Free gardening holiday pitch by Fife business - if you can muck in at farm

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A Fife business is looking to add gardening holidays to its schedule next summer.

Kingsbarns based Morton of Pitmilly is looking at offering free midweek accommodation to groups in return for a few hours of work. It comes after a busy summer season saw it donate bed planters to the community in lieu of pitching in at the self-catering resort. The opportunities are all part of the drive to be self sufficient by owner Eilidh Smith.She explained: “We really enjoyed the extra push on planting which started in lockdown, and we’ve been happy to continue with it. We are a working farm as well as a self catering business, and viewed the planting as an opportunity to become more self-sufficient - for example, the garlic we grow now gets used in our mayo at the on site kitchen which hosts foodie pop ups.”

“We donated six raised bed planters to the local community. They were able to come in and plant what they wanted for free, using our stock of seeds. All we asked is that they donated a few hours a week to help me with my market garden tasks.”

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The next step is to launch what she is calling “Work Away Gardening Holidays” next Spring and summer.

Eilidh Smith on the farm at Morton of Pitmilly (Pic: Rick Booth)Eilidh Smith on the farm at Morton of Pitmilly (Pic: Rick Booth)
Eilidh Smith on the farm at Morton of Pitmilly (Pic: Rick Booth)

“We think it’s a good idea and will attract interest,” she said. “We will offer free midweek accommodation in one of our holiday houses to an interested small group that would give us a few hours of gardening assistance on a daily basis over the course of the break. They could explore creative planting, and any other ideas they have. We’d provide a hearty locally sourced breakfast every morning, along with plenty of our delicious coffee throughout the break. Who wouldn’t enjoy coming to this beautiful setting and indulging a passion for a few days?”

During summer, the on-site kitchen at Morton of Pitmilly, which was converted from a shipping container, hosted a number of events covering Mexican street food, Burgers ‘n’ Beers, and Artisan Pizza. Eilidh is also now a skilled barista and serves a coffee blend from Glasgow based Tin Donkey Coffee.

“We were delighted that these pop up events went down well over the summer. They will definitely continue, as we have developed a customer base for them, both with people coming in to the resort to attend, and those staying in our properties who can also get involved when they are taking place” added Eilidh.

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She also has an apple orchard and would love to explore having Morton of Pitmilly branded cider - if any producers care to get in touch.

“I am sure we could have a very productive conversation about collaborating,” she said.

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