Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (ScotLAND Centre)

LAND Demonstration Network
Supported Project
PPN: 
1
Summary

We are Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (BIPA), a Permaculture micro-smallholding and livelihood on the Black Isle, 13km north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 2015 we have been developing 2.5 acres of garden and woodland to establish an organic Permaculture garden for food, wood fuel, habitat, well-being, abundant foraging, leisure and education, as well as eco retrofitting an onsite bungalow.

About the project

Our aim is to become a domestic smallholding where we are able to live a creative, regenerative 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 plans.

Our design incorporates an eco-renovated house, art studio, compost toilets, some woodland camping huts for eco tourism and guests, creating kitchen and forest gardens, orchard, woodland, meadows and space for our chickens. Our design and vision is to create forest gardens, woodland and growing spaces that maximise habitat and diversity, along with a thriving and self-sustaining food-web, with multifunctional plants providing food, fuel, craft materials, income, and beauty.

We are also involved with a community initiative in Muir of Ord called MOOFood, 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/). Fair share/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

Garden Cottage

LAND Demonstration Network
LAND Centre
Supported Project
PPN: 
0
Summary

This was the first registered LAND project through ScotLAND. We welcome visitors on open days as specified on the website or by prior arrangement otherwise.

About the project

A thirty year old forest garden (the longest standing intentional food forest garden in Britain according to Permaculture Magazine) fully equipped as a teaching space with major improvements to our household in terms of energy efficiency. Last year (2018) we have grown over a tonne of food in a fifth of an acre (800 sq metres or .08 of a hectare). Peak yield has been 1.25 metric tonnes of food. This is a yield rate pro-rata of 16 tonnes a hectare, twice what even the best chemical farmers produce here. For the last many years we have also produced our own firewood and half our electricity, and operated a working plant and tree nursery in the same space. We are now changing that arrangement as we are getting older, but the garden is still highly productive. We continue to teach courses here and off site. Our main expertise and interest are Permaculture Design (introductory, full design course, and advanced), Forest Gardening, Food Preservation and Permaculture Training of Teachers.

Project Dates
Project start date: 
July, 1990
Project Detailed Information
Number of people involved: 
8
Areas of Activity: 
Earth Care
People Care
Fair Shares
Design Principles
Built Environment
Energy conservation and efficiency
Passive Solar
Settlement types and design
Low impact development
Sustainable building and construction
Biotechture
Building retrofit
Construction materials and processes
Water in the built environment
Water in the home and garden
Culture & Education
Adult education
Community learning
Participatory arts and music
Celebrations and events
Learning and thinking skills
Action Research
Reading Landscape
Spirit of Place
Passing on knowledge
Teaching
Finance & Economics
Sustainable livelihoods
Business types
Fair trade
Trading skills
New economics
Green economics
Health & Wellbeing
Diet & Nutrition
Preserving and storing food
Physical well being
Cycle of life
Dying with Dignity
Parenting
Vision and purpose
Spirituality
Rest, play and sleep
Land & Nature Stewardship
Composting
Biodiversity
Climate
Community growing and urban agriculture
Ecology
Forest Gardening
Gleaning & Wild harvesting
Gardening techniques
Seed Saving
Landscape types
Strategies for arid landscapes
Mushrooms
Nature conservation and management
Regeneration and succession
Plants
Seas and oceans
Trees, woodland, forestry
Soil
UK habitats
Domestic energy systems
Recycling and waste processing
Reducing consumption
Renewable Energy
Solar power
Photovoltaics
Reuse & recycling
Transport and mobility
Bicycles and rickshaws
Buses, trams and trains
Permaculture Details: 
As the first diploma holder in the UK (1990) we have thirty years expereince of inegrating Permaculture Design in every aspect of our lives. We have still ways to go and are still learning. Right now our main interest is in sharing what we know with those coming after.
Online links
Project Contact Details
Contact Name: 
Graham Bell
Telephone number: 
01890 88 2448
LAND Project Type: 
International
International Networking Organisation: 
0
Project membership
Member Project: 
0
Data transfer from previous site
Data verified: 
0
Location verified: 
0