At home with…
Visit Kat Goldin’s Gartur Stitch Farm
Farmer, photographer and writer Kat Goldin runs a smallholding together with her husband, three children and the strong community they’ve created, with the tagline ‘A Life in the Making’. Something Kat has really taken to heart, at Gartur Stitch Farm, “handmade is everything.”
The focus is on making as much as is possible, investing in other people’s crafts as well as teaching and passing on handmade skills. From regenerative farming to fuelling a food and baking revolution “one loaf of a bread at a time,” life and work are entwined on the farm.
They host retreats, workshops, online courses and events, as well as volunteers through Willing Workers on Organic Farms. For Kat, the most important thing is that every single person feels welcome. “I want a big table where I can seat as many people as turn up for dinner, a teapot large enough to ensure everyone gets a cuppa on the first go round, a wipeable floor so if someone spills something it’s easily cleaned up, and sofas comfy enough that if someone needs to spend the night, there’s always space.”
The family moved to Gartur five years ago, but the farmstead dates back to at least 1650, added to over the last 300 years. It has two storeys and five bedrooms, plus four outbuildings; a barn for the animals, an outdoor workshop, a studio and a large greenhouse. The house is filled with nature finds, art, vintage mirrors and eBay, IKEA and repurposed pieces found in car boot sales. “I collect things I like, throw them up on the wall and then forever move things around,”
“I collect things I like, throw them up on the wall, then forever move things around.”
says Kat. “One of my best friends is Eilidh Weir, owner of All That is Braw and Buchlyvie Pottery. Our house is full of her makes, from ceramics to the beautiful wall hanging she made for my birthday.”
In terms of her tips for rural living, she recommends “wipeable floors, wipeable paint, and don’t be precious about stu . Oh, and put kittens on everything and bake people good food so they won’t notice the mess.” Life on the farm is nonstop, beginning with baking sourdough bread in the morning, then tending to the animals, the gardens, Kat’s crochet work and organising retreats.
“It’s crazy here,” smiles Kat. “But it’s amazing. Being so busy and having so many people through the doors means our kids are able to experience cultures they wouldn’t normally be able to in rural Scotland. The growth we’ve seen in them this year; their confidence, knowledge and kindness, makes it worth it.” The days end with sunsets, glimpses of which are on Kat’s Insta; a washing line with sheets outlined in gold, a windowsill with a view.
Looking back to when Kat moved from the US to the UK 18 years ago, carrying two suitcases and knowing just one person – her husband, Kevin – life has
“Put kittens on everything and bake good food so they won’t notice the mess.”
changed dramatically. Community has been essential from the outset. “We have an incredible support network of friends and neighbours who are always around to give a helping hand.” Help with farm chores, milking the goats when the family are away, o ering advice on the animals, and simply being there when times are tough. As the business has developed they’ve also been able to support neighbouring farms and businesses. “We supply a range of B&Bs locally with sourdough bread and eggs,” explains Kat. “We also buy in from our neighbours for our farm-to-table dinners.”
The farm added a polytunnel through a crowdfunder this year, and it’s now Kat’s favourite part of the farm. “I feel blessed to have such a supportive online community. I was blown away with
04 01 In the kitchen, dishes are stored in a old pie warmer. 02 Mirrors, maps and musical instruments feature heavily in the dining room. 03 The studio has open shelving and doubles as a workshop space. 04 From Kevin’s wood nook, there’s a glimpse of the new lawnmower and milking cow named Petunia.