It’s that time of year again. The temperature has dropped, the nights have drawn in and Christmas will be upon us in no time at all. And that means it is time to get the gifts organised.
Whether you love or hate Christmas shopping, our gift guide should be handy.
We’ve pulled together a selection of stocking fillers, kids gifts, foodie delights and real treats for your loved ones. And several of our recommendations are produced by fellow farmers or rural businesses.
Check out our list for some great ideas that will take the stress out of present shopping.
“Milly, Molly and Mandy” is the work of Somerset-based artist Jackie Spurrier, who has been painting cow portraits for 14 years.
“They were peeking over a wall at me as I drove by on my way to pick up the kids from school,” she says. “I had to stop and take hundreds of shots of them as they seemed to love having their photos taken and were posing in groups.”
Cows on Canvas. A paper version is £45 (58x31cm), and the canvas is £165 (90×27.5cm) or £210 (110×32.5cm).
This Duck Decanter is a real party piece for the table and one of At Home in the Country’s best sellers.
The duck measures 26cm high by 10.5cm wide and holds approximately 100cl of wine, water or whisky. The head is hinged at the back of the neck to enable filling up.
At Home in the Country was born over a long Sunday lunch in December 2012 at the home of Guy and Georgie Robinson in rural Yorkshire. Guy and his father Mike design about 80% of the countryside-inspired gifts on their website.
At Home in the Country. £56.95
The farmer in your life might well already have a rain gauge, but let him or her indulge their interest (OK, obsession!) with monitoring the conditions with this temperature and humidity forecast station.
From ClimeMet, a family business based in rural Suffolk, the 9088 can be set up to measure indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, pressure, sunrise and sunset times, plus moon phase.
It allows you to store historical minimum and maximum records, and also set alarms to alert you to different weather conditions.
ClimeMet. £50 for the 9088 station
A family business spanning three generations, The Profiles Range make beautifully handcrafted weathervanes from their workshop in the heart of Sussex.
The weathervanes are made from British powder-coated steel and depict a wide variety of animal and country scenes. From dog breeds and outdoor hobbies to wildlife and automobiles, there’s a weathervane for every taste.
They also feature among a whole mix of quirky homeware and unusual gift ideas on the Cuckooland website.
Cuckooland. They are priced from £59.95 (cottage size) to £109.95 (traditional size).
These four stainless steel stirrup cups come in a fine leather case with stud fastenings.
Each cup holds around 125ml, so they’re the perfect flask accompaniment for a winter warmer.
Gamekeepers Cottage Gifts have kindly provided a 10% discount code for readers who place an order before 11 December – simply enter the code “farmersweekly” at the checkout.
Gamekeepers Cottage Gifts. £29.99
Villager Jim calendar
Villager Jim is a wildlife photographer based in the Peak District, who does not reveal his real name. He does reveal stunning photos of the countryside, wildlife and farm animals though.
And he now has an online shop, full of lots of different products featuring his fantastic images.
These A3 calendars would make the perfect addition to a farmhouse kitchen. The Tractors and Highland Cattle calendars are just two of many, so you can pick the one to suit you.
Villager Jim’s Shop. £11.99
Lid Sid helps your pans let off steam. The small silicone chap hangs over the edge of your saucepan, propping the lid up to save any of that boiling-over mess.
The perfect gift for busy cooks or budding chefs.
On stockist Luckies’ website you can also find Sid’s friends Hug Doug the spoonsaver and Juice Bruce the citrus squeezer.
Charity Christmas cards
An idea for before Christmas because it’s always nice to support a good cause through the cards you send.
The rural charity the Addington Fund is offering a range of cards this year. There are 20 designs available, varying in size and price.
Your money will support this organisation, whose main area of work is to provide homes for farming families in England and Wales who have lost their home as a result of having to leave the industry, as well as other nominated charities.
Addington Fund. £4.50 for six medium-sized (5x7in) cards
David Richardson’s autobiography
In at the Deep End: How a Young Farmer Came to Cultivate the Media is David Richardson’s autobiography.
Norfolk farmer David, a long-serving Farmers Weekly columnist, has established a reputation as one of the foremost agricultural journalists of his generation, drawing comparisons with the late, great AG Street.
In this book, David blends stories of practical farming with insights into his career as a print, radio and TV journalist, plus his take on notable events, agricultural VIPs and perspective on some of the changes he’s lived through.
Poppyland Publishing. Hardback £16.95; paperback £12.95
Farming-themed yoga book
This little hardback book, Farmyard Yoga, features a different farmyard animal in a fanciful yoga position on each page.
From the Warrior chicken and the Harmony duck to the Passion lamb, each pose is accompanied by words of wisdom from a yoga guru or a sage mind.
It could be a serious challenge for yoga enthusiasts – or a good downstairs-loo book for the rest of us.
Amazon Books. £5.99
Sussex charmer hamper
This medium-sized hamper comes from Bookham & Harrison, based on the Surrey/Sussex border.
It includes their famous Sussex Charmer cheese, which is described as a cross between a traditional mature farmhouse cheese and a Parmesan. The cheese has won a lot of awards and is produced exclusively with milk from the herd at Rudgwick.
Business partner Rob Bookham is well known as a staunch promoter of British food and a pioneer in the late 1990s of farmers’ markets. Most weekends, you’ll find him in his brown bowler hat selling their range of products to the public in Sussex, Surrey or Hampshire.
The World Honey Box
DrBeekeeper has been around the world looking for the finest honeys.
The World Honey Gift Box contains six jars – English Wildflower, Greek, Italian Chestnut, Mexican, New Zealand Clover, and Spanish Orange Blossom.
Finished in an embossed or personalised gift box with a ribbon of your choice, this special collection would make the perfect accompaniment to toast, sandwiches and afternoon tea.
Aval Dor Vodka and Stafford’s Gin are produced from potatoes on the Dustow’s family farm near Fowey in Cornwall.
At Colwith Farm they grow a variety of main crop potatoes, but only the King Edwards are used in Aval Dor Vodka and Stafford’s Gin. Those spuds are extremely high in starch and with their floury complexion they’re perfect for the transformation into a premium spirit.
Aval Dor. Aval Dor Vodka – £22.95 for 35cl; Stafford’s Gin – £37.95 for 70cl
Grab a train and get ready to explore the countryside.
With this Farm Train Set from Farm Toys Online, youngsters can drive the farm train through the apple orchards and help the farmer deliver hay bales before stopping for a rest by the duck pond.
Additional accessories are available to expand the set.
Farm Toys Online. £29.95
Mum-of-two Jannike Taylor spent 18 months developing the Lakes and Lambs brand, which is inspired by the Lake District, farming and country living.
Based in Penrith, Cumbria, it was launched in June, and these stylish “Little Farm” children’s overalls are among its products.
Designed to be worn over clothes outdoors, they’re lightweight, durable, stain-resistant and available in sizes 1-5 years.
“As we work in agriculture, we have a house full of boiler suits,” says Jannike. “But we struggled to find any that were small enough for very young children learning to walk, or that were designed with children in mind.
“We wanted our own design to be functional but fun and playful as well.”
Lakes and Lambs. £34.99
Kids’ Claas tractor and trailer
This push-along ride-on tractor and trailer comes complete with steering and of course a horn for happy little drivers.
No doubt they will be able to find plenty of stuff to fill their trailer with.
Littel Farmyard. £44.95
Jack Russell egg cup
We all love a Jack Russell, right? Well, make the enthusiast in your family happy by beginning their day with one of these fine china egg cups.
This little dog will guard their eggs and soldiers, and other breeds are available, too.
Fur Feather and Fin, based in rural West Sussex, also sells a 6in high china Jack Russell moneybox we rather like the look of.
Fur Feather and Fin. Egg cup £13.50; moneybox £21
Tractor Ted pyjamas
These super soft 100% cotton pyjamas are perfect for tractor-mad boys and girls.
The long-sleeved top and bottom set are machine washable and come in three sizes: 2-3 years, 3-4 years and 5-6 years.
These PJs are flying off the shelves for those little fans that can’t bear to be parted from Tractor Ted overnight. Shame they don’t do them in adult sizes, too.
Tractor Ted. £18