August is upon us.

01 August 2018

Bowhouse Food market in July met with record numbers of visitors, shoppers and those interested in the local food network. Welcoming over 5600 people through the doors on a blazing hot July weekend (with the World Cup to boot) was an astonishing achievement for the team involved.
Over the year since our first Food Weekend in July 2017, we have hosted more than 400 traders and 35,000 visitors. Putting Bowhouse on the map of food and drink in Scotland. During the coming months, the site will see further expansion and new enterprises. Watch this space to find out more……
The West Lodge is now complete and will be marketed for let in August. This attractive Category B Listed property dates back to 1843. Now fully re-furbished and modernised with a contemporary extension, the lodge has 3 bedrooms and large living areas. Nestled in the entrance to Balcaskie Estate, this property is one of the flagship houses which someone will be delighted to call home. If you are interested, do look on http://www.balcaskie.co.uk/live-work/
A brief visit to Dartington Hall and Clinton Devon Estate in the South West earlier in July was a fantastic opportunity to see two very different estates, who have taken their role within the community to new levels. Understanding how they have managed both environmental and social sustainability balanced with the need to maintain an income to support the estate, gave plenty of opportunity to think about what we do here at Balcaskie and where we can improve.
One of the new entrant tenant farmers had created a “pop up café” on his farm to allow walkers the chance to come in out of the sun, make a cup of tea and help themselves to cake. The farm children managed the café and clearly enjoyed the chance to impress with their cooking!
A pre-harvest estate meeting has become a regular feature at Balcaskie. Inviting all staff from every enterprise to sit together and have lunch, followed by a series of reports and discussions on the past year and the year to come. The meeting provides the chance for everyone to hear first-hand what is happening and also to remind us of the key areas we must work hard to maintain. An annual reminder of Health and Safety issues alongside this year’s additional fire risk, it is a vital chance to relay those important messages.
Finally, we are now cutting and mulching in our “green manure”. As part of the management of Balcaskie Farms rotation, we grow some crops to mulch into the soil, helping to increase fertility and improve soil structure. Normally, this mulching operation is done before weed seeds set, but at Balcaskie, we have been delaying until the end of July due to ground nesting birds. Working with the RSPB, we are part of the Corn Bunting Project. A co-ordinated management across many land managers in the East Neuk. A species which had been in serious decline, the Corn Bunting has now returned and is being given an additional boost with these green manure crops. As such, the crops are full of birdlife and so we manage the cutting around their lifecycle.

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