John’s Story

I first came to Castleton Farm in March 2006 with Hops Agricultural Workers Scheme.

The snow was causing disruption to the work process and my initial reaction was, thankfully each of us had a return ticket home as this was not looking promising for work. However, within ten days I began my first job on the farm planting strawberries in one of the tabletop tunnels. Within the next month, I was in a team of planters where we took planting into some new fields. As time progressed in April I joined the Irrigation team which involved setting the irrigation systems for new fields. By June, carting fruit to the coldstore became my main priority. After six month being at the farm, my time for that year was finally up and I was able to go on a bus trip surrounded by my friends to London followed by Paris. Read more

Lena’s Story

My name is Lena and I am originally from Estonia.

I first arrived at Castleton in the summer of 2005, when I actually felt disoriented but in the same time ready to discover the unknown and this is where my story starts from: I’ve been working for Castleton Farm since my move to the UK in 2005. I started with strawberry picking, not an easy job considering the weather conditions sometime, but easier and enjoyable over time. Things became much easier when I met Gabby from Romania and we both got on and worked together, we fell in love and our love still goes on. Both aiming for a good future and a better life, it was a strong motivation to ignore the fact that we are living far away from our families. Read more