Mob Grazing

14 July 2018

North Baldutho Farmhouse is a step closer to completion, with the roof cladding now fitted, floor screeds poured and underfloor heating loops in place.
This unconventional building will be clad with tin sheeting to mirror the surrounding farm buildings. Heating and hot water will be provided by ground source heat recovery pumps and electricity will be supplied from another 30Kw rooftop installation at North Baldutho farm.
We were delighted to host the first “Field Lab” meeting at Balcaskie for the Soil Association. Looking at Mob Grazing, over 40 people attended with guest, Tom Chapman whose Nuffield scholarship paper on the subject got us hooked. Discussing the benefits, pitfalls and practicalities of this technique. Field Lab will follow us over the course of the next two years, with a group of Mob Graziers who are trialling and already using this method of rotationally moving stock in small areas regularly.
Using electric fencing, a group of livestock are moved daily onto new grass. The aim being to eat half of the grass available and trample half into the soil to increase soil health. Balcaskie are trialling this method to improve soil health, extend the grazing season to reduce straw requirement and utilise grass more efficiently. Measurements of soil organic matter and livestock performance will enable us to understand the effect over time.
The East Neuk Festival is once again welcomed to Bowhouse, where they performed multiple concerts over the four days. The second year that Bowhouse has been able to host the ENF, it is great to see how they transform the space with lighting, blackout blinds and the universal stage of choice – the potato box.
June and July see routine property maintenance of roof repairs, gutter cleaning and external decorations in full swing. Making great use of the access platform from St Andrews Hire Centre, we were able to paint some pretty awkward parts of Balcaskie House.
Balcaskie is delighted to welcome Lara Thompson who will be looking after all property related matters. Lara has come from a Chartered Surveying background and will be putting her skills to good use on developments and renovations including the Kinneuchar Inn.
Hunter Parsons has joined the Farm and Estate apprenticeship and will benefit from the extensive experience within the team. We wish Craig Hamilton all the very best in his new career after completing the Rural Skills Apprenticeship in June.

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