Pitlochrie experiences four distinct seasons, each offering its own beauty and wonder, with different activities and adventures to be had in each season. The timing of each season is dependent on and impacted by climate change.
We mark the solstices and equinoxes with celebrations – come join us to win free accommodation!
Come enjoy the best farm stay experience in each season!
We celebrate the spring equinox and give thanks that the cold is nearly over. The trees produce new leaves and with rain, the ochre palette of winter gives way to the summer greens. Our fruit trees blossom and we get our seeds in for the variety of plants and herbs that we grow in our food garden.
We spring clean! Clean out our houses, check our chimneys, gutters and prepare for the fullness of summer. The frequent frosts are frustrating and we cover as much as we can. September is lambing and calving time and we shear our sheep end October. Harvesting of wild chick weed and field mushrooms is possible.
With rain, we celebrate our green world and the streams and rivers that provide water and the best swimming. We have a wake for the summer solstice because it means our sun is moving back up the mountain to the north.
The food garden starts producing lavishly and we dry and process the produce for our winter months. With rain, we start harvesting wild mushrooms, especially the Boletes and Lacterius; the latter simply delicious.
The tractors get busy preparing our lands for planting the spring feed that our sheep and lambs need. We wean the lambs and start baling hay for winter. The bulls go in with the cows for the mating season. It is a time of fullness and gatherings.
Our world turns into a soft ripeness with the beauty of autumn colours and long warm days that become sharp at night. Night skies that hypnotise like fires. We celebrate the autumn equinox and give thanks for our produce that keeps us through the winter.
With rain we harvest a great deal of wild mushrooms. We bring in our raspberry crop and start processing the abundance of tomatoes – both drying, making reductions and sauces. Making smear from our apple and peach crops is great fun and we harvest our walnuts (if the frosts have been kind).
This is a very busy time of preparing for the long winter where it is impossible to grow anything that isn’t cold resistant. We also stock-pile wood for our winter fires. The lands are planted for lambing and our calves are weaned from their mothers. The last of the hay is brought in and we start our cattle and sheep feeding programme.
The winter cold changes our world into whites, yellows and browns with nights of down to minus 15° C. Most winters we get snow, especially on the high mountains. The winter solstice is celebrated with gusto because it means the sun will start rolling down the mountain to us. We give thanks for our privilege.
The food garden beds are composted and we prepare the soil for the spring planting season. Spinach, lettuce and some herbs will grow in the tunnels through winter. The short days and lack of light make it difficult to grow much else.
It is a busy time of maintenance, caring and fixing. Ensuring that everything is ready for spring. We feed our cattle and sheep throughout to keep them in good condition.
And then, there is skiing!