Barrel House Permaculture (ScotLAND Centre)

LAND Demonstration Network
Supported Project
PPN: 
1
Summary

Barrel House Permaculture is a smallholding with an abundant fruit and veg garden and pottery in the Findhorn ecovillage community in Moray, where it also serves as a classroom for many of the community's sustainability and permaculture courses.

About the project

Barrel House Permaculture is a private home and garden, which is used as a permaculture teaching and demonstration site by the various educational institutions in the Findhorn community, hosting approximately 600 people/year. Currently two people live here full-time, experimenting with a holistic sustainable lifestyle and being as close to self-sufficient in fruit and veg as possible. It also houses a pottery studio and woodfired kiln.

The house is one of the iconic Whisky Barrel Houses - a round tiny house built from a whisky vat previously used in the distilling industry. Over the years the house has been extended and added to, mostly using local and/or recycled materials, to adapt to growing number of occupants and their changing needs. It has solar panels, a woodstove with backboiler and rain water on tap in the kitchen.

The garden has changed greatly over the years. It was started in landscape dominated by sand dunes and littered with waste left over from the war, much of it toxic, and all covered by gorse, broom and elders, the pioneers species of the local ecosystem. Today the older part of the garden has mature fruit trees and shrubs interplanted with annual crops, as well as a greenhouse, pond, compost toilet and outdoor bathtub. The younger part of the garden is reclaimed construction site with abundant annual and perennial crops. Extremely free-ranging chickens contribute to the garden throughout.

Barrel House Permaculture is used as a learning venue for permaculture and sustainability courses. Coming course include

Permaculture Design Course (July 2019) see https://www.findhorncollege.org/course/permaculture-design-course/
Ecovillage Experience Week (August, September 2019) see https://www.findhorn.org/programmes/ecovillage-experience-week/

See a film about our Permaculture Design Course here https://youtu.be/tsFKP77BYfo

Being based in an ecovillage and spiritual community - we also bring our external environment into the project, exploring the links between spirituality and permaculture, hosting community meetings and events, and managing spaces for connecting with nature and the elements.

Project Dates
Project start date: 
January, 1991
Project Contact Details
Contact Name: 
Maria Cooper
International
International Networking Organisation: 
1
Project membership
Member Project: 
0
Data transfer from previous site
Data verified: 
0
Location verified: 
0

Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (ScotLAND Centre)

LAND Demonstration Network
Supported Project
PPN: 
0
Summary

We are Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (BIPA), a Permaculture smallholding and business on the Black Isle, 13km north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. Run by Clive and Julie, we offer eco tourist accomodation, courses, workshops and volunteering opportunities covering a variety of topics focusing on sustainable living, such as Permaculture design, organic food growing and preserving.

We welcome visitors by appointment, and hold open days, courses and workshops throughout the year. In 2020 we aim to offer eco friendly holiday accommodation in our woodland camping huts. Please contact us if you’d like to visit or look out for details of events on our website or Facebook page.

 

About the project

What is our permaculture smallholding

In August 2015 we  moved to a bungalow nestled in a 2.5 acre garden and woodland and are developing an organic permaculture project for food, wood fuel, habitat, well-being, abundant foraging, leisure and education and livelihood.

We are a domestic micro-smallholding where we are able to live a creative, sustainable and resilient lifestyle by the permaculture principles of People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share: a place where people can visit, stay, learn from and be inspired by an example of an organic smallholding incorporating a home based economy and resilient business plan.

We have used permaculture design to create a place where we can live in a harmonious ecological balance which provides us with many of our needs: food, a comfortable place to live, a livelihood, but also habitat for wildlife, and a place to share what we are learning. We have meadows, forest gardens, mixed woodland, a kitchen garden growing vegetables, salads, herbs, fruit, six free range hens and wild flowers to encourage insects and pollinators. We use organic and no dig methods to create healthy soil, working with closed loop systems so nothing is wasted, either through composting, wormeries, mulching, materials reusing and wood processing for fuel.

On-site, we have built a compost toilet and a Yurt for use during events and workshops, and two eco camping huts for guests wanting a sustainable, Permaculture inspired holiday. We have used natural and organic materials to eco renovate the bungalow and installed renewable energies such as solar PV, solar hot water and biomass heating, as well as energy efficiency measures to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We have an arts and crafts studio where we work to create artwork and handmade products.

We are also involved with a community initiative in Muir of Ord called MOO Food, which aims to reduce carbon emmissions, food waste and social isolation and create a healthy community and food culture through growing, sharing, and educating. We have planted a permaculture designed orchard of 50 fruit trees, planted incredible edible inspired veg, salad, herb and fruit beds, installed a community fridge and have an education programme with the local school and community groups.

We welcome visitors by appointment, and hold open days, courses and workshops throughout the year. See our Facebook page and website for details. We are also hosting volunteers in 2020 via our WWOOF profile.

Project Dates
Project start date: 
August, 2015
Project Detailed Information
Number of people involved: 
2
Number of people text: 
Clive and Julie live and work at BIPA
Areas of Activity: 
Permaculture ethics, principles, design
Culture & Education
Passing on knowledge
Land & Nature Stewardship
Permaculture Details: 
Many of the techniques and ways of working we use here are a shift in attitude from conventional agriculture or gardening, for example, active observation of ecosystems and foodwebs and making minimal intervention, slow solutions such as scything meadows seasonally rather than regular mowing, harnessing the benificial properties of ‘weeds’ and at the same time reducing time spent weeding, shifting from maintenance to harvesting (grass is a harvest which is used to make compost), no dig gardening and soil/fertility building through mulching, planting of nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators, and so on. It is more than just gardening as it takes in all aspects of our lifestyles such as housing, community, social equality, transport and food production. For us, as a LAND project, growing food, fuel, soil and sustainable production of resources, increasing biodiversity and habitat, circular cycling of materials, zero waste and energy efficiency are some of the key areas of focus, but we are also involved with community projects such as Transition Black Isle Seed Swap, Grow North and the MOO FOOD community orchard. We decided to become a ScotLAND Permaculture demonstration site so we can show people practical examples of how it can be applied and learn along with us. We are using Permaculture Ethics and Principles to guide how we live. The three Ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share are in the centre, and the 12 principles surround them Earth care is a main driver of our design, and we use organic and no dig techniques, composting and mulching for soil health, diverse types of trees, shrubs, plants, fruit, and vegetables, land stewardship and habitat creation through ecological methods, sensitive observation and minimal changes, water saving and harvesting, and regenerative growing practices. People care – we are creating a healthy environment, a relaxing, calm place to live, work and stay, inviting visitors to learn, providing opportunities for volunteers, demonstrating the potential of Permaculture to the wider community and improving food and environment in area, for example Transition Black Isle seed swap (http://www.transitionblackisle.org/) and MOO Food community food project (http://moofood.org/). Future care – using local, ethical and ecological services and goods, living within sustainable limits and minimising our consumption (e.g. growing food, reducing travel and commuting, making crafts, furniture, art, and produce) offering affordable workshops, open to share knowledge and experience, putting our time, energy and resources into positive local projects.
Online links
Project Contact Details
Contact Name: 
Clive
Telephone number: 
01463 871 171
International
International Networking Organisation: 
0
Project membership
Member Project: 
1
Data transfer from previous site
Data verified: 
0
Location verified: 
0