Workshops and Sessions at Farm Hack Scotland

Mags Hall
12th September, 2016

With only a few weeks to go, we're putting together the programmes for Farm Hack and are excited to share more details below with you about some of the workshops that will be on offer. 

Workshops will take place throughout the day on Saturday 1st October - click here for more details on timings. On Sunday 2nd we will have a morning of open space, where you can share your own skills or discuss any design problems you may have. So come prepped with questions and ideas! 

Due to the hands on nature of the workshops, some of them have limited spaces. There will be sign up sheets available at the reception desk from 5pm on Friday evening and places will be on a first come first served basis. 

We'll continue to add more details throughout the week for the remaining workshops - and if you haven't booked your ticket yet get your hands on one here before they sell out! 

Horse Drawn Farming with Ed Hamer

Ed Hamer farms a six acre CSA in Devon called Chagfood Community Market Garden where working horses have traditionally been used for cultivation & tillage. In 2012 he co-founded the Landworkers' Alliance and has since worked as press officer and policy advisor. In 2015 he organised the first Farmhack event outside the U.S. attracting more than 150 farmers & growers to Ruskin Mill Farm in Gloucestershire for a weekend of skill sharing and presentations

Scything with Tearlach Quinnell

The workshop will introduce beginners to the Scandinavian scythe. They will learn how to assemble the scythe to fit their bodies, and will also get a beginners basic mowing and sharpening course. If possible tricks for mowing difficult ground will be shown. There will also be scythes for sale.

I have been scything for several years now, both to cut grass and other materials for use on my smallholding in Nairnshire, and at competition level. I grow as much of my own food as possible, and use the scythe as an important part of managing my land, which I try to do with as low an input as possible, whilst being as self-reliant as possible. 

Biochar and Soil Carbon with Adam Ormes Court

An overview of how to produce food in a way that increases soil carbon, with a focus on full cycle biochar systems. This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. The workshop will include a Top Light Upward Draft (TLDR) stove demonstration, which can be used to make your own Biochar. Adam has recently been researching biochar systems with a view to putting them into practice on a land project soon.

Access to Land with the Scottish Farm Land Trust

The Scottish Farm Land Trust aims to create secure and affordable opportunities for young farmers and new entrants into farming, to help them establish and sustain small ecological farms. We will achieve this by purchasing land in trust, and making long-term affordable leases available.

In this workshop we will look at access to land for ecological agriculture in Scotland. We will do this by exploring some of the background and changes to agriculture in Scotland and discussing the barriers to people seeking land. We will then present our plans for the future.

Designing a Sustainable Smallholding with Niels Corfield
Niels Corfield is a designer, educator and consultant, creating sustainable / regenerative landscapes and farms in the UK and Europe. He has extensive experience with designing, establishing and managing diverse agroforestry systems, forest gardens and ecological orchards.

Since 2007 he has been teaching certified Permaculture Design Courses, as well as a range of specialist training and education, from design through to practical skills. 

He is the director of Edible Cities, a successful urban design consultancy, education and nursery business. Creating productive and ecological low maintenance edible landscapes since 2008. He counts amonst his clients: the Ecology Building Society and various councils and is currently working on a 500 home development in inner city Leeds.

He has been supporting and consulting on small-medium UK farms since 2012. Implementing, designing and consulting on rotational grazing systems, agroforestry plantings and water systems, as well as whole site design. He also offers a specialist mapping service to growers and farmers to facilitate design-making and planning on-site.

This year he is coordinating a research trial of organic no-till cover crops across a number of sites in the UK. Establishing an empiric case for soil organic matter generation in these systems.

Sausage Making with Sue Manning and Tober Brown

Using a KuneKune pig raised at Tombreck and slaughtered that week, participants will mince the meat, learn how to assess fat / lean content of the mix, add rusk and flavourings, and have a go at making the sausages using a hand cranked machine and natural casings. If there is time we can experiment with different additions such as apple and other spices. 

The pig will be butchered on site on the afternoon of Friday 30th September - if you would like to come to Farm Hack early to watch and find out more about this process please email

Tober Brown has been a farmer, (including fish farming) crofter, forester, fencer and tree planter for more than 40 years, with the last 19 of these at Tombreck. He is especially enthusiastic about planting trees. 

Sue Manning is a qualified Architect and a partner in Ecological Architecture LLP, with an office in the Cart Shed Studio at Tombreck. She also helps with the running of Tombreck Farm and Farm Shop, utilising practical skills such as gardening and butchering.

Fencing workshop with Tober Brown

A small section of fence will be built and participants will get a chance to use various fencing tools, and learn from Tober the skills and techniques he has developed over the years.