Crieff Market Garden wins NEWBIE award for new agricultural entrants


TOMNAH’A Market Garden, a community business located in Comrie Croft in Perthshire, has been declared the winner of the NEWBIE UK Award for New Farm Business of the Year for 2020.

Tomnah’a is led by Cristy Gilbert, Sam Parry and Judith McGowan, along with dedicated volunteers, and sells fruits, vegetables and flowers directly to customers through a community-supported farming program, as well as through food platforms. in line. They also provide training for volunteers in the hope that they too will create their own vegetable gardens in the future.

The NEWBIE project, funded by the European Commission, is offering the prize to new entrants in eight European countries, including the UK, as part of a series of opportunities to help new farmers, farmers and smallholders get started. network and develop successful businesses.

As this year’s UK winner, Tomnah’a Market Garden will receive € 500 towards the cost of training or an international visit, along with an award plaque, video of the farm and the opportunity to participate in a European conference of new entrants with other laureates.

The Tomnah’a team said, “We are thrilled with the news and hope it will help share our story of what is possible on a small piece of land and encourage others to do the same! We really need new farmers supplying products directly to make our food system safer! ”

Aweside Farm in England, Matthew Adams in Northern Ireland and Teleri Fielden in Wales were also shortlisted as exemplary innovative new entrants. Members of the NEBWIE UK Steering Group, representing agricultural interests across the UK, reviewed the shortlisted applications and selected the winner.

Northern Ireland Land Mobility Director John McCallister said: “I was convinced that the quality of the applicants was excellent. That they all achieve a long-standing ambition despite many challenges including the huge investment costs to get into farming, I found it to be so encouraging to see. They represent the best qualities and the determination to break into agriculture and the new blood, new ideas and the next generation that our industry needs ”.

Rachel Creaney, NEWBIE researcher at the James Hutton Institute, added: “The caliber of shortlisted nominees this year was exceptional, and deciding on a winner was extremely difficult for our panel. However, Tomnah’a is a prime example of a new entrant who uses his skills in agriculture and floristry, not only for community and biodiversity benefits, but also to create a viable and innovative business model ”.

The winners of the European partner countries will be encouraged to share their experiences thanks to the international exchange opportunities offered by the NEWBIE project. For more information on NEWBIE, see


Terri S. Tomasini