Farming Today with Cows and Tomatoes

Jim Shanks

Standhill Farm, Denholm

Tuesday, 12th November 2019

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

Bought by the Shanks family in 1951, Standhill Farm near Denholm was originally geared towards dairy production but is now a hub of innovation, creation and  diversification.

Their desire to diversify created an innovative project starting with the original herd of dairy cows, recycling using an anerobic digester, a biomass system and a new greenhouse. The farm is now one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly food producers in the world. From the 500 acres the project has created local employment and produces annually 2 million litres of milk, 1600 MW of clear green electricity, 8500 MW of heat and 300 tonnes of bright red juicy tomatoes.

“Our 4 acre glasshouse is our newest and most ambitious project yet. Using heat from wood chip boilers, CO2 from biogas and rainwater from the roof, we’re making use of every scrap of what’s available at Standhill and turning it into beautiful, red, ripe Scottish tomatoes.

… to complete the loop, once the plants come to the end of the season in November, they are fed back into the biogas to produce more green power and so the cycle continues”.

A herd of cows is also a vital element in growing sweet red tomatoes on a commercial scale!