A few suggestions for Christmas gifts never go amiss – especially when it comes to stocking fillers and gifts at the affordable end of the price spectrum. FW asked readers for a few ideas
Stuck on ewe
Fresh Fleeces is the latest range from Northern Ireland-based silversmith Avril Manderson. One of her most popular items is the Three Sheep Silver Brooch, which retails at £65. Handmade with fine silver wire and sterling silver sheet, each sheep is “a one-off character and a low-maintenance pet”.
“Traditionally, some people saw brooches as something your granny would wear, but more and more young people are wearing them,” says Avril.
As to where she gets her inspiration? “We’ve got lots of sheep around where we live – so I just have to look out of the window and I can see them!”
Find them at www.notonthehighstreet.com/amjewellery
Let fleecy dogs dry
If you want a present for one of your four-legged friends, then check out the Equafleece Dog Jumper. It’s 100% rainproof keeping your dog warm and dry, and makes for clean, speedy no-fuss drying. Simply pop a jumper on your soggy doggy and any debris drops off into the jumper which means it doesn’t get on the farmhouse kitchen floor . No more lingering “wet dog” aroma, either! It’s machine washable and different sizes make it suitable for all breeds.
Check out the range at www.equafleece.co.uk or call 08451 235 296.
Nice to meat you
Nick Greeff was taught to make biltong by his grandfather on their cattle farm in Zimbabwe and the snack later became popular with his clients when on safari. When he and his wife Sarah decided to return to her family home on the Isle of Wight, the idea of sharing their healthy and tasty treat was born. Established in 2011 in a newly renovated old dairy at Binstead, it’s made from local beef. A 30g packet of black pepper beef biltong costs £1.99.
Order online at www.isleofwightbiltong.co.uk or call 01983 611 288.
These mixed cartridge coasters come in packs of six for £20 from The Country Catalogue, a business based in the Dorset countryside. Owned by former dairy farmers Graham and Trish Crocker, the firm sells country clothing, footwear, gifts, accessories and homewares – all from its offices and showroom situated in a converted milking parlour.
Visit www.country-catalogue.co.uk or call 01258 817 666.
Tweed all about it
If you read the FW tablet edition on your iPad or access the website via your smartphone, what about one of these stylish covers for your gadget? Handcrafted by Rarebird in the Outer Hebrides using cloth from Harris Tweed Hebrides, an Isle of Lewis firm that works with more than 130 self-employed home weavers, it brings “a touch of artisanal style to modern technology”. The bright yellow iPad cover is £35 and there’s also a phone cover for £18.50.
Check out www.harristweedhebrides.com or call 01851 700 046.
Birds of grey
“Greys on Winter Stubble” is a picture by a beef farmer’s son from North Yorkshire, Robert Fuller, whose paintings sell all over the world, while up to 7,000 people visit his gallery each year. “The grey partridge, otherwise known as the English partridge, was once common here but has undergone serious decline and is now a Red List species,” he says. “So it was with great delight that I found this pair foraging among the flower borders in my garden on the Yorkshire Wolds one winter. I rushed out with my camera and was able to transpose their pose into this painting.” A framed limited-edition print (50x40cm) with frame costs £80 (prices range from £30-240).
See more at www.robertefuller.com or 01759 368 355.
Made to measure
Online recipes increasingly call for quantities in cups, instead of grams and ounces. Save yourself the headache of conversions with this set of farm-animal themed measuring cups. They stack neatly inside each other and are marked on the inside with both cups and millilitres. Perfect to encourage the baker in your life to whip up some new cakes. And for you to eat them.
They’re £19.99 and you’ll find them on www.presentsformen.co.uk or call 0844 846 9494.
Off the cuff
The Little Ark is a small family-run business that sells products mostly based around farmyard animals. The owners – Al and Alice Speers – both grew up on farms in north Dorset and still regularly find themselves lending their families a hand with the cattle and sheep at busy times of the year. These solid metal pig cufflinks, which measure about 10x5mm, are rhodium plated and made from solid cast metal and sell for £22 (plus £2.75p&p).
Find them at www.notonthehighstreet.com/thelittleark
Enjoy a dry Christmas…
Got a glut of apples/plums/strawberries (delete as applicable) and can’t face making any more jam? A dehydrator lets you create your own dried fruit and veg snacks, as well as candied peel, dried herbs and even “sun-dried” tomatoes. Just slice your chosen fruit, arrange on the trays and a gentle heat will draw away moisture without cooking the contents.
It’s £49.99 from www.lakeland.co.uk or 01539 488 100.
What’s not to love about livestock that doesn’t need feeding on Christmas morning? These beauties come from a small family firm called Rye Pottery, which splits its production between a retail outlet in East Sussex and an organic mixed farm just outside the town. The company is famous for its ceramic pigs, but it produces a series of animals – from chickens to ducks, sheep, goats and cattle – which are devoted to and inspired by the countryside. Every piece is painted by hand and initialled by the decorator. The bull, which is 14.5cm high, costs £37.70 (plus £6.50p&p).
Find out more at www.ryepottery.co.uk
The gift that keeps on giving
Get your loved one a regular copy of his or her favourite rural read with a gift subscription to Farmers Weekly. For a full year, the magazine is £119, the tablet edition is £142.80 and there’s a special bundled package of both at just £152.90. There are also six-month offers available.
You can either call 0844 412 22 94 and quote code 3017 or go to www.fwsubs.co.uk/3017
Festive fun with Tractor Ted
A perfect Christmas stocking filler or great addition to the existing book series – keep your little ones busy and stimulated with Tractor Ted’s Christmas Activity Book. The 32 pages of Christmas fun have colouring, counting, spot the difference and cooking activities, including great festive Christmas pud crispies. A tasty treat at £4.99.
Order yours at www.tractorted.co.uk or by calling 01373 834 500.
Victoria and Chris Eveleigh farm on Exmoor and their equine stories, which they write and illustrate for Orion Children’s Books, have a down-to-earth traditional feel firmly rooted in the countryside. But you don’t have to be pony-mad to enjoy them. Their latest trilogy has themes of farriery, aikido, Pony Club mounted games and heavy horses. The first two books, Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe and Joe and the Lightning Pony, are £4.99 each.
Details can be found at www.victoriaeveleigh.co.uk
Want to send a card with a difference this Chrimbo? The “Down on the Farm” range includes just some of the cards with sounds that you can buy from Countryside Greetings. They greet the recipient with such sounds as cattle, sheep, pigs and even the sound of a tractor engine when opened.
They’re £5.25 each at www.countrysidegreetings.com
Bring on the wall!
Wall stickers are a simple way to add personality to a blank space – and what better way than with one of these tractor vinyl walls stickers from Oakdene Designs. There’s a large selection of colours and sizes and you can even personalise the tractor with your child’s name. Prices from £17 including delivery.
You don’t have to wait until Christmas Day for this one – why not surprise your little ones with an advent calendar. Featuring shiny machinery against a Jack Frost-style background on the front and a selection of milk chocolate shapes inside, it has a recommended UK retail list prices of £4.36.
Get it from participating John Deere dealers or, in due course, online at www.johndeere.co.uk