12 December 2023

Pitch-up! 2023 applications closed at the end of November with huge diversity of business ideas being pitched to both Balcaskie and Kingsclere estates. Our next steps will be to interview the applicants and arrange a visit. We are very excited to see how this progresses and beyond 2023 – we are keen to partner with more farms and estates.

In early November, we held our Chef’s Grass to Grill event, taking both chef’s and front of house teams we supply, around the farm to see the livestock first hand. The opportunity to explain how we produce the stock which ends up on their tables and provide the information which can be re-laid to their customers helps to build long term relationships between the farm, butchery and wholesale customers.

Over the next 12 months we will be offering more opportunities to join a tour and focussing each one on the seasonality, produce and of course a chance to taste the end product. So keep an eye out for dates.

The Dreel Burn Project is a step closer to beginning. With funding secured from the Nature Restoration Fund to plant trees, build “leaky dams”, remove obstructions and monitor the effects, this project is designed to follow a relatively compact nature restoration objective through to completion and evidence the effects to enable future projects to learn how to attract funding from corporations looking to invest in “additionality of biodiversity”. In the past, many of these projects have been funded by subsidy through taxes. It is likely that they will in future be from industry looking to invest in nature based solutions.

With long dark days – farm security becomes more of an issue and like many other farms, we have invested in cameras and alarms to reduce the likelihood of break-ins. However, there is a current spate of targeted theft of GPS and guidance equipment on tractors and combines. The equipment is essential now to minimise wasted energy on farms during cultivations and applications of inputs, but the timely reminder over winter when the equipment is not being used – to remove it for safe storage and away from unwanted attention may be worth considering.

Last week, last minute scurrying and decorating was the order of the day at Bowhouse, preparing the site for its busiest market of the year. With a great deal of planning and co-ordination,  the December market brings a real sense of occasion and culmination of a year. Looking back over the past year and reflecting on the progress and changes which have occurred is well worth it, since it is easy to forget how much has been achieved.

Much like the nativity scene – we have been lucky to have welcomed the first few calves from “immaculate conception” The heifers were not expected to breed just yet, but all indications and science leads to the conclusion that there may have been a male calf involved and he is not admitting to it.

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