There are plenty of “gift guides” with things you can MAKE at home when you live off the grid… but very few of them inspire you on what to GIVE to someone who lives off-grid.
So when a friend asked me for inspiration on what to give to a fellow off-grid girl, I decided to share my ideas with the world!
Give Her Something Home-made
We don’t often think to give home-made or home-grown gifts to other people who make or grow their own as well… but no one makes fig chutney like my friend Gail, and I love getting samples of cold-pressed olive oil from my friends so we can have our own olive tasting parties. And let’s not forget honey from your own bees, roasted almonds or that perfect body scrub my friend Bea made for my birthday.
(I’m not counting my friend Rekha’s amazing soap & oils here, as that’s not really something I could make myself… but they do deserve a place in this article!)
You can never go wrong with something made with love. Or with chickens, but we’ll get to that later.
Give Her Something Solar
So many appliances “normal” people have running on “normal” (mains) electricity, we can run on solar.
For someone who enjoys cooking, baking, or just wants to dry her own fruits & veggies: get a solar oven! You can usually buy a hand made one locally, make one yourself, or for a REALLY good friend you could get that All-American Sun Oven I’ve been drooling over for ages.
When it comes to solar lights, you can go for something practical (like this model we’ve got to illuminate the outside stairs), but hey, it’s a gift – so go for something pretty!
- A garland to decorate the trees with. We hang one in our olive trees most years and the result is enchanting at night! We do take it off in autumn, as it’s not too practical with the olive harvest and stormy weather.
- Lanterns or torches to light the garden. Even if we don’t spend a lot of time in the garden after dark, the view from inside is so pretty!
- Solar mason jar fairy lights – they’re great for outside or inside the house. You can buy them, or make them yourself (that tutorial has jars with fairies in them <3).
- Have you seen these amazing bee lights? This would be the perfect gift for ME! (hint to my husband)
- Or this pretty little owl… I’d bet our farm dog would spend days trying to chase it away…
Other Solar Stuff
We off-grid girls love everything solar.
Get us a solar charger for our mobile phone (for those days we spend too much time in the garden… or long hikes in the mountains), a solar shower for the summer (nothing beats an outside shower with a view!)…
Or that robot vacuum cleaner with its own solar panel a friend suggested – if it even exists (yet) (can’t find it online).
Alternatively, that solar-powered flashlight that will also charge your phone and probably send morse signals to Venus if you’d want it to.
Give Her Something To Work With
My favourite tool of all is our Dewalt strimmer – completely cordless with a string for grass and blades for the stronger stuff… there’s something addictive about clearing the property!
The best thing about this model, is the “flexvolt” battery fits other machines too – a chainsaw, power drill, leaf blower (if you find those things useful), and many more. We charge the battery when it’s sunny, and always keep a spare charged as well. (besides, who ever goes cutting wood when it’s pouring outside?)
If this lady is more of an inside-work person, maybe some crafting stuff would be what she likes? I like to spend long winter nights knitting hats in front of the fire…
Or consider buy-me-once kitchenware. Lasts a lifetime!
Give Her Something Hand-powered
For those of us living on limited electrical power, there’s a whole array of appliances that don’t need electricity!
- A hand-powered beater, for perfect cream in your coffee or fluffy egg whites
- A hand-powered washing machine
- Or this hand-powered blender that I’ve been wanting to get myself since I saw it at my mum’s… (then again, I’ve got a perfectly functioning electrical one…)
Build Her Something
If your significant other has been hinting about a chicken coop, a greenhouse or raised beds for her garden… it might be time to get your hands dirty! Do check her Pinterest account before you get to work, so you know exactly what models she likes.
Give Her Something To Read
Don’t be deterred by our “ain’t nobody got time for that” – everybody’s got time for the right book!
Real Life Stories Of Spanish Adventures
- Driving over lemons – an Optimist in Spain. Chris Stewart set the bar for living the off-grid adventure in Spain.
- The house that Jack bought (a Scotsman and his lodgers in the Spanish hinterland)
- A Spanish Dream
- By next year November, I’m hoping to add my own book to this list! *it’s in the making*
Gardening & Permaculture
- Gaia’s Garden: a guide to home-scale permaculture. Of all my permaculture books, I find this one easiest to read – lots of pictures help too.
- The complete book of herbs (a practical guide to growing & using herbs), it’s probably the book I use most often in my library. Often to identify new findings with, sometimes just for fun & inspiration.
- Gardening with chickens. Because you can have a garden AND fresh eggs daily!
Traditional Skills, Cooking & Cotraditional Skills, Cooking & CO
- Back to basics (a complete guide to traditional skills)
- Food drying with an attitude – I’d get this just for the title.
- If you happen to speak (and read) Dutch: I got De Tuin op Tafel for my birthday and I love it – it combines seasonal recipes with gardening information and tips.
Give Her Something For The Garden
Ladies who love to garden are easy to shop for. From the ultimate set of gardening tools to a practical gardening apron, there’s all kinds of fun stuff out there. Or maybe they need a box to keep their seeds in? I use a simple toolbox for this, does a great job.
Whatever else the garden needs – go for it! Last year I got a garden hose for Valentine’s day… might not sound romantic to some, but boy was I happy with it.
If you want something more tangible, a fruit or nut tree might be it?
Give Her Something She Can Wear
My friend Mellissa designs (and sells) “farm-inspired apparel”. Goats, ducks, cockerels, farmyards, you name it – check out the Farmish Collection here!
That, or rubber shoes always come in handy as well.
When in doubt, go for chickens. You can never go wrong with chickens. Or maybe ducks. Quails. A bunch of puppies and kittens. Alpacas.
(no seriously, never ever gift someone an actual living animal – so many things can go wrong. If you want to gift an animal, make it a voucher. Yes, I do feel strongly about this)
Or Something Else
After all is said and done, off-grid girls are people too. We all have our hobbies, interests, passions and obsessions. So if you just want to get us the newest Stephen King novel or a board game, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!