A third generation Cork farmer recently exited dairy to concentrate on a free range pig enterprise he developed from a hobby.

Having taken over the 85ac family dairy farm in 2001, Peter Twomey from Glenbrook Farm, White’s Cross, Co. Cork, did his last milking on November 23 last.

“I felt that being so close to the city was too good a location to be milking cows,” he said.

Having always kept pigs as a hobby, Peter found that the same costs were involved in feeding pigs for a hobby, as for a business.

He bought four sows in 2017 when a housing development across the road from his farm got planning permission.

He added: “I thought that the people who would be living by the farm would buy my pork. They are still building the development.”

However, things were moving more quickly for Peter.

In the Spring of 2021, he teamed up with Byrne’s Butchers in Ballyvolane, which was the first butcher to stock Glenbrook Farm pork on its counter.

Soon after, O’Mahony’s restaurant in Watergrasshill featured Glenbrook Farm pork on its menu.

The Twomey family (l-r): Tadhg, Kate, Florence, Peter and Annie May

“The herd was then at 20 sows and two boars. By November 2021, with the help of Byrne’s Butchers, 5kg pork boxes became available locally, and in the spring of 2022, these boxes could be used for nationwide delivery,” said Peter.

In early 2022, Fitzgerald’s butchers, Fermoy, and O’Mahony’s butchers, English Market, began to stock Glenbrook Farm free range pork in their shops.

New venture

Last March, Peter started a farm shop which opens every Thursday from 5:00p.m to 8:00p.m.

In September, Peter and his wife Kate, hosted their first farm-to-fork on-site pop-up restaurant. This comprised two nights of a six course tasting menu, designed and cooked by Maris Urbanovics – a renowned multi award-winning Cork chef.

“We were buzzing when both nights sold out very quickly,” Peter said.

After a very busy and successful Christmas of ham and pork box orders, a third pop-up restaurant event was organised for March 2023, which sold out by early January and now has over 20 people on a waiting list.

It’s all go for Peter and Kate, as they team up with Cork rooftop farm which is looking to grow 60ac of organic vegetables in Glenbrook to ‘feed’ Cork.

The pair are taking the farm in new directions, while also getting to spend more time with their three children, Annie May (aged 13), Tadhg (aged 10) and Florence (aged nine).