Cycle rack heaving, cycle legs limbering, and with fair highland skies overhead, I departed south on sustain cycle route 78 – from Fort William to Lismore. This gem of a route largely follows the old Oban railway line, and has some lovely detours to coast and glen.
The reason for the journey was to take part in the Soil Association Field Labs on Intercropping. The trip was also a re-union of some of the attendees to the original Uist trip (see the journey to the edge of the map) and was hosted at the lovely Lismore Bunkhouse and campsite at Baleveolan Croft. Mike at Baleveolan has a mirror field to ours of the Uist grain mix, alongside trial strips of peas and oats. It was good to see and share the joy and trials of re-learning small scale grain production on an island once renowned for its grain.
The trip was also a chance to visit the Salean Project where it was great to see some regenerative agriculture practices on a comparable highland croft to ours. The one message I strongly received here was to focus on soil, and the rest would follow (better soil, better plants, better animals, better us). And whilst focusing on that soil just to remember two things 1) always have the soil covered (bare=bad) and 2) disturb the soil as little as possible (low input). I think once this season is up I will be thinking a bit more in depth on how to regenerate our soils.
Some micro adventure photos below:-