Avril & Willie Allshire
Avril & Willie Allshire along with their two sons, William and Maurice, farm a herd of 100 crossbred pigs in Caherbeg county Cork. They have been farming the land since 1997 and the farm has grown from 15 acres of marginal land to a 58-acre enterprise containing forestry, agroforestry, free-range pigs and an on-site processing plant. All of the produce is processed on-site and sold direct to customers under the ‘Caherbeg Free-Range Pork’ or ‘Rosscarbery Recipes’ label.
50 acres of the farm is under forestry – a mix of Sitka Spruce and broadleaf woodland, along with eucalyptus groves planted around the farm. The family are in the process of implementing an 8-acre agroforestry system whereby the pigs will graze the natural meadow and vegetation amongst the trees. “Currently some of our pigs wander through the Sitka spruce forestry – they root away to their hearts content and eat the vegetation around the forest floor.”
Avril and Wille value family farming and local artisan food production - “The family farm is a unique distinctive unit. I would love to see more people encouraged into farming.” The family operate a transparent farm, passionate about education they host regular farm tours where people can explore the farm and see how it works. They have also included an agritourism element to the farm, where Avril runs a forest bathing activity – “forest bathing is a wellness practice to relax, relieve stress and invite joy and pleasure through sensory connection with nature.” Through farm diversification, the Allshires have created a farming enterprise that supports the family while working in ways that protect the natural environment. In the words of Avril’s father; “The land is in trust for the next generation.”
Avril is one of the most passionate people when it comes to highlighting how a farmer can work with nature. She with her husband Willie set up their farm and product free range pork products under the Rosscarbery Recipes brand directly from their farm.
Avril is a strong advocate of local produce and introduced Neighbourhood to the area.
Next was her part in developing local farm tours to help bring awareness of how food is produced in local farms who work with the nature and farm sustainable enterprises.
The Allshire’s next set many acres of forestry and now graze their cattle in between the rows of trees. Avril was involved in setting up a new concept of Forest Bathing which supports mindfulness.
A key note speaker, presenter and promoter, when it comes to anything to do with local food she is well know in these circles.
Check Avril’s profile on Social Media for photos and learn more about this strong advocate of producing food and working with nature in the best way possible.
Nominator: Aine O Riordan, Advisor, Teagasc