Category Archives: news

Ardchattan Parish Archive Open Day Friday 6th October

As part of the Scottish first annual Heritage Awareness Day the Ardchattan Parish Archive will be open all day from 10.30 am here at Kintaline Farm, Benderloch.
Come along to see what is in the archive : maps, books, records, images ..
Share your family tree, learn some more family connections, find out about the places locally.
Bring images and records to be scanned, donations of these are very welcome to learn from and share.

Living Larders : Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive perennial, and we had one wild area of the farm that got taken over a bit, coming in from the road side.
We have now got on top of it and have very little to clear each year… and will be keeping it that way.
Bees DO love it, but they will be attracted to it to the detriment of other native plants. When the pods explode they shower seeds metres away.
Having said that, the flowers ARE really pretty and make a very delicious syrup. Harvest them whilst clearing up the plants, (that are then bagged and left to go to sludge)
When the TV show 3 hungry boys were filming with us some years, they did some HB clearing and then made syrup and pancakes to sell & barter at our Community Producers Market to get more food for their next stages of their journey..
(this link has since failed : .. 3 hungry boys episode 6)

Juice of a lemon
Water (about 100ml)
250g sugar
50g Himalayan balsam petals
1. Heat your water and lemon juice gently.
2. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon water mixture and then add the petals – after about 5 minutes it should turn a bright pink colour.
3. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes stirring continuously until you have a runny syrup. The longer you cook the thicker it gets, if you like you could try thickening it into a jelly.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
5. Serve on pancakes or desserts.

Soils, Compost and Lasagna bed workshop September 9-10 2017

Ludwig Appeltans, Earth Ways, will be leading a permaculture weekend workshop at Kintaline Farm, Benderloch
September 9 – 10 2017

Topic for this course is : Soils, Compost and making Lasagna beds (sheet mulching)

  • Learning about growing food inevitably starts with building soil.
  • Come and learn how to create a soil abundant in life with a rich variety of nutrients.
  • Help your plants to be healthy and nutrient dense.
  • Discover how a good soil helps your plants to be disease and pest resistant and how a good soil helps to prevent unwanted weeds.
  • The workshop includes a hands-on session on building a lasagna bed: From lawn to veg bed in no-time.  workshop will be in a polytunnel to protect us from the weather.








Evening Fence planning

Still recovering from Royal Highland Show adventure means the day of showers was spent on paperwork but a lovely evening, and the need for gentle exercise, inspired a bit of new field planning, and the layout of a new fence.  Was enthralled by a display from our personal Starling Murmuration Team.

planning new fencesplanning new fences

starling murmurationstarling murmuration

Smallholding Scotland is launched

Smallholding Scotland is Launched.
Established by smallholders, Smallholding Scotland is a unique, member-led organisation dedicated to representing, promoting and supporting smallholding across Scotland.
The Societies purpose is to promote and support the sustainable stewardship and the purposeful use of smallholdings.

The website is live at and applications for membership are welcome.

There is a lot to do over the coming weeks, months and years to build the organisation into a strong body that supports and represents smallholders in Scotland but there is a vision and a will to do that – and with the active support of Scottish smallholders, we can achieve it.

The management committee is determined that the organisation will be member led; that it will be open and transparent in its working. News items will be added to the website regularly and you can sign up for the newsletter via the website.

There are still vacancies on the management committee. If you have time and energy to commit to growing Smallholding Scotland and smallholding in Scotland, please get in touch.

Soggy Sparrows

The constant showers had even our wee sparrows fed up – lined up on the chairs just outside the (very dirty) window.
We have literally hundreds of these characterful wee birds and there are juveniles on every fence begging for food. They have had far too much fun with baby veggies .. will need to increase the protection and so some more. !!

Wild flowers

Walking into an area of orchids reminds of the unique beauty around us amongst the ordinary. Our herb rich grazing still has too many rashes, but the diversity and rarity of species is very special.
And then the rarity pops up in the commonplace spaces just to surprise.