After a fantastic live return in 2021, the Scottish Smallholder Festival is back on 22nd October 2022 at Forfar Mart and the organizing team are promising some new elements alongside all of the favourite aspects that have made the Festival a ‘must attend’ event.
Entry to the event is free but as last year will be ticketed – you can register for yours now on the Festival’s website, where full details are available.
New this year will be the Cookery Theatre, which will be located in the canteen at the rear of the penning area. The team are delighted to welcome the founder of the Scottish Food Guide (and smallholder) Wendy Barrie to the event. Wendy will be doing a couple of demonstrations amongst talks on what to plant on your smallholding for cooking.
Also in the Cookery Theatre will be the return of the Sausage Competition – if you produce your own sausages from your smallholding, then this is the perfect opportunity, particularly as everyone thinks ‘their’ sausages are best!
The seminar programme this year will feature talks on forestry and hedgerows, finding the best breed of livestock for your land, and two case studies; the first from Jillian McEwen from Lunan Bay Farm who will talk about their journey into Goat farming, and then Kim Pinner from Mountain Hall Farm in Wales will be talking about their farm and the launch of their micro dairy.
After last years’ successful Big Issue discussion on abattoirs, this year Claire Taylor will be welcoming speakers to discuss the theme “Smallholding – Its more than a hobby!” Guests will include speakers from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Scottish Agritourism, local food practitioners, nature networks and some of our earlier speakers who will bring their real world experience to the discussion.
The Forfar event will include all of the elements that have made the Festival such a success – with its aim to inform, educate and entertain. There are five competitions – for sheep, goats, pigs, poultry & waterfowl and Garden, Craft and Food – plus cattle and equine online shows, with the winners announced on the day. Schedules and entry forms for the live shows and the schedules and software for the online competitive events are available on the website https://ssgf.uk/ and the closing dates for all competitions will arrive very quickly!
The famous Equine Parade will showcase the best of our native breeds of equine including a magnificent Shire horse, which we have not had at the Festival for a long time.
The sheep ring will feature a range of demonstrations throughout the day including talks on rush management and Sheep and Goat “MOT’s”.
The Rural Skills area features our largest showcase of expertise including drystone walling, basket weaving, tanning, baking, stick and crook making and many others. The demonstration area in the Strathmore Hall will even let visitors have a go for themselves. For those who already bake or make, there may be classes for you in the Garden, Craft and Food competition – preserving, baking, honey, eggs, crafts and much more!
The Strathmore Hall will also be showcasing some of the leading businesses for smallholders featuring crafts, produce, advisors, organisations and a host of smallholder kit including trailers, small tractors, feed and tools.
Chair of the organizing group, Martin Beard, said, “We are really excited by the line up for 2022, the team have done a fantastic job to bring together the very best livestock, speakers, traders and demonstrators. Visitors will no doubt go home having learnt a lot, seen a lot, and probably bought a lot, but we hope they will have been thoroughly entertained.
“We could not deliver the Festival without the fantastic support we receive from the Scottish Government team that has been working with us since the last Festival ended. We would also like to thank our sponsor Galbraith Group and all the traders and entrants who make it all possible.”
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