Farming for Nature Welcomes Clare Farmers to the network
“A reason why we farm for nature would be the importance of looking after the whole Web of nature’s diversity with all its visible and invisible parts to sustain us as part of this Web. We as humans benefit from nature in ways that cannot always be quantified in material gain.” says Mona Muller
The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Clare farmers, the Muller family to their growing Ambassador network.
Mona and Harry Muller, along with their four children, farm 38.5 hectares of wet grassland in the Slieve Aughty Mountains in Co. Clare. The family farm is situated in a Hen Harrier Special Protected Area and they are members of the Hen Harrier programme since 2018. “The areas of wetland on the farm provide great biodiversity, but the land needs farming in a very sensitive way.” The farm is certified organic and guided by biodynamic principles. On the farm there are horses, goats, sheep, cattle, hens, ducks, turkeys and bees. The animals play an important role in grazing the natural mountain vegetation and providing fertilizer for soil regeneration. Meat, eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese is sold direct to the local community via a small on-site farm shop. There is a horticulture enterprise on the farm as well – organic vegetables are sold direct to local customers and the Mullers grow heritage vegetable seeds for Irish Seed Savers. External inputs on the farm are extremely low. Fodder crops and cereals are grown on the land to provide winter feed for the animals. The Mullers use draft horses to plough the land in place of machinery where possible. The family have worked hard to create a self-sufficient farm that is ecologically and economically viable. “We see our farm as an organism. Where all the different animals and all the different enterprises interlink and support each other and work with each other.”
Now in its fourth year, Farming For Nature was set up with an aim to source, share and celebrate the stories of farmers across Ireland who manage their land in a way that sustains nature, while providing a livelihood for their family. The Mullers are part of this year’s 23 ambassadors that come from across Ireland and include beef, sheep, forestry, dairy, horticulture and tillage farmers who manage a wide range of very valuable habitats including species-rich grasslands and heaths, wetlands, woodlands and hedgerows. The Farming For Nature ambassador network is made up of family farms, couples, and both male and female farmers.
FFN is featuring their Ambassadors on a bi-monthly basis until June 2022. Keep an eye on FFN’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms to learn more about these wonderful farmers and the valuable work they are doing for nature on their land. FFN will work with these inspiring ambassadors to produce farm videos, podcasts, ‘Ask the Farmer’ sessions, farm walks and more. Go to www.farmingfornature.ie to learn about this incredible network of Ambassador farmers and to access further information, resources and tips.
The Farming for Nature Awards are sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of farming and conservation interests including the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Rural Network.
For more information go to www.farmingfornature.ie or contact firstname.lastname@example.org