Fest Community Gift Guide // Nest

It’s kind of bonkers how many amazing teachers, makers, producers and other creative people are involved in the festival. Why give your hard-earned dollars to mega corporations when you can show your gratitude for your local farmers and business owners and give some truly amazing gifts? We’re not encouraging buying when you normally wouldn’t. Rather… if you’re already going to head to the mall for gifts this season, pause for a moment and consider supporting these farmers, makers and small businesses who work tirelessly to demonstrate and grow alternative systems, take time to educate and share their skills, and are passionate about the work they do.


NEST, the 2nd guide in a series, focuses on goods for the home – artwork, hand-craft, firewood & fire pits, and learning experiences to pick up these skills!

1. Tamara Klassen Design / Forage Dyeworks

Tamara came out to the fest for the first time this year, to teach an Intro to Natural Dyeing. We’re looking forward to having her back next year to share more of her plant-dyeing wisdom! Hop over to her Etsy shop to get some great stocking stuffers and gifts in the form of naturally dyed threads, and to her website for info on her other goods and events, or connect with her on Instagram: @tamarajklassen

2. Nojo Textiles

Johanna, from Nojo Textiles brought her fibre-love to the fest and taught a weaving workshop for kids. It was a hands-on, engaging intro to weaving in a digestible and fun way for young ones (and some of their parents!). If you want to bring the joy of weaving and other fibre arts into your gifting this year, check out Nojo’s shop on Etsy! We love the Manitoba gloves and pretty much every scarf : ) Also find her on Instagram: @nojotextiles


3. Maria Epp Art

We were overjoyed to have Maria join in the fun at the kids’ tent this year, sharing her passion for wild inks! She brought whimsy and creativity to the fest, and we can’t wait to see what she dreams up for next year. Bring some of her passion and thoughtful perspective into your home or gifting this season. Find originals and prints of her work here on her website and over on IG @mariaeppart.




4. Winnipeg Sews

Katherine Magne led a Community Experience at the fest this year – a Mend-In where attendees could bring an item from home to learn the vanishing art of mending, leading to less waste and longer lasting clothing and household goods. Katherine runs a sewing school and studio in Winnipeg, where you can give the gift of learning and also purchase sewing kits, notions, patterns, and more for someone who loves to sew or wants to get started. Check out her online shop and her feed @winnipegsews on Instagram.

5. Rootfire Wood & Metal

Paolo caught the attention of fest-goers with his forging demonstrations, lessons, and beautifully forged goods. He has a variety of items that would make lovely gifts, including hooks, bottle openers and more. Connect with Paolo via @rootfire_wood_and_metal on Instagram to find out what is available for holiday gifting!

6. Prairie Shore Botanicals

Laura’s been a fixture at the fest since our start in 2013, and was back this year teaching something new to the fest – basket-making. Her intimate group of students seemed to have a fantastic day of learning the art of basketry using cattails and other grasses. Laura also teaches other elements of useful plants, has a fantastic book detailing some of her favourite plants with a whimsical story-telling thread, and her classic Sap n’ Salvy salve that works wonders on burns, poison ivy, and more (a great stocking stuffer or gift exchange idea!). Find Laura over at Prairie Shore Botanicals.

7. Manitoba Buckskin

A first for the fest, Carl came out and taught a full-day intro to hide tanning workshop, sharing the skills he has learned from generations of women in his community. You can find Carl over at Manitoba Buckskin, where you’ll also find a variety of hide products and classes that would make wonderful gifts, like a hide drum-making kit.

8. Firewood Manitoba

Clint brought the warmth to the fest in the form of fire pits and a huge wood-fired hot tub – along with his teaching on Heating the Homestead. Bring some warmth into your gifting and give the gift of firewood or one of Clint’s beautiful and functional fire pits! Find him at Firewood Manitoba or on Instagram @firewoodmanitoba.

9. Elm Natural Builders

It took us a while to dream up a project that was both practical and beautiful for Francesco’s Hempcrete workshop, and in the end we all agreed that a privacy wall for the composting toilet outhouses was just right. Francesco also ran an Intro to Natural Building workshop at the fest. Have someone in your life who would be over the moon for a cob oven or other natural building project? Connect with Francesco to see if you can strike up a project to gift! Find him on Instagram @elm.natural.builders or his website.

10. New Society Publishers

One of our sponsors, New Society Publishers has a plethora of publications to help you along your urban or rural homesteading journey. For our Nest Gift Guide, here are a selection of our favourites. Note that the festival receives a percentage of sales for books sold via these links. Thank you for supporting this grassroots event!


Common Threads

Weaving Community through Collaborative Eco-Art by Bruce King

Combining detailed, step-by-step instructions with tips for successful process and an overview of completed projects, Common Threads is a different kind of weaving book. This inspirational guide is designed to help artists and activists foster community, build empowerment and develop a do-it-together attitude while planning and implementing works of collaborative eco-art.


The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide

Complete Step-by-Step Construction, Maintenance and Troubleshooting by Erica Wisner & Ernie Wisner

Earthen masonry heating systems are well-suited for natural and conventional builders alike. A super-efficient, wood-burning, rocket mass heater can help you dramatically reduce your energy costs while enhancing the beauty, value and comfort of your home.


Essential Hempcrete Construction

The Complete Step-by-Step Guide by Chris Magwood

Going well beyond the scope of many natural building books, this indispensable manual includes a complete introduction to hempcrete, packed with all the information you need to determine whether it’s the right choice for your project.

11. Refill Market

Refill Market is the passion project of Marisa Loreno (along with her partner Cody Fullterton), who was Enviro Coordinator for the 2019 fest. Marisa took all of our vision and ideas for a low-waste event, pulled them together, added some magic, and ran a tight ship leading to a shockingly low volume of waste at the event. This duo can help you do the same at home – while Refill Market’s doors aren’t open yet, you’re going to want to check back often over on their IG account @refill.market. Rather than including them here to give you ideas for gifting, let’s give them the gift of following them and cheering them on as they work to create this gift of an amazing zero-waste shop for Manitobans!

12. DIY Homesteader Fest General Store

Support your favourite little fest on the prairies by gifting some goods from the fest shop this season! We’ve got cheery locally-sewn bandanas that were screen printed by Martha Street Studio, canvas prints of the fest design screen-printed right at the fest, buttons, blank notebooks, manifesto prints and more! Head to the general store to learn more.


13. Grassroots Grants

Something we have put a lot of thought and research into is how to find a balance between putting on a high quality event and making the event accessible to people with lower incomes.  As we are still not a profitable event, it’s hard to find ways to do so! We’ve been working so hard on structuring some sliding scale ideas, and continue to work hard to make the fest work for as many people as possible. We want to extend an opportunity to you to work with us to help more people access this important experience and information. If you’d like to donate your coffee this week to our Grassroots Grants program, we’d be thrilled. As the fund grows, we’ll make regular posts on how it’s doing! It’s been slow growing and so far we are at $100. Thanks to those who have already contributed! It’s really one of those gifts that keeps on giving, as each person who attends the festival cultivates knowledge to share with their friends and family, and builds a network of supportive community!