From Livestock Farming to Market Gardening: A Lifelong Journey of the Heart

Farming has been a part of my life since I was a child. I grew up on a mixed vegetable and dairy farm on the outskirts of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. For my family, animal welfare was very much wrapped up in religion, as cows are sacred in Hinduism and are not slaughtered for meat. Farming was never an industry or business; it was our way of life and necessary for subsistence. As a child, I always had a particular love for cattle.

Ten Truths About Transitions

Watch Video – Rebecca Knowles, the director of the Stockfree Farming charity, speaks to the Civil Service Vegan Network about the benefits and complexities of transitioning out of livestock farming into alternative forms of land management.

Biocyclic Humus Soil

A Game Changer for Future Agriculture – Watch Dr. Johannes Eisenbach’s excellent talk on the creation and benefits of humus soil.

John Letts

John Letts, Continuous No-Input Cereal Cropping with Heritage Grains Beginning on his small farm in Oxfordshire, and now covering a total area of 1500 acres and still expanding, John Letts has achieved something that even organic experts have labelled ‘impossible’: growing cereals continuously in a stockless, organic system in the same field. In fact, John …

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Veganic Consumer Survey Report

This survey had two primary aims. The first was to help a veganic farmer in transition better understand the local and wider UK market demand for several veganic food products which he was considering producing. In doing so, this would help him decide which crops to grow and what processing equipment to purchase. The second aim was to get a sense of the demand for veganic food products from UK consumers which would be useful to existing and prospective veganic or stockfree organic (SO) farmers who could use the data in the same way as the above farmer.


Visiting the Orkney archipelago for the first time, it is striking how the landscape is almost completely dominated by livestock with some patches of cereal crops here and there. Yet, tucked in amongst all of this, on the island of Westray lies Thorncroft which immediately stands apart from (and to a certain extent, towers above) its surroundings on first sight.

Newsletter Vol.1 No. 4

Scottish Agriculture Bill:

Call to action for our readers in Scotland
The subsidy system for Scottish agriculture has been in a state of limbo for the past few years and many farmers and crofters are anxious to see what direction it will go in, so that they can commit to making changes on their land that will align with the new agricultural policies. The Scottish Government will soon be deciding on a new Agriculture Bill that will shape the future of farming and crofting in Scotland,

Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 3 Post

Expanding the Boundaries of Farming and Crofting
Stockfree Farming is hosting a free series of webinars by farmers for farmers on
radical, stockfree land management beginning NOVEMBER 1ST.

Our webinar series introduces farmers, crofters, foresters, and pioneers from Orkney to Oxfordshire who have broken through the obstacles of terrain, climate, poor soil, and short growing season to produce great food in harmony with the natural world.

Survey Report

Stockfree Farming conducted a qualitative survey of Scottish farmers and crofters from 2021 – 2022.
The need to reduce the production and consumption of animal products has been widely accepted as a climate change mitigation measure. The missing piece up to now has been how the farmers themselves feel about this. Our survey fills this gap.

Some of our key findings are below:

Tolhurst Organic

The importance of Tolhurst Organic in the world of stockfree farming is immense – a living example of a thriving farm business set in just under 20 acres in Oxfordshire, using absolutely no animal inputs and producing a vast array of vegetables and fruits for a local customer base.

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