Keeping the plot

12 December 2017

Our first Bowhouse Christmas Food Weekend was a fantastic success, welcoming over 5000 people and over 80 stalls, creating a memorable festive occasion. I have to thank all of the Balcaskie team who work so hard to make it such a success. From the behind the scene organisation, to set up and on the day, it is a real pleasure to be involved with the events and to be part of such a cheerful and enthusiastic team.

At the end of November, we planted out first crop of Winter Wheat, which will be harvested in 2018 as fully organic. The seed was supplied by Scotland the Bread and in five heritage varieties, including; Rouge d’Ecosse, Golden Drop, Hunters, Wakelyn’s Population and also some Swedish Rye. The varieties were common in the 19th Century in Scotland and have a higher nutritional profile than conventional modern varieties mostly bred for yield. We look forward to following the progress of this new venture, which will see the flour milled at Bowhouse and sold across Scotland.

Keeping the Plot
Having now completed some new deer fencing around two, two-acre paddocks at Bowhouse, we are looking forward to welcoming Sarah Hunter from Keeping the Plot. She will be growing cut and edible flowers from the site and processing in the old farm bothy. Water for irrigation will again come from the farm borehole and the land has been prepared ready for planting out. Any spare land will be planted out in the initial years with pollinator mixes to encourage bee activity = better flowering.

We are seeking other users of land who are interested in micro-farming, from keeping small numbers of livestock to growing fruit and vegetables. If you have an idea and interest which you think would fit into the food production site, please do get in touch sparsons@balcaskie.com.

Planning permission has finally been granted on the new farmhouse at North Baldutho for Ally and his family. With Building Warrant now submitted, we are looking at the project starting in the New Year. As our first new build, the project provides us with the opportunity to trial more renewable energy in conjunction with demand for heating, hot water and power.

On a similar note, the new solar panels have now been installed on the roof at Bowhouse. With thanks to Billy Black Electrical from Perth, this is our third and largest system, generating 30Kw for consumption by the food processing units, brewery and in the near future, our electric car charging points.

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and looking forward to another exiting year in 2018.

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