East Lothian Monitor Farm

Castleton Farm is a 169ha farm run by Stuart McNicol and his father, Bill, who works on the farm part-time. Stuart’s wife, Jo manages the Agritourism enterprises. 

The arable acreage produces wheat, malting spring barley, spring beans, and cover crops which are grazed by sheep.  Stuart only ploughs when necessary, the majority of crops are established with a strip-till.  He uses variable rate applications at drilling and for the applications of fertilisers and lime.  

Stuart has an arrangement which has 75 Hebridean sheep on the farm year-round, and another which brings in 250 Blackface sheep at certain times of the year.  

The business has diversified into storage units for let, a wedding venue, a bakery kitchen on farm for Drift – the diversified coffeehouse – and have recently planted 2,000 fruit trees for juicing and future cidery. 

  • About the Farm

    Stuart hopes that the Monitor Farm Programme will help him continue to produce great food, improve his bottom line and prepare for the future.  

    “I research other ideas and adapt for our business, it seems only right to open the gates here and let others find out what we’re doing and why,” he says. “It’s not just about improving this farm, but agriculture across Scotland.  We’ve some very challenging times ahead and we need to be prepared for them.” 

    “With eight other farms in the programme and the associated experts, there’s a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to draw upon.” 

  • East Lothian Monitor Farm - Winter Open Meeting

    The next meeting for the East Lothian Monitor Farm will be held on 11th June.

    Book your place via the events page

     

Meeting Reports

  • January 2023 meeting report

    download
  • July 2023 meeting report

    download
  • East Lothian Monitor Farm aims to build on cost-effective arable system

    download

Presentation

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