PHOTO: J. Keeler Johnson
December 18, 2018

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is near, and for the hobby farmers on your shopping list, I propose that you can’t go wrong with the gift of small tools or equipment. Need more specific ideas? I shared five last December, but if you’ve been a diligent Santa and have already perused that list, here are five more gift ideas to spark your imagination.


1. Old Tools

Even if the hobby farmers in your family typically show restraint when it comes to shopping for tools, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them at Christmas, right? Thing is, you don’t necessarily have to aim for brand new tools. Maybe I’m just sentimental about old junk (I think anyone will vouch for that), but I suspect I’m not alone in being drawn toward the rich patina exhibited by even the simplest of old tools. Even if your hobby farmer has a thoroughly complete collection of wrenches and screwdrivers and saws, there’s something about old tools—weathered by years of hard work—that is appealing, and if you can find them inexpensively at a local shop, why not grab a few for stocking stuffers?

2. Extension Cords

For the hobby farmer who’s always out and about working on giant projects involving every conceivable power tool, extension cords can be a practical gift that expands their working area and save them from constantly unplugging and plugging in their tools. Do you think extension cords sound like a boring gift? Maybe they’re not anything flashy, but for the right farmer they’ll surely be appreciated.

3. A GPS

This gift might lean a bit pricier, but a global positioning system device can be a great tool to help farmers plot out landscaping projects and map large areas, as I explained during the summer when I used my own GPS to outline a new orchard. Unlike some of the items on this list, a GPS is a gift that can offer some immediate Christmas-morning fun—the recipient can set it up, test it, take readings on the elevation of the house and so on.

4. Winter Gloves

If you’re up north like I am—where temperatures will easily dip to minus-20 degrees F during January—winter gloves are a must for any hobby farmer tending the farm on those frigid days. Even if the farmer in question already has plenty of nice winter gloves, there’s no reason not to purchase another pair, especially if you choose gloves of superior warmth and quality. All gloves wear out eventually, and having multiple pairs provides options in case one pair gets soaked with water or snow and needs time to dry.

5. A Subscription to Hobby Farms Magazine

“Tools of the trade” can include trade publications, right? For inspiration, innovative ideas, equipment reviews, tips and tricks, farming news, instructional projects and more, a subscription to Hobby Farms magazine is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. It’s hard to beat that, right?

Merry Christmas, everyone!


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