Agroecology: facilitating mindset change

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

“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”

These are just some of the thoughts farmers might have when they hear about different approaches to farming.

This project is 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 is a partnership project with Landworkers Alliance, Soil Association Scotland, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Pasture Fed Livestock Association and the Nature Friendly Farming Network.

Events: online

3rd Feb Integrating livestock into arable systems with Johnnie Balfour

3rd Feb Sheep health and nutrition with Poppy Frater, Katharine Sharp, Victoria Ballantyne (book online)

8th Feb Soil health for growers (book online)

22nd Feb Agroforestry in the uplands with Andrew Barbour & Nikki Yoxall

late Feb Intercropping

mid-Mar Setting up a small-scale poultry business

mid-Mar Green manures, cover crops

mid-Mar Crofting, grazing and the potential of NoFence technology

Events: in person

25th Jan Pasture-fed in the Borders with Matt Griffin, Edston Farm, Peebles (in person) (fully booked)

27th Feb 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) (book online)

18th Feb Crofting: managing for biodiversity with Phil Knott, Wildlife Croft, Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye (book online)

3rd Mar Composting and fruit tree pruning/agroforestry at East Neuk market garden, Fife (book online)

5th Mar The Green Bowl: how we set up a food hub hosted by Helen O’Keefe/ Tessa Dorien, Crofters in Elphin, Knockan and Ledmore, Sutherland (book online)

mid-Mar Growing apples and barley together in a silvoarable system with Roger Howison, Parkhill farm, Fife