Three Roads to Stockfree Farming
Visiting the Orkney archipelago for the first time, it is striking how the landscape is almost completely dominated by livestock with some patches of cereal crops here and there. Yet, tucked in amongst all of this, on the island of Westray lies Thorncroft…
A living example of a thriving farm business set in just under 20 acres in Oxfordshire, using absolutely no animal inputs and producing a vast array of vegetables and fruits for a local customer base.
Gina Bates, Highland Veganics
At the start of February, 2020, Gina and a crew of volunteers began planting an orchard of 312 hazelnut trees on her 80 acre Highland croft. Gina and her crew planted 6 different varieties of hardy hybrid hazelnuts. Wild hazels, already growing next to the four-acre orchard, will help with pollination.
From Beef and Dairy to Veganic Cereals
As well as personal, ethical reasons, Laurence’s transition from dairy and beef farming to veganic cereal growing was influenced by environmental factors.
The Artisan Grower
Four years on, the Sullivans (aka: the Artisan Grower) were supplying around 36 hotels in Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh with microgreens, edible flowers, fruit, and veg. A remarkable achievement from just one acre!
Joost van Strien
For roughly 25 years now, Joost van Strien has run his 90-hectare vegetable farm, Zonnegoed, organically and just last year he took it a step further, obtaining the Biocyclic Vegan Standard. Farming by this standard means that Joost manages Zonnegoed without any animal-based inputs (e.g. manure and slaughterhouse waste products), nor with any synthetic fertilisers or agrichemicals.
At the start of 2021, Bio-Farmland became certified with the Biocyclic Vegan Standard, making them one of only a few cereal farms in the world right now to be run using stock-free/veganic methods.
Green Grow Food
Green Grow grows mushrooms and mycelium in refurbished shipping containers in a medium of waste coffee grounds using waste heat from a well-known Speyside distillery to create the microclimate for growing. After growing, the coffee grounds and any mushroom waste are used as compost for reforestation and environmental projects.
Crate to Plate
Grow Veggies Anywhere!
If you think you can’t grow veggies in your part of Scotland, think again! Former investment banker, Sebastian Sainsbury, founded Crate to Plate – a company growing greens in hydroponic towers in shipping containers.
Spinach, kale, lettuce greens, herbs and microgreens are amongst the produce they are selling both to private homes and to businesses. The company predicts up to 12 harvests a year once all the containers are operational.
Back to the Woods
Former Rural Skills teacher, Robin Bell, acquired a 90-acre croft not far from Oykel Bridge in Sutherland three years ago. His ancestors worked this land before the Sutherland clearances so Robin wanted to return to it.
Robin embarked on the Forestry Grant Scheme and was assigned a forestry agent.
How ’bout a nice cup of Scottish tea!
A 40-acre croft on the Scottish island of Lismore.has become home to 8,500 trees, a diversity of crops, fruits, and vegetables, and sanctuary to 35 rescue hens and 3 very old highland cows!
In bringing KelpCrofting back to Scotland, Kyla and her team hope to create a sustainable, affordable community model that can be replicated around the coast of Scotland stimulating coastal economies and highlighting the many benefits of this versatile crop.
From Sheep and Cows to Award-Winning Caravan Site
How one couple saved their community.
Where sheep and cattle once grazed, the five-star, award-winning Loch Ness Shores Camping and Caravanning Club offers 120 pitches and hosts a range of amenities including a gourmet shop with the best of Scottish food and gifts; a new 36-seater bistro; wigwam glamping pods; kayak and small motorboat hire; and a host of other activities including archery, birdwatching, nature walks and den-building.
Ten Reasons to go Stockfree
Combat Financial Uncertainty
Making a living from farming is not easy. According to the Scottish Government, agriculture in Scotland is dependent on farm subsidies with over 60% of …
Satisfy Governmental Requirements
What we know is that future government funding will reward clean, green and profitable initiatives. In announcing the new Agricultural Transformation Programme, Rural Economies …
Meet Changing Consumer Demands
Consumer preferences are changing. One undeniable change is the rapid increase in the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle. The number of vegans …
Reduce Environmental Impact
As indicated above, mitigating climate change is high on the Government’s agenda for the future of Scottish agriculture. Governmental decisions in this area are …
Mitigate Climate Change
Possibly you are thinking, that’s all very well, but my land isn’t suitable for growing food (please hold that thought until you see some …
Optimise Land Use
According to Scotland’s Agricultural Census 2018 and 2019, only 9% of our agricultural land is used to grow crops. Half of this is used …
Increase Food Self-Sufficiency and Food Security
UK-wide, currently 55% of our cropland is used to grow animal feed. As stated in Reason 6, using all this existing cropland to grow …
Restore Ecosystems and Biodiversity
It goes without saying that restoring native forests would be a massive win for ecosystems and biodiversity. Scotland is a beautiful country, some say …
Improve Public Health
This is a hot topic currently due to the Corona virus and connections drawn to the consumption of animal products. The Food and Agriculture …
Shift from “Me” to “We”
Professor Tim Lang, the UK’s leading expert on food policy, says we need to maximise our food self-sufficiency, not out of nationalism, but so …