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The holidays are near, and everyone is wondering the same thing: “What in the world am I going to gift people?” Maybe you have a few ideas already, or maybe you’re stuck.

Fortunately, homesteaders can make a variety of affordable and thoughtful gifts from their backyard. Consider any of these fun gifts just in time for the holiday season!

Baked goods

I mean, who doesn’t love a nice loaf of bread? Use dried herbs and fruits grown on your homestead to bake delicious treats for your next White Elephant party. (Try this: A Festive Recipe for Giftable Bread Loaves)

Preserves, pickles, and more

Food gifts are both delightful and practical. Did you preserve your summer cucumbers as delicious pickles? How about that huge batch of apple butter from the fall harvest? Simply add a gift tag and a ribbon to your Mason jars and you’ll have a beautiful gift ready for Christmas.

Flavored honey

Have you ever had lavender honey? It’s to die for! If you keep bees, you might already be giving away honey as gifts. If you want to take it up a notch, you can create lavender-infused honey. (Herb/honey recipe and how-to.)

Jerky

If you keep livestock, jerky is a fantastic holiday gift. And who doesn’t love jerky that was made with love?

Jewelry

You want to make the most of raising your fowl. When cleaned properly, you can use their feathers to make earrings and necklaces as gifts for others.

Medicinal tinctures

Do you have a few lemon balm tinctures in your cabinets? Put them to good use as holiday gifts. Tinctures do require some time to age, but that will make it even more of a wonderful gift.

A scarf knitted with love

Homesteaded sheep’s fleece is heavenly and soft. Convert your wool into beautifully crafted scarves, blankets, hats, or sweaters.

Beeswax candles

Honey isn’t the only giftable item you can get from bees. Beeswax is so versatile in beauty products, but it’s also good as an old-fashioned candle. (Two easy methods found here.)

The bottom line

Why worry about holiday gifts when there are so many giftable options on the homestead? Give any of these amazing, thoughtful gifts to delight your loved ones.

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Great Herbs To Grow For The Beginner

If you’ve ever felt the rush of fulfillment when you cook using your own vegetables, wait till you try garnishing your meals with home-grown herbs.

Herbs are a great way to add flavor and an appetizing aroma to your meals but the high price of them on the market makes them seem like they’re not really a necessity. Luckily, with a little effort, you can start growing herbs on your own.

Since herbs are fairly small, it’ll be better to start growing them out of pots so you can manage them easily. Fertilizer is important for when you’re growing them and it can help retain nutritional balance in your soil which can grow healthy herbs.

To know if your soil is lacking any essential minerals, you can collect samples and have it tested. The test will determine what nutrients it contains, and what it doesn’t so you can get the right fertilizer. Remember to use an organic fertilizer that won’t cause any damage to your plants’ or your health.

Once you’ve prepped your soil, you’re ready to put it into pots and begin growing, but you need to pick which herbs you want to grow.

Two factors will determine what herbs you should grow; how easy it is to grow a certain herb and what your personal preferences are. (Of course, you’ll want to grow herbs that you actually intend to use.) For convenience, I’ll be naming herbs that you can find in almost every kitchen.

Parsley

You can grow this versatile herb by sowing them in warm soil. The soil can be either in a pot on a window or in a bed when the soil feels warm. These seeds can take some time to finally germinate so you can speed it up a notch by putting them in water and leaving them overnight before you plant them. Grow them in damp soil and place the pot in a sunny place.

Rosemary

This is the ultimate beginner’s herb because of how simple it is to grow, not to mention how good it tastes. Since it grows with hard leaves, it doesn’t lose water too quickly, which means you shouldn’t keep the soil too moist either.

Other than that, the soil doesn’t need much prepping and you don’t need to make special arrangements with regards to sun or shade, because rosemary isn’t picky.

Oregano

If cooking Italian is your specialty, then you need an Oregano plant right away. This delicious herb prefers light and warm soil, as well as lots of sunshine.

Sow them in a pot with warm soil, and pinch out the parts which grow vertically when the shoot has a height of 10 centimeters because it helps in stimulating growth.

Coriander

This herb is fairly popular in Asian cuisine and now you can grow it at home in pots. The seeds will take a few weeks until they germinate while the plants don’t last very long, so you’ll need to add more seeds often so you have a consistent supply. If you want the best-tasting coriander, then keep your plants healthy and harvest it often.


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