Agroecology: facilitating mindset change

Agroecology – farming with nature – is only just creeping into the mainstream in Scotland. The aim of the project was to widen the understanding of agroecological practices.

Some of the thoughts that farmers might have when hearing about different approaches to farming can sound like:

“We’ve always done it this way” / “What will the neighbours think if I start growing thistles?” / “It might work on a smaller farm, or a bigger farm, but it wouldn’t work on my farm”

The first round of this project was designed to help farmers who are already using agroecological approaches learn from each other; and to invite more farmers to dip a toe in the water and try something new. This was  a partnership project with Landworkers Alliance, Soil Association Scotland, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Pasture Fed Livestock Association and the Nature Friendly Farming Network. Read our report.

Building on learning from the previous round, we are now working on our next project:

Agroecology: Enabling the Transition.

Our aim is to work with small groups of farmers across Scotland in peer-to-peer knowledge exchange. We will also host a series of public events for anyone to join and be part of this critical transition (more details to come)

More information about agroecology, what it means and what it delivers is available on FFCC’s website.

Agroecology in Scotland

Year-round Grazing: Profitable & Biodiverse Business

No-fence Collar for Conservation & Grazing

Agroforestry: Growing Apple Trees and Barley Together in a Silvoarable System

Pasture-fed Livestock: Reflecting on the Transition

Running a Crofting Township Food Hub

Our Past Events

Pasture-fed in the Borders with Matt Griffin, Edston Farm, Peebles

Integrating livestock into arable systems with Johnnie Balfour

Sheep health and nutrition with Poppy Frater, Katharine Sharp, Victoria Ballantyne

Soil health for growers

Agroforestry in the uplands with Andrew Barbour & Nikki Yoxall

An introduction to silvoarable systems – integrating fruit trees and crops with with Rachel and Roger Howison, Parkhill Farm, Newburgh

An introduction to the principles of regenerative grazing, followed by a farm visit with Nikki Yoxall, Grampian Graziers Dingwall Community Centre and Blackwells farm (women’s event)

Livestock within an agroecological farming system at Whitriggs farm, Hawick

Composting and fruit tree pruning/agroforestry at East Neuk market garden, Fife

Crofting, grazing and the potential of NoFence technology with Domhnall MacSween, Air An Lot and Shona Morrison, RSPB Scotland, Isle of Lewis

The Green Bowl: running a crofting township food hub hosted by Helen O’Keefe and Tessa Dorrian, in Sutherland

Future proofing the farm: reducing inputs and improving soil health with Doug Christie, Prof. Lorna Dawson and Dr. Ali Karley, on-farm in Fife

Crofting: managing for biodiversity with Phil Knott, Wildlife Croft, Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye

Agroforestry for growers in Scotland with James Reid and Rosa Bevan, Tap o’ Noth Farm, Rhynie, Near Huntly

Setting up a small-scale poultry business with Gilly Dixon-Spain, Jenny Macdonald and Jill Russell