The CountrySOLE Project is a green tourism and educational centre. The project aims to create a sustainable living system, utilizing natural, biodegradable, reused, and recycled materials and working with natural cycles.
Welcome to Borderwood Farm and the CountrySOLE Project
Country S-Sustainable O-organic L-living E-Experience
We farmed at Newhouse Farm, Almeley for 36 years but when we tragically lost our lovely organic herd of pedigree Friesians to a TB outbreak in 2003 we channelled our sorrow and our energy into creating the CountrySOLE Project.
The houses are built of Finnish pine, hand treated with borax, insulated with sheep’s wool, roofed with recycled plastic tiles and powered by solar panels (the wind turbine is no longer working). Our water is captured from the roofs, filtered and stored in tanks, and supported when necessary by a borehole supply. The grey water is pumped through the raised bed in the polytunnel then collected for the garden or drip fed through the trees. We have state of the art composting toilets that have been working very successfully for over 15 years
From a life-changing experience helping with a permaculture project in South Africa, the circular kitchen garden is designed with the hours of the day, the seasons of the year and the festivals of ancient peoples in mind. We were fortunate to be able to reuse materials from the farm in it’s construction and in everything, we have tried to repurpose or recycle. The essence of sustainability is to think in circles, to replicate the cycles of life, to be responsible for what we use – and to leave only our footprints.
The Kitchen Garden The vegetables are grown in rotation moving clockwise around the site, this varies the requirements from the soil and helps to reduce the carry over of pests and diseases. The fish pond in the middle is home to the few carp that the heron has left us and is a resource for watering the garden. The perimeter bed provides a wide range of soft fruit, some more successful than others. Dessert and cooking apples, pears, damsons and crabapples grow in the orchard beyond. Many of the crops are started in the greenhouse or polytunnel to give them a fighting chance against the array of pests that are out there waiting for them! We try not to buy fruit or veg, and with our own eggs and meat aim towards maximum self sufficiency
Trees Before we started building in 2004, we started planting trees – to compensate for the timber used, to provide firewood in the future, to establish habitat and to enhance all our boundaries. We have nearly reached 1000 trees!
The Flower Garden Having always ‘inherited’ gardens, a raft of bare soil was more challenging than I imagined! But there is some significance to it’s layout.
The lawn is roughly in the shape of a hand to acknowledge the help we had from the Hands Around The World volunteers. The Mulberry tree in the middle is for our grandchildren (Here we go round the Mulberry bush)and there are 2 sensory beds, one prickly and tall and one low and smooth; there is also a tribute to our time in South Africa.
We hope you will visit the CountrySOLE Project and look forward to an exchange of knowledge.