Connie and Tom started East Neuk Market Garden on rented land from the Balcaskie estate at Bowhouse, St Monans, late in 2018.
We left London in 2017 to work on organic farms in France, Spain and Portugal, before coming to work at Pillars of Hercules in Falkland in the spring of 2018.
Among other things, one of the main motivations for starting the farm was wanting to be part of a movement of growers and customers who care about where their food comes from and how it is produced.
We love being outside, working hard and getting to know our customers.
Connie comes from Glasgow and is happy to be back in Scotland these days. Previously she worked for Women's Environmental Network in London, supporting community food growing groups. She currently works part-time for Scotland the Bread, another Bowhouse-based enterprise, so isn't on the farm every day. As well as general farm stuff Connie deals with accounts and veg bag customers. Particularly fond of finding frogs in the garden and the arrival of the geese in autumn.
NEILL and DUSTY
Neill and Dusty joined us (for 2 weeks supposedly!) just before lockdown in March 2020. Haven't been able to get rid of them since.
Originally from Bristol, Neill has been working on farms in Scotland for the past 6 years, at Pillars of Hercules and Falkland Kitchen Farm.
As well as all general farm stuff Neill is in charge of electrics, tidying up and most importantly, morale.
Dusty is in charge of scaring away pesky birds and chasing the tractor.
Originally from the sunny shores of Eastbourne, Tom worked in town planning in London before leaving to learn more about organic farming. Tom is on the farm full time, so is responsible for overall plant health including irrigation and fertility, farm maintenance and repairs, deliveries and relationships with wholesale customers. Tom is happiest when he can work outside in the sunshine while listening to the cricket on the radio.
Nessa became part of the team in May 2020 and quickly took on the role of head of pest control. Very good at finding mice, voles and rats.
Also very keen on tidying up any stray carrots, beans or peas, and welcoming veg bag customers.
How we farm
On our two acres we grow as wide a variety of vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit as possible following agroecological principles. That means that we think about the ecosystem of the farm as a whole; following organic methods without being certified.
We grow on a human-scale without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers and follow methods that enrich and regenerate biodiversity and soil fertility. We are currently transitioning to a deep mulch or 'no-dig' system throughout the farm, meaning we will no longer cultivate the soil, in order to preserve and enhance soil health for greater crop health.
We experiment a lot and are always trying new methods, whether to improve the ecological impact of the farm, to save on labour and/or time or to get the most flavour and nutrition out of the food we grow.
We believe everyone should have access to local, sustainably produced food that enhances the wider ecosystem rather than degrades it.