Stephen is a first generation farmer and has been farming organically for 18 years, building up from 22 acres (9 hectares) to 576 acres (233 hectares). He grows organic cereals - wheat, barley and oats - for seed. He also grows between 10 (4 hectares) and 100 acres (40 hectares), depending on the season, of organic vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and leeks. In 2009 he planted 2,400 apple trees within his cropland to create the largest commercial agro-forestry system in the UK. He makes and sells organic apple juice and, in 2017, converted a farm building into a shop, cafe and education centre. His farm is in Higher Level Stewardship - a Government funded environmental scheme, under the Common Agricultural Policy.
Stephen is passionate, and extremely knowledgeable, about the resource upon which all farming depends - soil. He has an MSc in Soil Science and he’s Head of Soils at Innovation for Agriculture (a charity which communicates the latest research and emerging technologies to farmers, so they can run productive businesses while improving the environment and animal welfare). He’s a member of expert steering groups at the Sustainable Soils Alliance and DEFRA’s new Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMS). He’s also an ambassador for the Woodland Trust and runs an independent organic farm business consultancy.
Farm shop, cafe, organic apple juice
Member of Tenant Farmers Association and the Institute of Organic Training and Advice.
Previous media experience
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire talking about soils, BBC Farming Today on agroforestry, BBC Look East on farming post-Brexit. Featured in an article about farm productivity in The Economist (2015).