We would like to introduce our most recent Ambassador, Darina Allen from East Cork. We are delighted to include Darina in our network of Farming For Nature Ambassadors. These individuals have been chosen in acknowledgement of their long-standing commitment and contribution to farming for nature on their land and in their community
Darina has a mixed stock organic farm with her husband. The farm includes one acre wide glasshouses which yield an abundance of fruit and vegetables, and is home to free-range pigs, beef, approximately 600 hens and dairy cows which are milked daily to produce local cheese and yoghurt. The patch is also often used to test experimental planting and sowing techniques such as biodynamic planting – sowing crops in harmony with the various phases of the moon – with the aim of optimising yield, flavour and quality. Darina is totally passionate about the soil and believes the healthier the soil, the healthier the plant, the animals and the humans. Another biodiversity friendly technique incorporated is the use of green manure – the incorporation of certain green plants back into the soil, which improves the soil structure; increases soil biodiversity, helps to prevent soil erosion and helps to reduce pests and diseases affecting plants & vegetables. It is a circular economy with zero waste. The core philosophy of the farm is sustainable food production whilst also building up wildflower meadows, recording insects, swift boxes and house martens, not cutting hedgerows and planting edible hedgerows for wildlife and shelter. Core to Darina’s work is sharing ideas on food sustainability with others through a permanent on-site cookery school.
Darina was nominated in 2019 and given the role of ambassador in June 2020. More information on Darina’s farm and a podcast can be listened to here.
[Due to Covid 19 restrictions her plaque will be delivered to her in due course]