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2020 Gift Guide: 21 Must-Have Gifts for the Backyard Farmer

Holiday gift guide: gifts for the backyard farmer

We all know a backyard farmer or two in our lives.

They’re the ones who arrange for chicken sitters the way other people arrange for dog sitters. They avoid taking vacations in summer when their gardens are going off. They give away jam made from fruit they’ve grown, and foist massive zucchinis on anyone who will take them.

So it goes without saying that a backyard farmer — whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, or a coworker — is someone good to know!

Say thank you for all those zucchinis they keep giving you (and get on their radar when they have a glut of juicy heirloom tomatoes to share next summer) by sending one of these thoughtful gifts they’ll love.

And if you’re stumped on what to stuff their Christmas stockings with, check out my list of 15 Perfect Stocking Stuffers for Gardeners (Under $25!).

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The Best Gifts for Gardeners, Urban Homesteaders, and Backyard Farmers

The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbok

1. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook: I’m starting off with a recommendation for my newest book that came out in 2020. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who grows their own vegetables and wants to find out what to do with it all.

These are the kind of recipes you won’t find anywhere else, with delicious tips and inventive uses for all the odds and ends of plants you never knew you could eat. Think: radish tops, carrot greens, pea shoots, squash shoots, pepper leaves, and fava bean leaves. $25

Minimalist modern countertop compost bin

2. Modern Minimalist Compost Bin: For some reason, most countertop compost bins look like miniature garbage cans. They aren’t particularly attractive, especially in a modern kitchen.

But I love the sleek look of these compost bins with their wooden handles, smooth shapes, and neutral colors. They’re also made of sustainable and super durable bamboo, so their environmental impact is low (in more ways than one). $40

Epicurean over-the-sink cutting board

3. Over-the-Sink Cutting Board: Epicurean makes some of my favorite cutting boards (I own several) and I’m especially excited for this one.

The innovative design combines an over-the-sink board (a great space-saver in small kitchens) with a hole that you can push all your veggie scraps through (into a compost bin or bowl below). $69

Botanical-themed baking mat and spatula set

4. Silicone Baking Mat and Spatula Set: Does your favorite gardener love to bake?

Then this dainty botanical-themed baking set is just the thing to get! It comes with a large silicone mat (a great alternative to parchment or foil) and two spatulas with endless uses in the kitchen besides baking. $28

Wooden rolling pins

5. Wooden Rolling Pin Set: While we’re on the subject of baking, here’s another tool I’m eyeing for my own kitchen.

These rolling pins (made from maple or walnut) have a sleek modern look with a hidden function: the ends are tapered in a way that help you roll out just the right thickness from 1/8″ to 1/4″. You’ll never have to guess again on how much to roll your pie crust or pizza dough. $69

Flower pot bread baking kit

6. Flower Pot Bread Baking Kit: How’s this for adding some rustic charm and whimsy to a weekend brunch?

The kit includes four terra cotta pots, plus all the dry ingredients to make a batch of bread and lavender butter. There’s enough to make four bread pots, but you can save the recipe and reuse pots for future batches. $38

Masontops fermentation kit

7. Mason Jar Fermentation Kit: I’ve tried a few airlock systems for my fermenting projects over the years, but these are far and away the best for how easy they make it, even for beginners.

The kit comes with a wooden tamper, glass weights, and airlock tops to turn any mason jar into a fermentation crock for kimchi, sauerkraut, and other ferments. $49.99

Hard cider brewing kit

8. Hard Cider Brewing Kit: For the fermentation enthusiast in your life, this brewing kit is a fun new thing to try.

It comes with all you need to make three batches of hard cider, including a glass carboy, funnel, racking cane, rubber stopper, transfer tubing, tubing clamp, airlock and sanitizer. Just add your own apple juice! $44.95

Meadowland simple syrup set

9. Set of 4 Simple Syrups: Simple syrups are some of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. I use them in cocktails, sparkling water, coffee, tea, lemonade, and desserts.

This set is from a local Bend, Oregon, maker that I adore. (I try different flavors every year and always buy more as gifts.) The artwork on the bottles is divine, and the bundle includes their latest holiday concoctions: Winter Forest, Gingerbread, Sugar Plum, and Candy Cane. So delicious. $34

Floral print Corkcicle canteen

10. Stainless Steel Canteen: You can never have enough reusable water bottles, and these floral-print canteens are not only stylish, but functional.

They’re triple-insulated to keep beverages cold for up to 25 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. The screw caps ensure your drink won’t leak all over your bag. I can’t decide which pattern I like more… what do you think? $38

Custom engraved wooden flower press

11. Handcrafted Flower Press: I was looking for a flower press for a friend’s daughter (as I think it could make for a fun springtime lesson for homeschool) when I came across this… and decided I had to get it for myself!

This gorgeous handmade wooden press is engraved with a botanical illustration (you can customize it with your name, too) and comes with several sheets of paper to press your own flowers and leaves. I also got a few of these vintage-looking glass frames to hold my pressed flowers. $107

Natural dye kit

12. Natural Dye Kit: Got a crafty friend who’s into tie-dyeing textiles at home?

Then this kit is right up their alley. It includes all-natural ingredients (like osage, cochineal, and madder root) that can dye up to 13 feet of fabric in a range of hues, from pink to yellow to orange. (I also like this “Grow Your Own Natural Dye Garden” kit.) $27.95

Merry People natural rubber boots

13. Natural Rubber Boots: As a gardener, I’ve tried all kinds of muck boots and rain boots.

These ones, by far, are my favorite. (I have the Alpine Green version, but am really hankering for another color.) The boots are made of natural rubber and are so comfortable to wear not only around the yard, but out on the town, too.

Now that winter’s here, I’ve found them to be surprisingly warm down to 35°F (so far… we’re not that cold yet). And that’s saying a lot, since my toes always freeze in regular rain boots. Best of all? They’re unisex. I want to get my husband a pair! $129.95

Leather and straw market backpack tote

14. Leather Handle Market Backpack: I have a thing for handwoven market totes, and I especially love this version because the double leather straps are designed to go over your shoulders like a backpack.

It makes it so much more convenient to ride your bike to the farmers’ market or carry a large haul of vegetables while wrangling a toddler. $78

Gardener's handy helper survival kit

15. Gardener’s Survival Kit: How often do you find yourself deep in the garden, only to realize you ran out of twine or can’t find those clips you need to hold up your vines?

This handy kit comes with all the little things every gardener can use more of: plant markers, jute twine, plant clips, foam ties, and garden wire. $39.95

Mod Hod garden basket

16. Mod Hod Gardening Basket: Here’s an updated take on the traditional garden hod, which adds foldable feet and handles to a more streamlined and durable design.

But the feature that seals the deal for me is how you can stick this in your sink to wash off vegetables, or rinse it with a hose before you bring in your harvest. If you buy several of these Mod Hods, they even stack to save space while storing your produce. $34.95

Gardener's Supply Company garden cart

17. Garden Cart: This is a pretty spendy item, but for that special someone who’s a passionate green thumb, it’s the best gift you can possibly get them.

How do I know this? Because I have one and can’t live without it. (And yes, I have that fabulous purple color.)

The medium cart is plenty big for the average garden, and I find it much more useful than a wheelbarrow for everyday chores like hauling plants, tools, soil amendments, and piles of leaves and sticks for my compost. (It’s even great for carrying a kid or two to hang out in the garden with me.)

In my humble opinion, every garden needs one. $299

Organic heirloom seed bank

18. Organic Heirloom Seed Bank: What do you get someone who’s interested in gardening but doesn’t know where to start? A whole bunch of seeds to get them on the right track!

This collection includes 24 packets of popular heirloom varieties like Beefsteak tomatoes, Scarlet Nantes carrots, Bloomsdale spinach, Lacinato kale, Blue Lake pole beans, and Cherry Belle radishes.

There’s a little bit of everything, and Botanical Interests has the best seed packets on the market with how much planting and growing information they include. $54

Wooden floral hanger

19. Wooden Floral Print Hanger: This wooden hanger has a vintage quality to it that feels special and worn-in.

I love giving photos to family members, but sometimes I want them to stand out a little more. I think this hanger would make a great gift with a canvas print or giclee print already hung in it, like a work of art. $48

Coconut fiber hippo planter

20. Coconut Fiber Hippo Planter: Okay, I can’t resist a little kitsch. And this hippo lights me up every time I see it, so I think it would spark joy for a plant-loving friend as well.

The planter is made of coconut coir and is just the right size for a houseplant or potted herb. Maybe you could package it with your favorite plant? $55

Floral print Air Pods Pro case

21. AirPods Pro Case: I’m all about sweet, whimsical florals, and this pretty case would make a great gift for that friend who likes to listen to gardening podcasts when she’s working outside.

It comes in a blue floral pattern as well, and there’s a version for the original AirPods. $26

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Sally Christiansen
    November 24, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Great list! Congratulations on the new book!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      November 25, 2019 at 12:09 am

      Thank you Sally!

      Reply

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