With Covid restrictions still existing for clubs meeting up, Laurencekirk and District Inner Wheel held their second meeting of the year 2020 – 2021 via Zoom.

There was a good turnout of 16 ladies including one member using Zoom for the first time. Chair for the meeting was Kathleen Murray.

The speaker for the evening was local Flower Farmer Kym McWilliam.

Kym is granddaughter of founding member Mildred McWilliam and her husband Norman McWilliam and daughter of well-known local farmers John and Karen McWilliam from Haughhead Farm, Laurencekirk. She is the 4th generation of the family farming business, having previously trained and worked as a graphic designer in Edinburgh.

The farm has evolved over the last 130 years from a traditional mixed farm of cereals and livestock to a 500-hectare arable unit made up of cereals, potatoes and daffodils. The main farm for the business is at Blackiemuir, Laurencekirk where drying storage and grading takes place.

In early spring they supply cut flowers to various supermarkets through Grampian Growers at Logie, Montrose who also handle the sale and packaging of dry daffodil bulbs destined for USA and Europe in July and early August.

Potatoes are mainly grown for seed production supplying markets in Egypt, Israel, North Africa and England from November to April. The cereal enterprise consists of Winter Barley and Winter Wheat, for the feed markets, Spring Barley, for malting, and High Erucic Acid Oilseed Rape for use as a specialist industrial lubricant in the petroleum industry.

In line with current thinking Kym has diversified into daffodil bulb production and field peonies for supermarkets.

To gain Red Tractor status for their produce, the farm must demonstrate community awareness and involvement and this has been achieved by the establishment of the very popular Pick Your Own Flower Field on the outskirts of Laurencekirk at Oatyhill.

The flower crops, which do not use chemicals are relatively low maintenance and much of the weeding is done by hand.

With Kym’s background in Graphic Design, an ID was created for the Flower Field, as well as the display of a large sign beside the A90 and the distribution of flyers with a local map within the community. The Flower Field has been well publicised in Social Media and this has proved highly successful in bringing in custom for picking the beautiful flowers.

One recent visitor to the Flower Field was singer Fiona Kennedy who was there to promote a photoshoot to launch the World Peace Day Appeal in September.

The vote of thanks was given by Kathleen Murray.

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