The town of Forfar, in the county of Angus, will host the first Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival on Sunday 30th September 2012. The Forfar Market, owned by Lawrie and Symington, will provide the venue for the inaugural event, which will be opened by Tim Tyne, the well-known smallholder, writer and author of “The Sheep Book for Smallholders”.
The event is being organised by The Accidental Smallholder Ltd, whose Director, Rosemary Champion, has been a smallholder herself for over ten years. Since 2003, she and her husband, Dan, have been offering help and support to smallholders through their successful and popular website “The Accidental Smallholder” www.accidentalsmallholder.net and by running short courses for those taking their first steps in smallholding.
Inspired by a similar event held in Wales, Rosemary felt that there was nothing similar in Scotland aiming to meet the needs of crofters, smallholders, those growing fruit and vegetables on a small scale and those simply interested in a more sustainable lifestyle.
“After visiting the Welsh smallholder show twice, I floated the idea of a Scottish equivalent on the website and the reaction was very encouraging,” says Rosemary, “so I’m hoping that we’ll get a good turnout”.
Although plans are still in development, there will be a show for sheep, goats and pigs. Pig shows are making a comeback in Scotland after an absence of around thirty years and are sure to prove popular with smallholders. The show schedule will include young handlers in the pig section and more unusual classes like “Best Horns” and “Wool on the Hoof” in the sheep section. The Festival will also host the only Scottish qualifier for the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s Young Shepherd of the Year competition.
As well as a food hall, there will be a range of tradestands showcasing equipment, machinery and products of interest to those working small acreages. “We’re not looking at £50,000 four wheel drive tractors here,” Rosemary notes, “ more two wheeled or horse drawn.”
For those looking for learning opportunities, there will be a series of seminars and demonstrations on subjects likely to be as diverse as using green manures and trimming goats’ hooves.
More details can be found on the Festival’s website www.scottishsmallholdershow.co.uk