Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A Burst of Agricultural Activity

Following the University of Kilchoan's course on sheep shearing, Tom Bryson sent the Diary this photo of Donald MacDougal, who is staying with Alastair Cameron at the moment, showing how it should be done - the old way. Donald can shear a sheep with clippers as fast as most people can do it with electric shears, and more neatly.

Meanwhile, up at the Garden, the men have filled in the holes reported in the Diary a few weeks ago, with concrete, and the frame for the polytunnel is now up.

And, just to show what the garden can do, here are the magnificent lettuces presented by West Ardnamurchan Community Garden to the Annual Sports and Show, where they were used at the barbeque. Many thanks to Tom Bryson for the pictures.

The University of Kilchoan, under the supervision of its dynamic Vice-Chancellor, Pat Glenday, is at it again this week, with a butchery course. There are ten participants, five from the Estate, and five from the village, of whom two are women. The course wouldn't have been possible without the co-operation of Donald Houston, who made available the lardering facilities at Ardnamurchan Estate.

The trainer is Barry Dean, right, who runs his own business. He works at big hunting estates and has travelled to all corners of the country - north, south, east and, now, farthest west. He used to work for Tesco, and has visited far-flung places like China to show them how to prepare meat to the sort of standards the big supermarket expects.

The students dealt with venison and lamb carcasses provided by the Estate, and....

.... a pig provided by Dave Cash. This is undoubtably the Diary's favourite picture: perhaps readers could provide some captions to go with it.

Many thanks to Pat Glenday for pictures and story.


  1. A post-graduate student of the University of Winchester sends the University of Kilchoan many greetings :-)
    Delighted to have found your blog, from a part of the country which is dear to my heart. I will make sure that you get wider exposure via Facebook (have you thought of having a page there yourself - but then, perhaps too many people would get to know about Ardnamurchan!!)
    I will most certainly return to read more.

  2. Hi Roz -

    Many thanks for your comment. I do have a Facebook page but for other purposes - I used to be a teacher and I use it to allow ex-students to catch up, and very rewarding it has been. What I don't have is a page for the Diary - I need to find out how to work that.