Go Rural for Business - Blog
NIGHT MARKET AT PEEL TO TOAST VIBRANT AGRITOURISM SECTOR
12th August 2015
Peel Farm, near Kirriemuir, held a fantastic food & drink event on Thursday 20th August. The evening, which included activities for all the family focussed on showcasing some of Peel Farm Shop’s produce at a Taste of Angus BBQ using Peel Farm’s own highland beef, as well as a nature tour, jam and pancake making and an opportunity to sample some of Gin Bothys new ranges created in the Bothy at Peel Farm.
Local suppliers Fresh Food Direct with seafood, Cherrys Deli, Kirrie Real Ales, Ardross Farm Shop attended and there was also music on the night from local musicians Sonnet 65.
The event, which was free to attend, celebrated Peel Farm's involvement in Scotland’s first Agritourism Monitor Farm study run by Scottish Enterprise and funded by both Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
The Night Market brought together some great agritourism businesses from across Scotland as well as serving up some delicious Peel Farm produce.
Also invited to attend were businesses working in the farming, food or tourism sector. Businesses took part in a breakout session where they will heard about the highlights of the Monitor Farm programme at Peel Farm and the impact it has made on the business and other businesses involved in the project.
Peel Farm was one of just two farms chosen to participate in the project as they embarked on the Scottish Enterprise 15-month programme, facilitated by Caroline Millar from Go Rural, in which all aspects of their business, from marketing to succession planning, was studied with recommendations made on developing the business.
Owner, Claire Fleming said: “The monitor farm project was invaluable to our business particularly in relation to our accommodation business which was in its infancy when we started on this programme. Through expert advice and sharing of best practices from other businesses in this sector, we have seen our occupancy rates rise from zero to 50% in the first year, which is above the national average for established businesses in this sector. The new accommodation has had additional positive impact on numbers eating in our café and buying from our farm shop. This has been an incredible learning experience which I am sure will benefit the whole agritourism sector.
“During the project new product Gin Bothy, an infused gin made in the Bothy at Peel Farm, was launched. Creating the gin has no waste and uses fresh local raspberries that after flavouring the gin are used to make Merry Berry jam!”
Julian Pace from Scottish Enterprise added: “The Monitor farm project has delivered key learnings which will support the development of Agritourism businesses in Scotland. It has been a dynamic, focused and results-driven project which will help ambitious businesses grow and develop.”
Family-owned Peel Farm, started 28 years ago, and hosts a coffee shop, farm shop and Courtyard of gifts from local stockists. The working farm also produces Highland beef, lamb and pork, some of which is sold in the farm shop, as well as producing beef for store cattle and fat lambs sold at Forfar and Stirling markets.