Rural Skills

Perhaps many of us have a picture in our mind of a smallholder with sheep, chooks, pigs and acres of land, yet the principles of smallholding can be applied whether you have access to many acres, a few or live in a town or city. It’s about moving from being a consumer to being a producer; of making things for yourself; of being a “home farmer.

At the Festival, you can get involved with skills that have been part of smallholding for centuries.

Rural Skills Competition

Our Rural Skills Competition (formerly Garden, Craft & Food) is a way for EVERYONE to get involved in the Festival –  whether you are rural, urban or anywhere in between – and no sheep required (apart from the Raw Fleece section).

We have ten sections – Growing, Preserving, Sweet Treats, Daily Bread, Eggs, Honey, Fleece & fibre, Making, Sticks & crooks and Raw Fleece:

Junior Creatives

And new for 2024, we have Junior Creatives – with two age categories (8 years & under and 9 years to 13 years) with classes to appeal to our young homesteaders:


We also have a brilliant array of craftspeople who will be demonstrating their skills in strawcraft, willow working, tanning, stick and crook making, apple pressing and bread making.


Some of these craftspeople will be running short workshops that you can take part in.

Cookery Theatre

We’re delighted to welcome back Wendy Barrie, from the Scottish Food Guide. Wendy will be running our cookery theatre, with two cookery demonstrations and two tasting sessions throughout the day. And she will be joined by Stewart McSorley, from Macduff 1890, who will be demonstrating some butchery skills.