, a grow-light plant stand is key for starting seeds for your vegetable garden - you can buy one from a place like Gardeners' Supply, or buy all of the parts and help make one with the tips from this article on Homestead How-To. Likewise, if a greenhouse is part of the homestead dream, consider setting up a fund for a full-fledged installation or putting a small greenhouse like this one on your list.
Gardening gifts can also be smaller, of course! Consider gift cards to the couple's favorite local nursery or to a place like Gardener's Supply (our personal favorite). To get them started on their first vegetable garden, look for seed collections like those from Renee's Garden Seeds (click on "Easy to Grow Collections" for a few options).
Gardening tools are also a great choice if the couple is interested. A Garden Cart or sturdy wheelbarrow can be a great gift in the larger tool category, and in the smaller category you could consider things like a garden tool organizer (with tools) or beautiful garden basket. Maybe you could even find a locally made artisan garden basket or leather tool apron, or make one yourself!
In our opinion, wedding gifts should reflect the couple as much as possible - not just what they are supposed to have when starting their life together, but what will bring them joy.
Though working on yard projects and cooking might sound like chores to the gift-giver, to the homestead dreaming couple they may feel like the best date night ever. Show them you care by showing them you "get it".