Ruskin Mill College
Gables farm is part of Ruskin mill College, based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. It has been run according to biodynamic principles for 20 years. This includes a farm shop, a range of educational land/craft workshops and kitchens.
There are several acres of field vegetables, poly tunnel crops, fruit and herbs (dried for teas) which provide produce for the farm shop and college kitchens.
The farm is 45 acres of flat shallow Cotswold brash soils at its highest points, which falls off steeply towards adjoining woodlands. In common with much of the Cotswolds the land is based on Jurassic limestone, the soil is alkaline. Such land was historically sheep grazing, and was traditionally grazed by Cotswold sheep which is a large breed, famous for the quality of its fleece which provided the raw materials for the local textile economy. We use our own fleeces in the colleges textiles provision.
In keeping with spirit of place and to preserve genetic diversity we keep rare breed livestock. Gloucester cattle, Cotswold sheep and Gloucester old spot pigs.
There is a working horse’s curriculum in which students engage in stable management, field cultivation and moving supplies between the workshops. We have 50 hens which produce eggs for the shop and Ruskin mill café.
Traditional crafts such as drystone walling and hedge laying are an important part of the land stewardship.
Gables farm delivers Ruskin mill trust’s “practical skills therapeutic education curriculum” with learners fully engaged in all aspects of the farms operations. The inspirations for Biodynamic farming practices and our teaching pedagogy draw strongly from the work of Rudolf Steiner.