Ally loves cabbage (sautéed in olive oil/butter, braised with white wine and a stock cube) eating it with a selection of roasted veg EVERY lunchtime without fail. Ally was raised in Switzerland, graduated from Glasgow Uni in 2017, moved to Linlithgow and got engaged the same year to Ross and started with Grow Wild shortly afterwards. Ally loves singing with the local choir, playing the piano, entertaining her cats, roller-skating, renovating, and always has a fun project on the go – whether it’s walking the West Highland Way, dyeing and creating, or researching and planning for the next overseas adventures – India and Japan are next on the list. Ally’s spreadsheet obsession is a wonderful thing. Her labeller does however get out of hand sometimes! Ally’s role at Grow Wild has evolved from office administrator to having a hand in just about everything at the farm and is now relied on for so many things – being the once reluctant IT solution-finder, the in-house researcher, calibrating the seeder, stepping into the shop, and generally keeping the team on their toes with her “spreadsheet of life”.
Ben loves lettuce especially with his own recipe vinaigrette and particularly it if freshly cut from the organic field. Ben was brought up in Linlithgow and has a degree in agriculture having always wanted to be a farmer. He broadened his horizons by moving to the southern states of America after he graduated which lasted for twelve years, where he farmed, learned how to build houses, brushed up on his forestry skills and developed his love and dedication to sustainable farming practices. Having returned to Scotland, Ben took on Bonnytoun Farm which had been in the family and has worked tirelessly to install an infrastructure to support the farm. This has meant water supplies and treatment, septic tanks, buildings, fields, and ponds. Ben has been working to re-establish a long-lost balance of nature, productivity, sustainability, and community. Ben loves country music and has managed to convert most of the family! He makes beer, butchers, fixes, creates, cooks, and nurtures. Married to Lindsay with a large bunch of kids and collie dogs, he is a busy man. Loves travel, loves a project, loves fun.
Donna loves courgettes, sliced into ribbons and sautéed in butter. Simple but delicious. As a lover of food, she enjoys the eating rather than the creating. Donna is a local lass being brought up in Bo’ness and is married with three lovely sons. In her previous life, Donna worked at Hewlett Packard where she met her husband. Happy days! Now retired, Donna enjoys going to gigs, taking care of her dogs, and looking after her grandchildren who clearly adore her! They love going up to Beecraigs with the bug boxes, fishing around in the ponds for beasties and having adventures. She enjoys going out for dinner, a wee glass of wine and cosy evenings on the sofa and is truly looking forward to one of her son’s wedding next year. Donna is a bubbly person and really connects to people being naturally empathetic, joining Grow Wild when she felt the need to do something for herself again. She is an integral part of the team making deliveries two days per week which she does in true style – we always love the hair and clothes! Donna can turn her hand to anything – you will find her in the shop, out making deliveries and packing veg boxes in the warehouse. Donna really enjoyed picking plums in the Bonnytoun orchard this year and loves her team!
Eddie is a savoy cabbage man all the way….and cooks a mean Christmas lunch with his chestnut stuffing (incorporating cayenne pepper) his signature dish. He is a recent convert to home cooking and is loving batch cooking. Eddie will always say he is from Leith, not Edinburgh, and is married with two daughters. In his previous life, Eddie worked in IT for over twenty years, retiring to enjoy the freedom of the road! He loves driving, makes deliveries for Grow Wild two days a week and drives classic cars for events at the weekends. Eddie builds radio-controlled model aircrafts and is working on restoring a camper van in his spare time. He and his family love the north of Scotland for walking and fishing and being out and about. Oh – and a very important fact – he juggles badly!
Erica loves blackberries, eating them raw or on top of her porridge. She also loves just-picked tomatoes warmed by the sunshine eating them as they arrive or roasting them for soup. Being a local smallholder, Erica happily has every opportunity to do this with her husband Richard and lovely two young children. They are going guns with their smallholding adventures, growing veg & fruit, have a tiny flock of sheep, and now have wayward goats (Richard’s idea)! Erica has done all sorts of things – she has a degree in politics and anthropology, enjoyed exotic travels with her husband, and has a real interest in food and drink and the good life. Along the way she trained as a wine merchant which she continues to do in her parallel life. Erica helps us out in the field & in the warehouse, bringing with her a great sense of humour and lots of funny farming stories!
Flynn loves spinach added to pretty much any meal she’s making, especially with pine nuts! Flynn was raised in St Andrews has a degree in nutrition and health, is a qualified personal trainer, and is working towards a masters in public health. In Flynn’s own words she is “an all-round health advocate”. Flynn is quite sporty and loves a bike ride, a long-distance run, and Pilates classes! Flynn has two lovely cats, Pip and Buddy, and is hoping for another wee kitten soon! They keep her company when she’s curled up with a nice book, and a coffee! Flynn loves being outdoors, camping, canoeing, and novice climbing! Flynn recently moved to the area and joined Grow Wild not long after. Flynn works in the shop Wednesday to Saturday and is loving getting to know all our regular customers and having a proper chat.
Joyce and Jim
Joyce and Jim come as a pair! Joyce loves leeks and feels they are underrated, cheesy leeks being a favourite. Jim loves chard and its versatility throwing it into soup or serving with fish. Jim is the soup maker in the house! They love the sheep, enjoy Ally’s whacky clothes, and really love the craic with the team! Joyce and Jim met in 2015 are both big music lovers, from opera to blues. Jim used to play in a band and was in the engineering world in his previous world, and Joyce a teacher. Now retired, they have veggies growing in their garden, cook and bake, and spend time travelling, big and small trips. Jim has been to China 66 times. They are true adventurers. ‘Every day is fabulous!’! They started off their involvement with Grow Wild by coming into the farm shop weekly, enjoying the genuine welcome and getting to know the team. Now delivering in one of the electric vans, they do a weekly run (you will recognise Joyce by her pink hair streak).
Jo loves beetroot, especially baked into chocolate brownies. Raised in Australia and moved to Scotland in 1997. Came for 6 months to travel around a bit and is still here 25 years later! Escaped the corporate world (facilities management for those who are interested!) in 2014 to study furniture design and making. Jo is a woman of many talents, a self-taught leatherworker, live music lover, avid Blues dancer, and keeper of 6 beautiful chickens. Jo found her way to Grow Wild after being a customer and happened to bump into Lindsay when we were recruiting! Jo works in the shop two days a week on Thursdays and Fridays and also does the occasional holiday cover so you’ll see her around. Jo has been renovating her Victorian terrace cottage with her partner Ian for many years and her favourite room so far is the bedroom with the view of the Highlands, occasionally snowcapped! Jo is a proper foodie and has a real knack for baking! If your sourdough isn’t rising properly Jo is your woman!
Lindsay is mad about kale – her favourite being steamed then mixed with sautéed garlic, chopped apple, and drizzled with tahini/olive oil/pepper. A proper food-lover, family-juggler, tree-hugger, sheep-carer. In her previous life, Lindsay ran a designer knitwear business for many years, and established a new MSc at Edinburgh Uni where she also taught business. Lindsay loves loves loves to cook (was mentored by Nick Nairn for a food TV programme), plays the flute, silversmiths and loses herself in weaving. Lindsay has a big family with Ben, all with diverse interests making the chat round the kitchen table hilarious! Loves sitting round the table with the whole family, loves the dogs, loves a project. And then loves another project. Raised in London in the swinging sixties by Scottish parents, Lindsay has travelled far and wide, has a degree in physiology, a marketing diploma and a masters in business and established Grow Wild in 1998. She loves music (you will always hear it in the farm shop) and is finding all sorts of way to support the circular world of organic sustainable farming with textiles her next venture running in parallel to farming and Grow Wild. Lindsay really enjoys being on the farm, feeling the seasons, knocking things into shape so that they run well, talking to the sheep and LOVES the team.
Yvonne loves broccoli. Could eat it every day. Simply steamed. With everything. Yvonne says if anyone asked her 10 years ago what she would be doing today, she would never have thought it would be this! She arrived at Grow Wild with a fresh psychology degree, and many years of working around her studies as a dentists’ receptionist and is wonderful with people. Yvonne is soon to be married to Chris and has two fab children who all moved recently to East Calder. Yvonne is a creative person and really enjoys drawing, knitting and needle felting (lots of fleece to work with on the farm). Multi-skilled, Yvonne checks the sheep, jumps into the forklift to offload pallets of veg, leaps into a van if needed, into the shop and of course manages our vegbox packing and deliveries, being at the end of a telephone when you need her. With a great sense of humour, Yvonne ploughs through mountains of admin, and always helps wherever she can. Yvonne brings so much to Grow Wild and to the farm already but has now just embarked on an MSc in Organic Farming. We are so pleased. And proud to have her with us.