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Sooo, 2020. Yeah. What can we say? As I’m sure it has for many, the weirdness of this year has caused me to reevaluate many areas of my life. For example, we got chickens. Why? I want more control over my food sources and we eat a lot of eggs (we are ovo-vegetarians).
I am ramping up my veggie garden in a huge way too this fall. I normally allow life to get in the way and only plant the priority foods such as Swiss Chard, kale and bell peppers. But not this year. This year, I am ramping things up! We want squash, broccoli, peas, more bell peppers, and anything else I can think of.
Additionally, we have decided to buy 5-10 acres in Central Florida, do a little homesteading, and start a permaculture garden. More on that as it unfolds.
And I have also noticed my highs have been really high and my lows have been really, really low. Being stuck at home doesn’t help, of course. Even now in July, K and I are sticking close to the house. It’s safer frankly.
Wanna know where I get my highs from? Shopping therapy! Online shopping and I have developed a new relationship. We’re kinda BF’s now. I do a lot of window shopping (so to speak). I have also heard about a fun, new trend on Pinterest of ladies looking for gifts for themselves. Me-Gifts!
Personally, I think that’s wonderful. It is OKAY for us ladies to take care of ourselves too. I am Gen-X so kinda feel like I was at the tail end of the generations that taught women they were to sacrifice all for their families. I raised my daughter differently tho. Wanted her to know it is okay for her to honor and care for herself too. We CAN balance taking care of loved ones as long as we don’t forget about ourself in the mix. It’s just healthier for us to do so.
Back to this me-gift thing. ALLOVERIT! I did some more window shopping and found 10 gardening gifts we ladies NEED to buy ourselves. Since gardeners tend to be more utilitarian types, you’ll notice the gifts are useful, will make life more comfortable, or will make your gardening life easier and more successful. Let’s splurge a little and go shopping shall we?
If there are any other gardening gifts you feel like you must have too, let me know in the comments, and I will add you and them to my list, k?
Women’s Gardening Shoes
Over the years (and after too many years of wearing heels and crappy shoes all in the name of fashion), my poor feet have taken a beating. I now have plantar fascia, so really comfortable and well built shoes are critical for me. When I first moved to No Flo in 2013, I bought a pair of Klogs. I like them. They’re decently comfortable but they’re all I’ve got. It’s time to add another pair to the collection!
But of course, these shoes need to be more than just cute. I need them to be incredibly comfortable and sturdy.
These Sloggers fit the criteria so will be the next shoes I buy.
I especially love their patterns. Additionally, I have tried them on a million times in various and assorted stores and they’re super comfy.
Hi my name is Amy and I don’t always wear hats when I garden. Yep, though I know I should! I even had a little melanoma taken off my forehead a few years ago. Iamtrying to get better about it. A part of my problem is I keep buying hats I think I’ll like then end up not liking them for one reason or another.
My next hat though will be UPF and super functional for a garden setting. So in that case, given where I live (mosquito hell), I need two hats. Here is the one I just bought a few weeks ago.
This hat has been seriously amazing for keeping the mosquitoes away from our faces and necks. The netting rolls back up into the hat so you can also just wear it as a sun blocker. It is UPF rated too. Best of all worlds except…they don’t have any fun colors. However, for summer functionality, this hat tops the list for sure.
This Jane Shine Outdoor Sun Hat is very, very cute. Totally in love with the Coral Blue shade. It is breathable, has a cotton sweatband to keep the forehead sweat contained, is made of a waterproof fabric and is also quick dry if it does get wet. LOVE! LOVE!
Gardening Bench and Kneeler
If you have read any of my other gift posts, you will see I show this handy little tool off everywhere. My daughter in law bought me one for Christmas. BestPresentEver! I love, love this bench. It’s so comfortable that my other daughter actually sat on it that Christmas while at the kitchen table and worked on her laptop.
This wonderful bench works two ways. You can sit on it to pull weeds, etc. while at your garden, or you can flip it over and kneel on the underside (very cushiony for those of us with bad knees). I totally recommend this to any of you who have a delicate back or knees, or simply want to make your gardening life a little easier.
I have wanted a bonafide potting bench since the day I discovered they existed! Not only are they fun, the organizer in me wants a designated place to pot my plants.
I found this bench on Amazon’s site. Very affordable and has a metal table top which makes for easy clean up. Has drawers, shelves and a cabinet too. It feels like they had an Amy mind-meld when they designed this bench.
Do you want to go all out and get a handmade, Amish built, cypress potting bench for your she-shed? Check out this gorgeous piece of art on Lehman.com’s website. If you order one of these beauties, send me a picture so I can drool with envy, k?
Garden Journal & Tracker
If you’re serious about growing your veggies this year, having a set place to plan your garden in advance and then record everything you’ve done is muy importante. Repeat after me, “I am serious about growing my own food this year!” Doing this will give you peace of mind and will be gentler on your wallet – because I do see scarcity already in my produce aisle AND prices going UP as a result.
Keeping our seeds organized and dry are essential to gardening. I pulled all my seeds out this weekend and realized I had just bought yet another packet of cilantro even though I already had two. I also rediscovered the massive amount of various squash seed varieties I have picked up over the past couple years while living in No Flo. (My county has some serious backyard gardeners up here so seeds are sold everywhere! And who can resist a new packet of seeds?!?)
I would loooove to get a seed organizer like the one below so I can keep track of what I already have AND what I need coming up.
Compost Pail for the Kitchen
I have a dirty (no pun intended) little secret. I don’t compost. Dontjudgeme. I know I should, and my gardener friends scold me all the time for not doing it. I have lots of excuses as to why I don’t. None are good of course.
I think this fun bamboo kitchen compost pail would definitely incentivize me to start though! It holds a gallon of food and comes with two filters to keep the odors out of your kitchen.
Harvest Carrying Basket
The ultimate in splurge for me right here. My head is currently informing me I DO need a basket to carry all of my harvest around in! Convenience and cuteness combine in this wonderful basket from Lehmans. It does serve multiple purposes though because you can wash and drain your produce right there in the basket (see, you knew you needed it for a reason)! It’s 18” long for those really big vegetables you pull out of the soil too. Priorities! Priorities!
I currently have a two wheel poly-construction wheelbarrow to cart my stuff around the yard. I have many complaints! First, it doesn’t want to stay upright on my uneven ground. Second, I cannot load it down because it tips over.
My pie in the sky cart is this Collapsible Utility Wagon. It has 4 sturdy wheels and holds up to 150lbs. The fabric is easy to clean but also mildew and UV resistant. Tough stuff it is! We NEED this cart!
Are you feeling an especially urgent need to continue growing food through the winter months this year? Me too! This is where having a greenhouse comes in handy. You can actually get them in a ton of different sizes (based on the space you have) and price points.
This 55.5” (L) x 56.3”(W) x 76.8” (H) greenhouse comes with 12 wired shelves making it easy for you to get started right away. It is also one of the most popular on Amazon. Small warning. These types of greenhouses are quite lightweight (think of windy days, etc.) but the company does give suggestions on how to keep it anchored down so it stays put – which I totally recommend.
Do you have a lot of space? Then what about a hoop house? The company Quictent has two sizes – 12’x7’x7’ and 20’x10’x7’. The cover has plenty of exhaust vents to keep the air circulating for those warmer days and comes with excess fabric at the bottom so you can bury it to really hold the warm air in on those super cold winter days.
Now that we have found all of the essentials we require to garden properly
These gifts are all focused on your having a successful garden harvest this year and in future seasons to come. As I know you feel too, I really, really like the idea of knowing my grocery store is right out my back door. Controlllll…
If you don’t have a ton of space, don’t despair though. You can get very, very creative on how you grow your food. I started out container gardening on our deck down in the Florida Keys. And do still mainly container garden because we don’t have a ton of usable gardening space.
In the winter, we do start our seeds in the house under grow lights. If you don’t have much outdoor space, you could also grow your own veggies indoors doing the same.
Now, let’s go shopping!