Farming for Nature Welcomes Mayo Farmers to the network
The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Mayo farmers, Aoife and Joe Reilly to their growing Ambassador network.
“We’d love our farm to resemble and support a beautiful wild eco-system, within a productive market garden. It means balance, harmony and sustainability. Our decisions generally centre on this theme both for the humans and the wildlife who work here.” says Aoife Reilly
Joe and Aoife Reilly of Glasraí Farm run a 7.5 acre organic market garden in Hollymount, county Mayo. Biodiversity is of huge importance on the farm – “We farm with the earth as our core value and encourage a biodiverse, vibrant, healthy eco-system rather than a monoculture farm”. The farm is highly productive not only in terms of food production, but in terms of soil health and wildlife as well. On the farm there are 3 ponds, mixed hedgerows and a variety of trees, all of which provide habitats for wildlife. They promote ‘wild areas’ on the farm where natural vegetation can grow and support insects and birds throughout the year. Soil health is crucial on Glasraí farm. Cover crops containing diverse plant species are planted in rotation with vegetable crops throughout the year to allow to the soil to rest and to regenerate the soil biology. Composting also plays a crucial role in maintaining soil fertility. Glasraí Farm are passionate about providing fresh, healthy food to their local community. The farm produces a vast range of organic herbs and vegetables – from fennel to cauliflower to potatoes and beyond. They sell direct to their customers via farmers markets and online, as well as selling to local cafes and restaurants. Glasraí farm value teamwork – what started off as a family farm now consists of an energetic collaboration of 6 passionate employees – “Having a good team to work with and creating local employment is really important to us”.
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 O’Reillys 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.