Give the gift that has your favorite permaculture gardener saying, “You get me.” Whether they’re into vegetable gardens, fruit trees, food forests, or a little bit of everything, these thoughtful gift collections are sure to make them—or yourself—happy!
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What’s This Permaculture Thing?
Have you heard your favorite gardener talking about something called permaculture? If so, then knowing what the word means will help you give the best gifts!
Permaculture is simply the design and maintenance of a food-producing garden that works in harmony with the local ecosystem.
Let’s get into the gift collections!
Want to jump ahead?
- Vegetable Garden Collection
- Edible Landscape Collection
- Seed Starting Collection
- Food Forest Collection
- Herb Garden Collection
- Soil Improver Collection
- Seed Saving Collection
Vegetable Garden Collection
Grab these gifts for the vegetable gardener who loves a rich ecology along with delicious harvests.
Flower seeds for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators
The following are just a few of my favorite flowers to grow in the vegetable garden!
1. Sweet Alyssum Carpet of Snow Seeds—Excellent living mulch because its shallow roots hold the soil in place.
2. California Poppy Seeds—Its lacy foliage is a favorite of beneficial insects.
3. Nasturtium Jewel Mix Seeds—Another living mulch, it also repels pests.
Indispensable tool for planting, harvesting, and weeding
4. Hori Hori Garden Knife—A multi-purpose gardening tool that makes digging, weeding, and planting a cinch…one of the first tools I budgeted for when I started my garden.
Excellent natural fertilizer for keeping plants happy
5. Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer—When used monthly, natural fertilizers like this can help prevent garden pests.
Books for learning about composting and rainwater harvesting, two important contributors to a healthy garden
6. Compost Everything Book—A great resource for gardeners who want to start composting at home.
7. Harvesting Rainwater for Your Homestead in 9 Days or Less Book—Rainwater harvesting may eliminate the need for hand watering the garden while helping to create an edible and ecological oasis.
Popular seeds for gourmet garden-to-table eating
8. Heirloom Organic Seed Bank Collection from Botanical Interests—Includes tried-and-true heirloom varieties that have been around for 50 years or longer, making it a great survival stash of seeds to have on hand for food security.
Would you like to learn more about planting and maintaining a permaculture-inspired garden? You’ll find loads of information about ecological food gardening in my award-winning book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
Edible Landscape Collection
Grab these gifts for the edible landscape enthusiast who loves beauty and function.
Seeds for growing both food and beauty in the landscape
1. Edible Flowers Seed Collection from Botanical Interests—This 8-packet set of flower seeds provides endless culinary possibilities and can also help attract beneficial insects!
2. Celebration Swiss Chard Seeds from Botanical Interests—Adds a rainbow of colors to the edible landscape, and is beautiful paired with sweet alyssum flowers.
3. Red Russian Kale Seeds from Botanical Interests—Blends into the edible landscape and goes great with a purple color scheme.
4. Orange Sun Sweet Pepper Seeds from Botanical Interests—My favorite sweet peppers that add a pop of orange to the vegetable garden.
Books for learning more about edible landscaping
5. Landscaping with Fruit Book—Shows gardeners how to easily start an edible takeover of their landscape, including ideas such as using strawberries for ground cover.
6. Edible Landscaping: Now You Can Have Your Gorgeous Garden and Eat It Too! Book—Learn to create gorgeous and delicious landscapes with planting suggestions, combinations, and design ideas. Take a virtual tour of my landscape for more ideas.
Seed Starting Collection
Grab these gifts for the gardener who likes to get an early jump on the growing season by starting their own seeds.
1. Clip Fan—Mimics wind to create healthy air flow, which reduces fungal issues and helps seedlings grow stronger.
2. Seedling Heat Mat—Extremely helpful to ensure the ideal soil temperature for starting seeds indoors, which is 68-86° F.
3. Burpee Coconut Coir Seed Starting Mix—Seed starting mix that is both OMRI listed and certified organic. It’s also compact and easy to store!
4. LED Grow Light 2’x2′ Coverage—Mimics sunlight and is extremely energy efficient and long-lasting.
5. Basic Bounty Vegetable Collection from Botanical Interests—A collection of reliable vegetables, most of which can be started indoors.
Food Forest Collection
Grab these gifts for the food forest enthusiast…whether they’re just getting started or have years of experience.
Plants to grow for a healthy understory
1. Chicory Seeds—This clay-busting plantis an excellent choice when preparing a site to be a future food forest.
2. Russian Comfrey Root Cuttings—#1 multipurpose permaculture plant for biomass production, attracting beneficial insects, and more!
3. Dandelion Seeds—While many consider it a weed, dandelions are edible nutrient accumulators that also attract beneficial insects.
4. White Yarrow Seeds—A potential fertilizer that can help “stack the deck” toward a thriving, healthy food forest.
5. White Clover Seeds—Excellent source of nitrogen, an essential nutrient for healthy fruit production, and is often used in orchards as a walkable ground cover.
Fertilizer for starting fruit trees off right
6. Dr. Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer—While I prefer planting fruit trees in a guild, I recommend this Organic-approved fertilizer for fruit trees that will be fairly neglected and won’t be planted with compost or supporting plants.
Books & DVDS for learning about growing food forests
7. The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic DVD—I sometimes refer to a grouping of fruit tree guilds as an orchard on steroids…check out this 2-hour film for more inspiration.
8. Permaculture Skills: A Cold-climate, Applied Permaculture Design Course (4-DVD set)—An educational documentary series that follows students taking a Permaculture Design Course with author and teacher, Ben Falk, on his Vermont homestead. It condenses the contents of a 10-day course into roughly 8 hours of DVD run time.
9. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture Book—Highly recommended for beginners and professionals who want to learn how to create an edible backyard ecosystem.
10. How to Prune Fruit Trees Book—Fruit trees are healthier and more productive with proper and strategic pruning. This concise guidebook covers pruning instructions for over forty varieties of trees, from apples to almonds and plums to pomegranates.
Tired of generic permaculture design advice that you can’t apply to your specific goals? If so, check out my Permaculture Design Program and get the tools and support needed to create and implement your own permaculture design.
Herb Garden Collection
Grab these gifts for the gardener who loves to grow herbs and put them to use.
Seeds for growing beautiful and medicinal herbs
1. Resina Organic Calendula Pot Marigold Seeds from Botanical Interests—A cheery edible flower with many medicinal uses, it also attracts pollinators and beneficial insects.
2. German Chamomile Seeds—While its cute-as-a-button flowers make an excellent herbal tea, it also has medicinal uses.
3. Common Chives Seeds from Botanical Interests—Delicious and useful herb that deserves a spot in every garden!
4. Herbal Tea Collection from Botanical Interests—Growing herbs for tea is an undoubtedly delightful way to incorporate herbs for health into the permaculture garden.
Essential component for making DIY home remedies
5. Beeswax Pastilles—An essential, moisturizing ingredient in many homemade products like lip balm, lotion, soap, and easy herbal salves.
Online course for learning how to use herbs for healing and wellness
6. Herbal Academy’s Introductory Course—Help your favorite gardener start their herbalism journey at home with this self-paced course. Over 34 lessons, students will learn about 75 common herbs and how to use them in teas, tinctures, syrups, body care products, and more.
Soil Improver Collection
Grab these gifts for the gardener with compacted or poor soil.
Seeds for loosening and enriching soil
1. Artichoke Colorado Star Seeds—The taproots bust through heavy soil, and a bonus to planting them is that they’re edible!
2. Daikon Radish Cover Crop Seeds—These radishes break up clay soil and build humus as they rot, while the flowers attract beneficial insects.
3. Cowpea Seeds—Summer cover crop that suppresses weeds and enriches soil.
4. Soraya Sunflower Seeds—Another summer cover crop that establishes vigorous roots deep into compacted soil.
A natural amendment for loosening and enriching soil
5. Worm Castings—Richest known natural fertilizer that attracts beneficial organisms and neutralizes pH. I make my own but always need more!
Book for learning about a healthy soil ecology
6. Grow Your Soil!: Harness the Power of the Soil Food Web to Create Your Best Garden Ever Book—Shows how to easily attract and retain the microorganisms that turn dirt into a healthy, living soil ecology.
Tool for making planting easier
7. Auger Drill Bit—Attach these drill bits to your cordless drill and go to town! They will satisfyingly break through compacted soil before planting to allow water and plant roots to penetrate.
Hint: I don’t use it to create a single planting hole. Rather, I drill 3-4 holes in the area that I want to plant in. This provides a new plant more surface area for growing healthy roots and accessing appropriate amounts of water and air.
Seed Saving Collection
Grab these gifts for the gardener who loves their seed collection.
1. Artbin Craft Organizer—Large, airtight plastic container that is perfect for storing seeds properly.
2. Silica Gel Packets—Add these packets to storage containers to safeguard against moisture and help maintain the quality of seeds.
3. Seed Envelopes—Save and label your favorite seeds with these blank seed packets.
Need more ideas? Check out:
Permaculture gardeners are a pragmatic bunch, to be sure! They will love these gift ideas that improve soil health, increase crop yields, and help to build a biodiverse backyard ecosystem.
Have you given any of these gardening gifts or tried them for yourself?
Based on your 2020 gift guide, I bought the hori hori knife you recommended a few months later, for my birthday. I used it a lot, but in late summer, the blade snapped in half when I was digging up roots. I ordered a different one (barebones) for the coming growing season. Hope it lasts! Just wanted to let you know I did not have good luck with this knife, since it’s on your list this year, too. Also having small hands, I am looking forward to a rounded handle instead of this really chunky one. Always love your content!!
Oh wow! Mine has lasted for years, but thank you for letting me know!