Often they are the best way to put consumers in direct contact with producers, helping both to better understand the unique journey produce takes from field to plate.
Reducing food miles and providing for the local economy, farm shops are also a great way to restore a little community spirit, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, the time of year when most people are coming together to celebrate their connections.
Making the most of what is produced in the local area, these festive events are a great way to get a little more familiar with your local farm shop or simply indulge in a little regional tourism.
(Balgove Farmhouse, Strathtyrum Farm, St Andrews KY16 9SF, 12 December 4pm - 8pm)
Based just outside St Andrews in Fife, Balgove Larder has announced a lineup of music, crafts and exciting local food for its Christmas Night Market on 12th December.
Taking place in Balgove Larder’s famous Steak Barn - a distinctive converted farm shed with walls made from recycled potato crates and a huge wood-fired barbeque at its centre - the night market will allow shoppers to stock up for the Christmas table with items from the Larder as well as producers like Pittenweem’s Cocoa Tree, Ogilvy Vodka, St Andrew's Brewing, Louise Wedderburn’s hand crafted knitwear, Jo McFarlane’s hand-poured candles and Scottish rural crafts from Thistle Originals.
There will also be live carol singing, mulled wine and a visit from Santa, who will be giving away complimentary homemade treats.
(Bowhouse, KY10 2DB, 9 - 10 December 2017, 10am–4pm)
Housed in Bowhouse, the newly opened food and drink hub situated just outside St Monans in Fife, the Christmas Food Weekend will welcome some of Scotland’s most exciting food and drink producers to the market, alongside a range of craft producers and a line up of top chefs and street food all set to a soundtrack of live music.
Featuring street food from the likes of Eggy Box, The Crepe Shack and The Cheesy Toast Shack as well as a hand-dived seafood and vegetarian barbeque from SRUC Elmwood’s food and drink team, the market will have loads to keep foodies entertained.
Those looking to buy gifts and food and drink products can peruse the stalls with the likes of ethical specialists Raw, Wild & Conscious, Fife favourites The Very Lovely Sauce Company, the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company and Minick the Butcher on hand showcasing their wares.
There will also be cookery demonstrations and talks, from some of the expert chefs and producers appearing during the weekend.
(Balmalcolm Farm Cottages, Balmalcolm, Cupar KY15 7TJ, Saturday 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd, Sunday 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th December)
Hugely popular farm shop Muddy Boots is the perfect venue for the family this Christmas with its shop, cafe and kids play area.
This Christmas sees the return of their Santa’s Grotto, as well as the Breakfast with Santa with people being able to enjoy a morning meal with this very special guest, and new for 2017, the perfect way to catch up with friends - Christmas Afternoon Tea.
(West Craigie Farm, South Queensferry Edinburgh EH30 9AR, Sat 9 December 2017, 9:30 am - 11 am)
Make your child's Christmas (or your own) that little bit more magical this year with a special family breakfast with Santa at Craigie's farm.
An ideal festive family day out, your child can enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast before meeting Santa and his little helpers who will gift a present but not before allowing you the opportunity of a photoshoot with the man of the moment himself.
According to the team all tickets includes a four item breakfast (Bacon, Sausage, Egg and Tomato) as well as toast, beans and a drink (Tea, Coffee or Squash).