Situated on the slopes of Tap o’ Noth hill in a stunningly beautiful area of rural Aberdeenshire, the farm is a mixture of south facing sloping fields, mixed broadleaf woodland, pines, ponds and wetlands and has a long history of land use, being situated in an area of Scotland well known for agricultural traditions.
Since 2012 the site has been under the stewardship of James Reid and his family who, with many a helping hand from friends and volunteers, have been turning the neglected land into a diverse, resilient and productive ecosystem, farm and family home.
As an ever evolving site, the farm is growing at a rapid pace with ever expanding food gardens, small and large livestock systems, polytunnels and fruit cages, worm farms, emerging forest gardens and agroforestry systems, main crop areas, swales, multifunctional/ multi species windbreak hedgerows, ponds, compost toilet facilities, all with many more exciting and informative ecologically designed systems planned for the future.
Living in a cold wet northern climate we are constantly testing and trying various techniques and methods that allow us to grow varied annual and perennial crops that suit our climate, storage and living conditions. This trial period will enable us to make good design decisions and choices regarding what market crops/products to focus on in the future. We are moving into small scale mixed vegetable production with the creation of a small market garden which we will operate as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture ) scheme, aiming to grow a variety of organic vegetables and traditional cultivars of fruit trees and berries. We keep two Shetland cows (with the third on the way), a small, hardy traditional rare breed well known for its association with the small farmer (known as ‘the Crofters Cow’) and is classed as a dual purpose breed (milk and beef). We plan to move our grazers rotationally around the site to maintain the health of our herd and our pasture, incorporating a leader system of dairy cattle followed by chickens for a supply of eggs.
Multipurpose and multifunction species of trees (hybrid willow/black locust/sea buckthorn/alder/hazel) are regularly planted as hedgerows, providing windbreak, fuel, fodder, food and medicine and a beneficial habitat for our many birds, mammals and insects.
With hundreds of diverse fruit, nut and fuel wood trees being planted and with animal systems and many gardens producing nutrient dense organic vegetables and high value crops, the site promises to be a productive and fruitful enterprise for its inhabitants and its visitors over the years to come.