Tap o’ Noth Farm is a small, diverse market farm situated at the foot of Tap o’ Noth hill, near the village of Rhynie in rural Aberdeenshire.
Run by Rosa and James, the eight-acre farm produces ecologically grown fruit, vegetables and herbs and is also home to chickens, ducks, goats, and a small herd of rare breed Shetland cattle.
Rosa and James are first-generation young farmers who are breaking the mould and trying alternative ways of farming to create a self-sustaining model which allows them to truly live off their land.
A registered CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, Tap o’ Noth provides fresh, seasonal vegetables and herbs, sold either through a weekly box delivery – which currently provides most of their income – or direct from the farm, as well as eggs and other seasonal produce such as fruit cordials, jams and fermented goods.
The farm is also an official ScotLAND Centre for the Permaculture Association of Britain and a Master Plan site for the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, the birthplace of the permaculture concept.
James studied permaculture while living in Australia and the couple are learning how to grow food for themselves, and also for their local community.
Along the way they’re also helping people – from local passers-by to folk from all over the world – learn ‘what to do and how to do it’ via their social media pages and YouTube channel.
Social media also plays a huge part in the community aspect of the market garden, with veg box customers sharing tips and photos of what they have grown, as well as swapping items.
And keen to build on the success of the market garden and interest in the permaculture approach to farming, Rosa and James are looking to diversify further to make the most of their land by inviting people to stay on the farm and find out more for themselves.
They have also focused on agroforestry over the past few years with a dedicated shift towards designing perennial plantings for future farm enterprises as well as general farm and family resilience in the form of food, fuel and fodder.