Podcasts

Farmers – listen up.. Here is a series of podcasts for you, by you!

Here are podcasts from farmers on why and how these farmers are doing their bit for nature.  Listen to them below.  You can also subscribe to our podcast channel through various apps, just click on the subscribe button under any of the below images to pick the app you want to follow through.  Don’t forget to please rate and review the podcast too.

 

“Farming For Nature has produced a lovely series of podcasts by farmer, explaining how and why they farm the way they do….Delivered in a relaxed, conversational manner – very enjoyable listening.”
Clover Magazine 2021.

Just to say thank you. I’m a long time listener (not a farmer myself but brought up on one in Yorkshire). I find the podcast takes me away to a different world where things make sense and nature is allowed to unfold as it should. The lyricism and enthusiasm of many of the farmers you interview is extraordinary – you are tapping into the Irish motherlode.
James Kynge, Global China Editor, Financial Times, London

FARMING FOR NATURE PODCAST

What is Farming For Nature?’

The founders of Farming for Nature, Brigid Barry and Brendan Dunford, explain what the initiative is, and how and why farmers across Ireland should get involved.  (Recorded December 2021)

GROUNDTIPS PODCAST

A series of podcasts with tips and advice from farmers on the best whys to encourage and enhance nature on your farms.

How to make biochar

Brigid speaks to Kim McCall about why and how he makes biochar. Kim and his wife Mireille own a 214-acre mixed livestock stock farm in Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare with a herd of 75 pedigree suckler cows, a flock of 80 sheep, as well as a few pigs in the summertime.   More information on their farm here.

My land’s natural carrying capacity

James Gilmartin is a 7th generation mixed farmer. He keeps a suckler herd and a small herd of Dexters, as well as a small flock of sheep. Part of his farm is commonage and a very important High Nature Value habitat for various species, including the endangered Marsh Fritillary butterfly. (Recorded in November 2023)

Running a brewery from a farm

Maurice Deasy farms 120 acres in northwest Tipperary. He grows heritage Irish grains to preserve their genetic diversity, and uses them in his own brewery on the farm. He also has 20 acres of mixed woodland and wetland through his farm.  He tells Brigid how he farms with nature in mind.   (Recorded January 2023)

Making a living from 1 acre

Aonghus Ó’Coistealbha is a market gardener from Connemara Co. Galway, and he owns ‘An Garraí Glas’,  a 1-acre farm where he grows chemical-free vegetables including lettuce/salad leaves, onions, tomatoes, radishes, herbs and more. A tremendous amount of vegetables are grown from a small space, not to mention a challenging landscape with plenty of stone and a strong Atlantic prevailing wind.  Aonghus is particularly interested in regenerative farming; composting, soil health and building fertility is of utmost importance to this farming system.  (Recorded January 2023)

 

Being economically viable whilst restoring nature on a dairy farm 

Gearoid Maher farms 80 cows on 80 hectares in Co.Limerick. He tells Brigid how he manages to operate an economically successful farm while restoring nature on his land.  (Recorded in January 2023)

Composting with Jim Cronin, Mixed Farmer, Co. Clare

Jim has a 16 acre hill farm in Clare where he intensively grows vegetables and fruit.  He tells Brigid why homemade compost is the backbone to his farm, and how it works with nature to boost fertility. (Recorded December 2022)

Rehabilitating an intensive farm with Colm Flynn, a Kildare tillage farmer

Colm talks to Brigid as part of Farming for Nature’s “Ask the Farmer” series. Here he explains in detail how – and why – he changed from an intensive farm, now farms with nature in mind.  (Recorded January 2022)

 

The Tree Farmer

James Ham of Moyvore, Co. Westmeath is one of the last farmers in his county to use traditional technique of hedge laying. He farms 128 acres with his wife Martina, and their land is 50% woodland, with the rest grass and spring barley.  He talks to Brigid about trees, coppicing and hedgerows. (Recorded December 2022)

Rewilding with Eoghan Daltun, Beara, Co.Cork

Eoghan has a farm of 73 acres (including 40 acres of mountain commonage) overlooking the Atlantic near Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork. For the last 12 years he has given 21.5 acres over to nature, mostly in the form of highly species-rich native Atlantic temperate rainforest.  (Recorded December 2022).

 

Making a living on 7.5acres

With Aoife Reilly

Aoife Reilly of Glasraí Farm owns a 7.5-acre farm in Hollymount, Mayo, with her husband, Joe. They employ seven people, and nature is intrinsic to what they do.   The farm is highly productive not only in terms of food production but in terms of soil health and wildlife. There are three ponds, mixed hedgerows and a variety of trees, all of which provide habitats for wildlife. (Recorded February 2022)

Why the best time for producing a Christmas turkey is actually in the summer

With Cathal Mooney

Cathal Mooney owns Heather Hill Farm in Donegal, where he produces pasture-raised turkey, pasture-raised chickens, lambs and eggs and wildflower honey.  He says, “Our goal is to produce local food for the community. We want our customers to become friends and come to the farm to see how their food is produced.” (Recorded December 2022)

What do bats need to make a farm their home? with Donna Mullen

Donna Mullen has a 43-acre farm in Meath, and she’s found different ways to make her farm a magnet for seven bat species.  She explains what she’s done and how any farmer across Ireland can do the same. (Recorded January 2022)

‘And the winner of the 2022 Public Vote award is…’ with Sean Condon

On 29th October, the annual Farming for Nature awards took place in Corofin, Co. Clare.  Brigid Barry spoke to the winner, Sean Condon, who is a dairy farmer from Limerick. (Recorded October 2022)

‘So you have bogs on your land, now what’ with Tommy Earley

Tommy Earley has a 25 acre bog on his farm in Roscommon, and a few years ago he started the process of restoring it.  What did he do?  And how did he do it? (Recorded November 2021)

‘How to attract farmland birds to your farm’ with Anthony Mooney

With a 200 acre beef farm in Kildare, Anthony Mooney knows that he has a vital role in attracting bird species to his land.  He explains how he does it. (Recorded February 2022)

‘How to attract bat life to a farm’ with Tommy Earley

Roscommon beef farmer Tommy Earley has created 15 ponds on his farm in the West of Ireland.  They attract a spectacular array of life, and he explains why every farmer – and gardener! – in Ireland should create a watery space for nature.  More about Tommy’s farm here.  (Recorded October 2021)

‘Working with nature to benefit a micro-dairy’ with Sinead Moran

Sinéad farms 27 acres with her partner Mick. She explains why they decided to set up an organic microdairy, and how it benefits her business, the wild life and the land.  More about Sinead’s farm here.  (Recorded January 2022)

‘How to get the best from your hedgerows’ with Sean O’ Farrell

Hedgerows are the green veins of our countryside, but poor management can leave them all but lifeless.  Tipperary’s Sean O’Farrell describes how farmers can ensure their hedgerows pulsate with wildlife, to the benefit of the farm – and the farmer.  More about Sean’s farm here.  (Recorded February 2022)

 

‘Farming at Altitude with Nature’ with Nia O’Malley

What does it take to farm the uplands in a way that both provides an income and restores nature? Nia O’Malley farms 150 acres in the Slieve Aughty Mountains in Co. Galway, in the west of Ireland.  She explains how her beef farming works to support – not diminish – the wild species who make the uplands their home.  More about Nia’s farm here. (Recorded November 2021)

‘Why Every Farmer Should Dig A Pond!’ with Tommy Earley

Roscommon beef farmer Tommy Earley has created 15 ponds on his farm in the West of Ireland.  They attract a spectacular array of life, and he explains why every farmer – and gardener! – in Ireland should create a watery space for nature.  More about Tommy’s Farm here. (Recorded November 2021)

 

‘How to Entice Barn Owls to your Farm’ with Paul Moore

They’re known as “the farmer’s friend” because they eat rodents such as wood mice, pygmy shrews and rats.  But barn owls are struggling in Ireland – there’s been a 50% decline in the last 25 years. How can farmers help to restore barn owls to their land?  Wildlife expert & tillage farmer, Paul Moore, explains how he brought them back to his farm in Midleton, Cork.  More about Paul’s farm here.  (Recorded November 2021)

 

VOICES FROM THE LAND

Nicholas Redmond

Nicholas Redmond has a 50-acre farm in Gerry, Wexford.  He talks about his diverse beef & sheep farm, which includes species-rich meadows (from which he makes hay), oak woodlands and mixed-species grasslands. (Recorded in May 2022)

Gearoid Maher

Gearoid is a dairy farmer from Limerick with 197 acres and 80 purebred Friesian cows.  He explains how and why he works with nature on his farm. ““The old rule of thumb was a cow to the acre – and that has been my ethos all along. If I can farm a cow to the acre without pressure then that’s what I’ll do.” (Recorded in February 2022)

Mimi Crawford

Mimi owns a 28 acre farm in Tipperary with her husband Owen.  They have a micro-dairy and sell raw organic cream, butter and buttermilk, and they also farm beef, chickens, pigs and ducks. (They’ve also just had their first baby, which you can hear gurgling behind the scenes here. Congrats Mimi & Owen!) More info on Mimi’s farm here.  (Recorded on January 2022)

Norman Dunne

Norman Dunne owns a 400-acre tillage farm near Maynooth. Five years ago he transformed the way he farms, in a way that has benefitted nature and his own mental health.   More on Norman’s farm here.  (Recorded on November 2021)

 

Thomas Fouhy

Thomas Fouhy  is an arable farmer with 84 acres in north Co. Cork.  He farms speciality crops such as grain-lupins, linseed, lentils, sunflowers, as well as the standard grain crops.  More information on Thomas’s farm here. (Recorded October 2021)

Fergal Smith

Fergal Smith owns the 66-acre Moy Hill Farm in West Clare.  He keeps Dexter cattle, Jacob sheep and runs a large market garden. He sells all his produce direct to his local community.  More information about Fergal’s CSA farm here. (Recorded December 2020)

Patrick Holden

Patrick Holden is a dairy farmer at Bwlchwernen Fawr in Wales, UK and campaigns for more sustainable food systems.  He speaks here during the Burren Winterage Weekend (October 2020).

James Rebanks

James Rebanks has a family-owned farm in the Lake District in northern England, and is the author of The Shepherd’s Life & English Pastoral. He explains his approach to farming with nature during this talk which he gave for the Burren Winterage Festival, October 2020.

Bridget Murphy

Bridget Murphy is an 8th generation farmer with 125 acres on the Ox Mountains. She farms sheep, horses, trees and native Irish bees.   More information on Bridget’s farm is here.  (Recorded September 2020)

Darina Allen

Darina Allen owns a 100 acre mixed farm in east Cork, with fruit & vegetables, pigs, beef, dairy cows and hens.  More information on Darina’s farm is here.  (Recorded July 2020)

Feargal Ó Cuinneagáin

Feargal explains how he farms his land in Mayo in a way that enhances life for endangered species such as corncrake, twite and chough. His farm is now a jewel in the crown of the spectacular Mullet Peninsula on the far west coast of Ireland.  More information on Feargal’s farm is here.  (Recorded May 2020)

Donna Mullen

Donna has a 43 acre farm that she bought 20 years ago with her husband.  In this time they have turned an intensive farm with just 2 fields into a nature reserve with woodlands, meadows and ponds attracting a wide range of species.  Each year they focus on one species to attract the farm by providing their habitat.  More information on Donna’s farm is available here.  (Recorded February 2020)

Padraig Corcoran

Padraig Corcoran has a beef and sheep farm in Mount Plunkett in Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon. He talks about how he manages his 54 acre farm for food production and nature.  More information on Padraig farm here.  (Recorded October 2018)

Olly Nolan

Olly farms in the valley of Glenasmole in the Dublin Mountains. He’s new to farming, and talks about his approach to producing food and habitats for wildlife on his land.  More information on Olly’s farm is here. (Recorded October 2018)

Ailbhe Gerrard

Ailbhe Gerrard farms on the shores of Lough Derg in Co. Tipperary.  Her approach to farming is not limited to food – she also tries to produce better land for nature.  More information on Ailbhe’s farm is here.  (Recorded October 2018)

Sean Farrell

Sean O’Farrell has a mixed farm near Roscrea in Co. Tipperary. A few years ago he changed the way he farms. He explains why he did this, and how he makes space for wild species on his land.  More information Sean’s farm here. (Recorded October 2018)

Tommy Earley

Roscommon farmer Tommy Earley talks about his farm and how – and why – he leaves spaces for nature.  More information about Tommy’s farm here. (Recorded October 2018)

Donal Sheehan

Can intensive farmers make a profit and farm for nature at the same time? Conventional dairy farmer, Donal Sheehan, explains how he has changed the way he farms to encourage more wildlife. Donal is a third generation farmer from the Bride Valley in east Cork, Ireland.  More information about Donal’s farm here. (Recorded October 2018)

 

 

Relevant podcasts from other sources:

Guardians of the Land

A series of podcasts based in counties Clare and Galway interviewing the farmers and conservationists that are working towards maintaining and protecting different ecological landscapes, habitats and wildlife. The landscape of Ireland has not been shaped purely by natural forces, it has been sculpted by thousands of years of agriculture. During this time, the wildlife has evolved to adapt to this farming environment. To protect our wildlife, conservation farming needs to continue.  How can we protect our biodiversity while keeping farming viable and profitable?  This series of podcasts explores how farmers based in counties Galway and Clare are guarding Ireland’s living landscapes.

Each podcast is approximately 30 mins long.  These were produced by Pranjali Bhave and presented by Dr Oliver Ó Cadhla for Galway Bay FM in 2016 with the help of Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Episode 1: Farming to save the Burren

Episode 2: Farming to save the Lesser Horse-shoe bats

Episode 3: Farming to save the Corncrake on Omey Island

Episode 4: Farming to save the wading birds on the Shannon Callows

Episode 5: Farming to save the hen harriers

Episode 6: Farming to save the Twelve Bens of Connemara

Episode 7: Farming to save the Aran Islands

Feedspot podcasts on farming

Farming For Nature has been awarded in the top 20 international farming podcasts by Feedspot. If you are interested to see what the other farming blogs/podcasts are out there you can click here.

 

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