Meet our farmer of the month – Olly Nolan

Olly was nominated for the Farming For Nature Awards in 2018.  This month we are profiling his farm.  Olly started his 8.5 acre in 2012 and since then have been developing it into an ecologically run self-sufficient farm with nature and wildlife in mind. He has planted over a thousand native hedging and trees. He has converted a disused sand arena into an organic vegetable garden, planted an orchard with mainly traditional fruit trees and keeps a small herd of Irish Dexters and a couple of rare breed pigs. They have also leased a number of lands in the area.  Although not organically certified it is run organically, recycling everything and producing their own compost and mulches.  The house is currently being renovated to be as close to passive standards as possible for a renovation incorporating a heat pump, heat recovery and array of PV solar panels.  Olly keeps a large number of beehives around Dublin/ Wicklow mountains. Pollinating the heather on Wicklow Mountains National Park. He has just built a new state of the art honey house which is completely powered by solar panels. They plan on harvesting rain water from all the buildings to use in the veg garden and water the animals so not to take too much ground water from their well.  They make their own hay or silage but never cut before the beginning of July to allow nesting bird a chance to rear their young. There are bird and bat boxes in the trees and an owl box to try and encourage a breeding pair of barn owls to move in.

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