At home with…

Mollie Makes - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE -

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.

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