2. Farm Cottage
3. The Big Barn
4. Public toilets
6. The Old Dairy
7. Poultry Barn
8. The Hatchery
9. Lambing Shed
10. Cattle Shed
11. Pig Shed
12. The Duck Pond
13. Bee Garden
14. The Orchard
15. Pig Wood
16. Emu Paddocks
17. Rhea Paddocks
Solsgirth Home Farm
Solsgirth Home Farm (near Dollar) is a farm and an ethos, where everything works full circle and in harmony with nature and the environment. Our bees pollinate the apple trees, and give us honey, the apples give us our juice. The pomace that remains after the crushing of apples helps to feed the animals on the farm.
The farm is in a beautiful location, overlooked by the Ochils. It is around 360 acres (think of 360 football pitches). We have around 260 acres of grass and 100 acres of woodland, 35 acres of which is recently planted.
Our animals at the farm are all homegrown. We produce honey, pork, beef and lamb and press our own apples for delicious juice in the autumn
Solsgirth Home Farm also offers accommodation and community spaces, as well as education.
It’s time to think differently about farming, and at Solsgirth Home Farm that’s exactly what we are doing.
Reconnecting soil, plants and animals on our farm so that they work together just as nature intended, we will pass on healthier land to the next generation.
“Civilisation itself rests upon the soil”
HISTORY OF THE FARM
Solsgirth Home Farm dates back over 100 years. Until 2019, it was a dairy farm.
Before that the farm was mixed with arable and livestock, owned by the family who ran Alexanders buses. They used the large grain shed as a bus garage.
The woodland on the farm was largely managed as cover for pheasants and was underplanted with rhododendron for cover and colourful flowers. Sadly, it is also an invasive menace, shading out other species.
THE FARM TODAY
Our plan is to encourage diversity back to the farm, so the land becomes resilient for nature, for climate and for business.
We have 260 acres of grassland, but we are gradually introducing herbal leys and encouraging more diverse swards– mixtures of plants which are chosen to benefit both the soil and the farm wildlife. Honeybees love the clover, which fixes nitrogen from the air to improve the soil and feed the grasses. Plantain, Yarrow and Burnet provide minerals and the deep roots of chicory improve the soil structure. We rotate pigs round the farm between woodlands and fields, including clearing weeds prior to establishing more diverse swards.
We’re following these five principles to improve the health of our soil, and these lead to an increase in biodiversity, more insects, more flowers, more plants and more trees.
Minimise cultivations of soil
Minimise bare soil
Increase diversity in plant and animal species
Keeping living roots in the soil as much as possible
Make use of rotational grazing animals
We’re also planting new native broadleaf woodlands, replacing the rhododendrons with native shrubs which are better for bees and wildlife.
The farm has two orchards, a small one by the farmhouse and a new apple orchard which we’ve planted with a mixture of varieties. Our bees and other insects love the apple blossom, and we’re using the fruit for juice.
Hedging is a very traditional way to managing boundaries and keeping livestock inside a field. We’re working our way around the farm restoring and replanting our hedges, planting new hedges to break up larger fields, creating more habitats and shelter. We’re using the old technique of “hedge laying” to encourage the growth to be thick at the bottom, with a denser habitat which nesting birds love.