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We are in the process of converting the farmland to organic farming practices and hope to achieve organic certification for the land in June 2020. Thereafter we intend to convert the livestock and achieve organic certification for them as well. During the conversion period we are not using any in-organic fertilisers, herbicides and are not feeding any feeds containing GM ingredients such as GM soya.
Bogrow Farm has a wide range of different habitat types and in addition to our commitment to work towards organic farming and regenerative agricultural practices we have signed a five year contract with the Scottish Government through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme.
As part of this we have committed to manage our rough grazing to allow plants and animals in these species rich areas to flourish without too much grazing pressure.
Around 10ha of the farm has been included in a scheduled monument called “Upper Bogrow settlement and field system”. This is a settlement of seven stone walled huts and field system which can be quite difficult to see from ground level but can be seen from aerial photography.
More details on the monument can be found on the Highland Historic environment Records website. http://her.highland.gov.uk/Monument/MHG8659
Since 2017 we have been operating out of a small butchery unit on the farm which has been approved by our Environmental Health officer to ensure it meets national standards for producing quality safe food. Having our own butchery facility allows us to offer our customers the quality and range of cuts and products that we aspire to.
We take our livestock to the abattoir in Dingwall and then bring the carcasses back to Bogrow in our refrigerated trailer.
As Bogrow Farm is only 30 miles from our nearest abattoir in Dingwall our products accumulate very low ‘food miles’.
We sell cuts of lamb and pork and occasionally venison obtained as part of sustainable land management practices in our local area. We also make a range of bacon, sausages and burgers. More details of products can be found at our online shop.
In early 2020 we will for the first time be selling some of our Luing beef.
We have been delighted with the success of our products and now we are planning to expand our range to included cured and air-dried hams and sausages such as salami and chorizo.
In order to do this we need to expand our facilities and to help us do this we put our ideas to the Highland LEADER fund. They agreed to support some of the costs of our project and the new butchery build is under way.
Bogrow Farm is owned and run by husband and wife team Caroline and Alec Matheson with help from their two children and the support of our friends and neighbours. We came to Bogrow in 2012 and although both of us have come from a farming related background we are both first time famers. In 2012 the farm had hit a few hard times and was in need of a bit of upgrading. Since then we have erected a lot of new fences, improved the pasture, renovated the house and built up our livestock. It is still a work in progress but we are getting there!
Caroline studied Agricultural Economics at university after a growing up living at Agricultural colleges in southern and west Africa where her parents worked. However, she went on to work in the field of Geographic Information Systems for 15 years. She left the Crofting Commission in 2012 to work full time at Bogrow Farm but still does a few land registration maps and decrofting applications to keep her hand in with the mapping side of things. Caroline takes care of all the business admin, project management and is chief sausage, burger and bacon maker.
Over the years Alec has always worked outside in once capacity or another having worked as gamekeeper, deer stalker, estate worker, scallop diver and offshore diver all of which have given him an ideal set of skills to start the farming and butchery business at Bogrow Farm. Alec works most of the time on the farm, but still does one or two trips a year offshore as a deep-sea saturation diver. Alec is our main butcher, fencer and livestock manage