Rena Blake & Lisa Fingleton

Rena Blake & Lisa Fingleton are based in north Kerry where they run a 20-acre organic farm. Part of the farm makes up a market garden and orchard, where they grow tomatoes, potatoes, salad leaves, apples and other fruit, which is sold direct to their local customers at the Ballybunion community market. They keep bees as well a small flock of hens whose eggs are also sold locally.

Nature conservation and attracting wildlife is central to how the farm is run. Last year the couple planted 9 acres of their farm under native woodland – a total of 10,000 native Irish trees were planted. Last December they planted 500 Holly trees as part of a community initiative. On the farm there are badgers, foxes, pine marten, cuckoo, jackdaws, pheasants and more – “we have between 150-200 migrating redwings here over the last 2 weeks.” This year they hope to develop their natural hay meadow, providing a habitat for ground nesting birds and other creatures. Additionally, they plan to build a pond on the land to further increase biodiversity – "we're growing habitats on our farm.”

Rena and Lisa are passionate about community engagement and a lot of their work is geared towards educating people about where their food comes from and empowering people to grow their own food. They run the Local Food Project and are active members of the Kerry Social Farming group. They are strong advocates for small-scale local producers, food sovereignty, low-impact farming and education.

Nomination Description:
Rena and Lisa are exemplary examples of farming for nature. With local food, community and environment at the core of everything they do.
They have a small mixed farm. They a cornerstones of their local food market at Ballybunion, Co Kerry . They have set up and run the " Local food project " eating local for a few weeks each year. They have been foundational in the setup and continued development of Social Farming in Kerry. They have played an active role in community organisations and always work hard to farm for nature and their community. . They would make excellent farming for nature ambassadors.
Nominator: Thomas O'Connor, FFN Ambassador

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