Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hills of Fife and the Pillars of Hercules

The allotment committee couldn’t be bothered to have an open day this year, so instead of enjoying the fruits and vegetables of fellow allotmenteers, we decided to go to Falkland in the Kingdom of Fife, where Pillar of Hercules were having an Open Day. Pillars of Hercules is an organic farm with both a shop and café. I had been there once before, well before I got my plot and quite liked it. Falkland is just over an hours drive from where I live and the weather was brilliant, so we made the most of it.
Well my first picture had to be food related didn't it. How cute is that?!
Falkland High Street. Falkland has won numerous awards for being the most beautiful place in Scotland. I can see why people fall in love with Scotland, its a different world from the cities of Scotland.
Falkland Palace in is a former royal palace of the Scottish Kings. Today it is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, and serves as a tourist attraction.
The village's coat of arms shows a stag under an oak tree this was in the centre of the High Street.
Here it is on a lamp post.
Scottish thistle in its many forms. Now onto Pillars of Hercules. Yes before I go any further you are probably wondering 'why on earth is it called Pillars of Hercules?', well the owner of the 24 acre farmland Bruce says don't ask, so I won't.
This is the entrance to the organic farm shop, selling vegetables, fruit, free range eggs, grains, pulses and eco-friendly household products. I found out that they had a Veg Box Service. I bought a couple of cucumbers and pulses: black turtle bean, puy lentils and aduki beans for the coming winter season.
We had a coffee and a bean burger at the vegetarian cafe which in it's style was both urban and rustic. Urban because it was selling city style expresso shots, and rustic in its surroundings, the furnishings were all hand-made and out of reclaimed wood. As we left the cafe I noticed some leaflets had appeared on the tables from the Fife Diet.
We took a slow wander around the farmland.
I remember purchasing an Echinacea plant from here about 3 years ago, I was optimistic about it growing in my garden at home, but it never did. This time I decided to just admire them.
Pretty petals
Click on to see larger image!
Is it me or is this building looking at me with its crazy hairdo?!
I hope they didn't mind, but we also took a gander in some of their polytunnels, I saw some plum tomatoes and various salads. I think I also saw some parsnips growing in one of the polytunnels, but I am no 100% sure.
There were also some cucumbers. Seriously look closer.
You can see why I bought a couple.
Then we decided to stretch our legs a bit further and explore some more of the farmland. I saw these lovely pumpkins turning that brilliant orange, not long before it's ready for harvesting.
We stumbled upon the chicken run. This hungry one or should I say greedy one came up to see if we had any grains, but then guess what happened...
The rest of her pals followed. Nothing like following the leader.
It's not often we get sunny days like this in Scotland, so I couldn't resist a few arty pictures. So please just humour me.
I just love the natural colours.
Here's me in an idyllic setting.
Looks like a scene from 'Days of Heaven' or am I thinking of another movie?
I was pleased to note that the Pillars of Hercules vegetables were at a similar stage to mine. For example, look at this cavolo nero or black kale, ahh this could be my backyard, but it not. I would never be able to fit so many in my garden plot.
Back to the main area where the open day was taking place, their were some food demonstrations, music, the essential bouncy castle for the children, veggie burger stall, crafts stall and some free food tasters. I tried a lovely pumpkin chutney but decided not to buy any because I would be making a load of my own. We also stopped by this stall, where a lovely lady was giving people a chance to taste some wild weeds and salad leaves. A very good idea!
Ah what a lovely day, now it was back to the West of Scotland.
We did stop one more time at the Coffee Bothy at Blairnmains farmshop where we had some scones with cream and jam. This is a lovely shot of an eagle I think, but look in the distant - you will see the Wallace Monument. Okay that's me calling it a day as your tourist guide.


  1. WHat a great post!! Im seriously jelous that you live so close to such a lovely place....those second and third photos...i dream of going somewhere like that.
    The little organic shop looks so inviting. And all those cucumbers, amazing. We grew cucumbers last year and they tasted horrible, not sure why.
    Thanks so much for sharing your day trip :)


  2. Thank you so much Rose.
    I wish I lived even closer, as it took us about 2 hours to get back home as the roads had got busier.

  3. what a fab day out. I love the black and white picture of the shed and you in your purple dress surrounded by a sea of green trees :o)

  4. ah, how i long for scotland, i do wish it was closer to just pop by now and then... i've been to falkland some odd ten years ago, before the pillars of hercules i believe, which does look like a lovely, lovely place, just my type of place, lucky you! and what a grand day you had, thanks for sharing:)

  5. Wow, I feel transported to another time and place with your photos, Mango. Thanks for sharing. I am an armchair traveler who loves to marvel at the work of other gardeners. Love the B&W pics of the crazy building dude!

  6. Thanks Nic,

    I will let my husband know about your compliments re the photos. He was the one snapping the black and white pictures, you see he thinks he's being arty.

    Thank you Pia K,
    I am sure Scotland will welcome you once again.

    Oh Thank you so much Barbara.
    I am glad you enjoyed looking at them, as much as I enjoyed sharing them.

  7. sigh.... so beautiful....

    Glad you guys got to enjoy such a sunny day out in the countryside. It does good for the body and spirit.

  8. Thanks Leah,
    The sunshine here has been rare, so yes we did enjoy the day. But driving back was no fun, traffic jams!!! everyone else had the same idea to go out and enjoy the sun too.

  9. You had a great day out and thanks for taking such great photos to share with us.Your spiced apple and tomato chutney is giving out Christmas signals!It would be a lovely seasonal store cupboard item. The Cafe Paradiso is here in Cork, I have not been there for years as it can be pricy but I think it is time I went back now that I am growing my own veg it should put a different perspective on it!

  10. What a fun day and such great photos!!

  11. Thanks Michele.
    I did have a good day.

  12. Oh Peggy,
    I nearly missed responding to you. Sorry about that.

    Thank You for taking pleasure in viewing the photos.

    You say the spiced apple and tomato chutney is giving off Christmas signals. I am feeling that about the 'Mulled Wine Jam' too, can't wait to open a jar!

    I have never been to The Cafe Paradiso, as I have never been to Cork, but I plan to oneday. I too have heard it is quite pricy but when I do go, it will hopefully be for a celebratory occasion when cost should not be a factor. If you do go back, please do let me know of your opinion. Thanks.


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