Kate Egan

Kate Egan runs a 9 acre farm and vegetable garden. What was once a market garden providing fresh, local vegetables to restaurants and shops in the Midlands has transformed into a vibrant community growing project.

In 2024, Kate launched the Grow Together project. When she could no longer run the market garden she saw the space going unused and wanted see it growing again and providing food for her community.

There is so many different aspects to learn when growing your own vegetables. Growing as a group together provides community, shared responsibility for the garden and shared knowledge and a lot of fun.

In 2023, Kate invited people to come and grow with her for a year. All co-growers are equal partners and they share all the produce grown, managing a half acre garden one day a week.

Kate is already recruiting members for next year's growing. The garden, food forest and orchard are managed for nature, regenerating soil and growing delicious food along the way

Kate also facilitates social farming, community workshops, camping, natural horsemanship lessons, tours and pick your own days at the farm.

Kate’s farm contains part of an esker ridge, old hedgerows including old ash trees, and grassland. Just on the esker is part of an old woodland, comprising crab apple, wild rose, gorse, wild cherry, honeysuckle with lichens and moss growing just about everywhere. In the spring this area is full of primroses, and later there are lots of cowslips. Kate’s love for wildlife extends to the bats she and her family share their home with. It’s a maternity roost of several hundred soprano pipistrelles and a smaller roost of common pipistrelles so the bats are there from April onwards. Each year they welcome the bats back. Kate always farms with nature in mind. Since she began farming here, she has planted hundreds of native trees, and has recently started digging a pond. The grassy lawn around her house is managed as wildflower meadow areas and she has planted lots of pollinator friendly flowers. She has also planted a forest garden, using the principles of permaculture to more sustainably manage food production. She uses no chemicals on her farm, and grows vegetables, fruits, flowers and manages hens, ducks, geese to sell at a local market. She also collected seeds from the pollinator friendly flowers she sowed which she has shared with others. She also has connected with social care farming, and other socially responsible, ethical, environmentally kind farmers and was recently part of an exhibition showcasing nature kind farmers in themidwest region. She also uses the farm to share her passion for the environment with farm visitors. Schoolchildren visit the farm to learn about how she farms sustainably. She also uses facebook to share her love for nature. In everything that she does, she applies ethical and sustainable principles.

Nominator: Caitriona Carlin, Ecologist, NUIG

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