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Farming through the ages at Coldstream

An exhibition looking at farming in Berwickshire over the last 300 years has opened at Coldstream Museum.

Agricultural Life in Berwickshire examines how farming life and technology in the county has changed from the 18th century to the present day, exploring changes in farm labour, from early ‘ferm-touns’, through the bondager system to the highly mechanised farming systems today.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “Berwickshire farmers were at the forefront of technological progress and, over hundreds of years, have done much to shape the landscape we see around us today.

“Local farmers were quick to adopt new developments in agriculture such as drainage, hedging, ditching and the addition of lime to soil to help crops flourish.”

The iron swing plough, designed to be pulled by one man with a pair of horses, was invented by James Small of Blackadder Mount, near Allanton, to replace the much heavier old Scotch plough which required up to four oxen and two horses. 
The exhibition follows through to the modern day and looks at the innovation of Graham and Nancy Bell’s ‘permaculture’ forest garden in Coldstream which, with just quarter of an acre of land, yields over 600kg of edible produce a year as well as firewood and plants to sell.

The free exhibition runs until Sunday, June 1, at the museum in Market Square, which is open between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Saturday, and between 1pm and 4pm on Sundays.

 

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