Kilduff Farm's Lucy and Russell

Kilduff Farm: Pumpkin Love and Cultivating Community

Welcome to the Love Your Local Larder Podcast! A podcast that celebrates local produce with the people who cook and grow it. 

Join us on a culinary adventure as we delve into the story of Kilduff Farm, nestled in Scotland’s idyllic landscapes. Kilduff Farm embodies sustainable agriculture and local food pride. In this episode, we’ll explore the farm’s rich history, sustainable practices and meet the passionate individuals behind its delicious produce. Discover the vibrant flavours of Scotland as we dive into the essence of Kilduff Farm and celebrate the vital role local farms play in our communities. Get ready to savour the taste of home and deepen your appreciation for the incredible world of local food. 

Kilduff Farm is a family-run arable farm situated in the heart of East Lothian. Russell, along with his wife Lucy, manages the farm by drawing from his upbringing immersed in the farming lifestyle. Russell’s childhood on Kilduff Farm instilled in him a set of values that he integrates into contemporary farming practices, notably embracing regenerative farming methods. They primarily grow crops such as wheat, oats and beans, much of which is used across Scotland; you may have even tasted some of their grains in your morning cereal or favourite beer. To adapt to the challenges of modern-day farming, Lucy and Russell decided to diversify their business by creating a Pumpkin Festival during the month of October. 

Russell Kilduff Farm

When I asked Suzie, our host, about her connection to Kilduff Farm; this is what she had to say:
"Driving up to Kilduff always feels like home to me. It’s a place I spent many days as a child with my parents and Russell’s family. I learned to horse ride and drive a car there. Nowadays, we have an annual summer BBQ there with Lucy, Russell, the kids and our friends. We’ve established a lovely collaboration with Kilduff, producing honey while pollinating their crops and flowers. I really love what they are doing with this farm, I know I’m bias because they are some of my dearest friends, but the passion and creativity that go into that place is quite simply beautiful."

Listen to the podcast episode here... 

The idea for the Pumpkin Festival came about as the couple wanted to get their children more involved in farm life and to learn where their food comes from and how it is grown. This renowned Pumpkin Festival, established in 2018, attracts visitors of all ages in October. It offers a unique opportunity to handpick pumpkins from their Pumpkin Patch while also imparting knowledge about the lifecycle of certain foods. It’s a fun family day out for all with a bale maze, festival games and some tasty treats. It’s an experience that combines fun with education, making it an ideal day out for families and food enthusiasts alike.

Kilduff Farm Pumpkin Festival

During the month of October, millions of pumpkins are purchased for decorative purposes, and a significant portion of them end up as food waste. Kilduff Farm is enthusiastic about reducing food waste and promoting the idea that pumpkins have year-round potential, not just for Halloween. At Kilduff Farm, they grow unique pumpkin varieties for both culinary and carving purposes and are eager to share cooking tips and mouth-watering recipes. For example, pumpkin flesh can be used in various recipes like soups, pies, roasted dishes and sweet treats, while the seeds can be toasted for snacking or sprinkling on salads. You can find an array of pumpkin recipes on their website. By raising awareness of the versatility of pumpkins and promoting responsible consumption, Kilduff Farm is helping to reduce the food waste associated with this seasonal favourite. One of Lucy’s favourite pumpkin recipes is Pumpkin and Apple Muffins, find the recipe here.

Lucy and Russell with Pumpkins

In addition to producing delicious pumpkins, Kilduff Farm also cares about the planet, as evidenced by their regenerative farming practices and enhancement of biodiversity on the farm. Russell explains that at Kilduff Farm, they engage in sustainable practices such as reducing reliance on pesticides and chemical fertilisers to restore and improve the health of the soil and ecosystems. They have also built margins and hedgerows around the edges and centre of their fields, which act as windbreaks and wildlife habitats. This has helped to increase biodiversity on the farm, providing essential habitat for a wide range of wildlife. Their venture of planting Dahlias along the edges of the fields and Pumpkin Patch has not only made the fields look beautiful and picturesque but has also helped to further increase biodiversity and support pollinators on the farm. Kilduff Farm has focused on nurturing soil health, enhancing biodiversity and minimising environmental harm, all the while producing delicious food products.

Lucy and Dahlias

While the couple has long benefited from an existing orchard at Kilduff Farm, their commitment to biodiversity and environmental responsibility led them to establish a larger orchard on the grounds. This new orchard has given them the opportunity to develop two delicious products: sweet and dry apple juice. The sweet apple juice is a deliciously fresh-tasting juice made for drinking, whereas the dry apple juice has a tart flavour which is ideal for cooking. Every step of the production of these juices is done directly on the farm, from orchard to glass.

Kilduff Farm Apple Juice

In addition to providing tasty apple juice, this orchard provides a source of food and shelter for wildlife and plenty of pollen for pollinators. Kilduff Farm’s bountiful crops are the perfect place for bees and pollinators to thrive, which is why they were more than happy to team up with us at The Scottish Bee Company. So we partnered up and introduced a few hives to the farm near their Pumpkin Patch. This collaboration has been mutually beneficial for both parties, as Kilduff Farm has benefited from pollination of their crops and enhance biodiversity while it’s given us a space to place our bees, and we have both been able to enjoy some delicious pure honey. 

Kilduff Bees and Honey

Kilduff Farm also produces bread flour and rapeseed oil. These products are created from the wheat and rapeseed grown directly in Kilduff Farm’s soil and exemplify their ‘field to food’ concept. You can purchase pumpkins, apple juice, bread flour, rapeseed oil, honey, and beautiful dahlias from their honesty box at the end of their driveway. This honesty box has allowed the community a convenient place to visit and purchase locally grown produce, demonstrating Kilduff’s commitment to local love and community.

Kilduff Farm Honesty Box

Kilduff Farm is a beacon of sustainable agriculture, community engagement and culinary exploration. Lucy and Russell’s commitment to regenerative farming practices, their Pumpkin Festival’s blend of education and fun, and their dedication to reducing food waste by showcasing the year-round potential of pumpkins all reflect their passion for the land. Their orchard and apple juice production contribute to biodiversity, and their collaboration with us to create honey exemplifies the farm’s commitment to environmental protection. As you explore Kilduff Farm’s diverse offerings, you not only savour exceptional products but also join a community dedicated to preserving the environment and embracing local love. Visit Kilduff Farm today and become a part of their sustainable, flavourful community. 

If you are interested in purchasing Kilduff Farm's produce, you can order online here.

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