With a fall harvest comes an abundance of delicious homegrown food, and some pretty colorful and fragrant plants that always make the season feel festive. The bountiful harvest also gives you an opportunity to get a little creative and use extras to make unique, personal gifts for your friends and family. These ten holiday gift ideas can be made from your homestead harvest or other natural products you will find outdoors during the fall harvest.
Fall Harvest Holiday Gift Ideas
Not exactly one of the new holiday gift ideas, giving dried seeds to your neighbors or friends has been a common practice for thousands of years. Choose seeds from your best-performing plants (highest-yield) or simply some of your favorites, and dry them out after your harvest.
Once dried, put the seeds in a little burlap bag to give as gifts. You can also use fallen leaves or other Autumn-inspired things to add some color to the gift.
Did you have an abundant tomato harvest this year? Learn how to save tomato seeds to plant next year or give as gifts.
2. Homemade Cider
A staple of the holiday season, you’ve probably been given homemade cider before. But have you ever tried making it yourself?
Despite what you may think, making cider is actually quite simple and quick. The most common and best place to start would be making apple cider.
If you have some other fruits or flavors that you may want to add to your cider, you can add them to the apple cider base. This gives you the chance to make your own customized cider flavors, with ingredients fresh from your harvest.
Before you get started making cider, you’ll need a cider press. Lehmans has a stainless-steel cider press that will last you years and help make the cider-pressing quite a bit easier.
3. Dried Herbs
Did you have an outdoor herb garden this year? If you haven’t transplanted your herbs inside for the winter, you probably have a lot of extras and no chance to use them before they all go bad.
The most effective way to store and use extra herbs is by drying them out and adding them to seasonal gift baskets. Some of the more common herbs to dehydrate and gift include oregano, basil, rosemary, and peppermint.
Nowadays, dried herbs may be bought at almost any grocery store. Still, there’s something so personal and thoughtful behind the idea of planting, growing, and eventually drying these herbs. Hopefully, people who receive these gifts will appreciate it even more.
Plus, who doesn’t like homegrown ingredients? Anything from your garden will make a meaningful holiday gift idea.
Hang drying herbs can take a while, so if you want to dry a large harvest of herbs, try getting yourself a food dehydrator. They cost a bit up front, but have so many different uses you’ll end up trying to dehydrate everything!
4. Canned Sauces, Jams & Jellies
An obvious holiday gift idea to make from your fall harvest will include sauces, jams, and jellies. It can be difficult to preserve fresh produce through the winter, so making sauces and jellies are an important part of the harvest season.
Some of the most common sauces made and given as gifts include tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, apple butter, and a variety of other combinations.
The success of your harvest will decide what canned preserves you’ll be making this autumn. For example, if you have a large number of cranberries but had a poor apple harvest, you may want to make cranberry sauce as a gift, and keep the few apples for yourself.
If you don’t have a surplus from your harvest, try foraging in your area. Depending on where you live, you’ll be able to find quite a few useful plants in the wild. For example, in our area, we go rosehip foraging every autumn and make our own homemade oils, teas, and jellies. We’ve never given any away, but it’s near the top of my holiday gift ideas.
If you’ve never tried canning preserves before, you’ll need a high-quality pressure canner to get started. To learn the recipes for each type of preserve and how to get the most out of your canner, check out the Bernardin/Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
5. Baked Goods
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of somebody NOT liking baked goods as a gift. Giving baked goods as a holiday gift allows you to utilize different parts of your harvest and combine them in a delicious way.
Plus, with the colder months rapidly approaching it’s an ideal time to do some fall baking.
Pumpkin recipes have to be one of the most common autumn things to see online. At this time of year, pumpkins seem to be everywhere. If you have extras, try making chocolate chip pumpkin muffins in large batches to save you time and make multiple gifts at once.
If you want something a little different, try using any cranberries you’ve foraged to make a few cranberry-orange loaves of bread. Because muffins and loaves freeze so well, you can make multiple batches this autumn and be giving them away as holiday gifts until the spring.
6. Dehydrated Snacks
If you don’t have much free time and just want some quick holiday gift ideas, dehydrated snacks make a great option. With a large harvest, certain fruits and vegetables can be really difficult and time-consuming to preserve for long periods of time.
Slice up your extra fruits or vegetables and use a dehydrator to make your own fruit chip snacks. These dehydrated chips retain a significant amount of nutrients since just the moisture has been removed. Plus, the dried fruit slices and their vibrant colors look beautiful in a well-designed fall gift basket.
If your fall harvest includes any meat from your livestock, try making smoked meat or jerky as one of your holiday gift ideas.
7. Fall Wreaths
If you have an artistic-touch, try making homemade fall wreaths with some of the byproducts or nicer parts of your harvested plants and flowers.
To find some extra material for your wreath, try foraging in wilderness areas around your homestead. This will also give you an opportunity to get the whole family out for a hike and teach your kids how to forage.
Once you’ve collected your materials, use a wreath ring to help form your decoration. For more inspiration on fall wreath designs for your holiday gift ideas, check out Country Living’s 64 different options.
If you’ve transplanted any of your plants indoors for the winter or were planning on saving some cuttings, why not give them as a gift as well?
By taking cuttings and regrowing them, you can propagate your plants to make multiple different ones from the same original plant. Seedlings make the perfect holiday gift idea for friends and family members that practice indoor gardening over the winter. That way, the plants will be ready for planting once spring arrives.
If you know someone who lives in a small apartment or has limited outdoor space, seedlings will give them a chance to start growing their own food in an apartment homestead. If they have limited natural light, you may want to add a counter-top hydroponics garden to their gift.
A wide-encompassing category, autumn crafts is a chance to let your imagination run wild. Incorporate as many fall colors and items into your holiday gift ideas, and get your kids involved too. We dry and press flowers to add to our crafts, and even make wildcraft bookmarks out of them.
If you grow pumpkins on your homestead, give them whole as autumn gifts, or have the kids carve personalized designs for the recipient. If you do some pumpkin carving, don’t forget to save the seeds, they can be roasted and used in a variety of different preparations.
Looking for more holiday gift ideas for Christmas? Try these pioneer Christmas crafts for kids.
10. Pickled Vegetables
With an abundant fall harvest, one can usually expect to be pickling quite a few vegetables. The ancient preservation technique is simple, effective, and has made pickles a beloved food by many. As a result, they’ve become a common and popular holiday gift idea.
Pickled vegetables come in a variety of flavors, textures, and brines. The different recipes allow you to personalize the flavor of the pickles with your own combination of spices and vegetables. Certain pickling recipes may even be family heirlooms which adds a level of thought and care to your gift.
If you’ve never tried pickling before, read more about how to get started pickling vegetables today.
More Holiday Gift Ideas
If none of these ideas caught your eye, not to worry. With the surplus of a bountiful harvest, you can get creative and come up with endless holiday gift ideas. If you still can’t think of the perfect gift, one of our other gift guides might be just what you’re looking for.