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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 41
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 21581
Country: Scotland

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Last Updated: December 12, 2017

Volunteering at Black Isle Brewery

What do we do?

We have a -
Bar and Hostel
Five acres of garden including a kitchen garden and polytunnels
Garden design
Furniture restoration workshop.

A little more about what we do….

The brewery was started in 1998. It was and still is the only organic brewery in Scotland.
Twelve people work full time in the brewery.
We make a range of beers sold in cask, keg and bottle. We sell the beer in the UK and abroad, in Spain, France, Sweden, Italy, Japan and the US.
The brewery has a shop. The farm buildings are used for events, most particularly our own festival Jocktoberfest.

Black Isle Bar and Hostel
Opened 2016. Lots of upcycling from the farm :
- tables made from barn doors
- bar top made from a huge fallen cypress
- pallets as blackboards
- milk paint made from one or our cows!
and… and....
much of the food served comes from the farm and around 85% or what is eaten and drunk at the bar is organic.

Mostly sheep, some barley, hens, and very importantly - a HOUSE COW!!! Though in Nov 2017 not milking but we hope pregnant.

Five acres of garden including a kitchen garden and polytunnels
We garden organically for food, for wildlife, for beauty and in particular, for bees.
We follow bio-dynamic principles sensitive to the different opportunities and limitations of the land, people and animals.
Two years ago we started to increase our stock of ornamental plants for use in the gardens we design. This is largely due to the fact that it is hard to find plants which have been grown organically and we want, as much as we can, to plant organically grown plants.
Our garden is open to groups from April to October. It is an opportunity to let people know what it is we do and often we are asked to give talks in conjunction with a garden opening.

Garden Design
We design gardens locally and further afield and often maintain and develop the gardens we’ve designed.

Furniture Restoration Workshop
We have a fully functioning workshop and restore all sorts of furniture, old and new.

There is a cottage for volunteers and in the summer a couple of caravans too. The bothy is currently being upgraded, with a mix and match upgraded style. It might be the only place you will wash using a wooden sink! An aga has just been fitted and the rest of the improvements should be completed by Spring 2018.

There is wi-fi.

During the week lunch is in the main house, cooked by Tracey and you sort yourselves out in the evening. Provisions are provided for you to cook. We eat supper together once a week, and the weeks end will often see us in the Black Isle Bar in town.

Point of Contact
You will be working mostly with Scotson, Graham, Alaina and Jacob. We meet every morning in the workshop. Scotson is in charge of growing the vegetables and Graham has huge knowledge of traditional gardening skills - grafting, propagating, taking cuttings and he looks after the outside gardens. Jacob’s first concern is the farm and JJ is the garden designer.

Alaina will be your main go to person, but please do feel free to speak to anyone.

We operate an open house during weekdays, but we like the weekends and evenings when not entertaining to be quiet. It is important to spend time together, and equally important to have space and time to do our own thing.

Work hours

We work hard, and we ask volunteers to work for longer hours than many other places. Our working hours are from 8.00 – 5.00pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.00 - 1.00pm on Friday, though if you are helping out in the brewery you may not be able to get away early on Friday.

It suits some people and not others. So if you want to come here, do take our long working hours on board.

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