Could you learn from some of Ireland’s most creative farmers?

Ireland’s first ever biological/regenerative farm walk series is taking place across multiple venues, offering the opportunity to learn from some of the country’s most creative farmers.

Facilitated by National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS), the aim is to host highly informative and demonstrative farm walks with leading farmers working in the biological/regenerative agriculture sector.

The biological farm walk series is the brainchild of Sean McGloin, network manager of National Organic Training Skillnet. Based in Drumshanbo, NOTS will host its second annual biological farming conference – BioFarm 2019 – on November 5 and 6 in Portlaoise.

Benefits

“We want to open as many minds as we can to the benefits of biological/regenerative agriculture,” said McGloin. “We’ve got a wide range of interesting walks across the spectrum, with highly talented and brave farmers who are also eager to share their experiences.

The walks will lead nicely into the BioFarm conference, which we hope to use as a platform for forward-thinking discussion on topics such as carbon sequestration; mob grazing; diversified pasture management; agroforestry; soil testing; and more.

Already confirmed as speakers for the BioFarm conference are: Dr. Christine Jones, Australia, soil carbon expert; Steve Gabriel, USA, Silvopasture author; and Rob Havard, UK, HM mob grazing expert.

Tickets and accommodation packages are open for booking at: www.nots.ie

Meanwhile, NOTS has teamed up with a group of innovative and creative farmers from around the country to provide a series of 11 biological farm walks throughout the summer and autumn.

Pioneering

There will be the chance to learn from creative cereal crop growers; pioneering horticulturalists; ground-breaking beef farmers; and other role models.

The farmers will talk about what has worked and what hasn’t worked for them, as well as their thoughts on a wide range of methods used in regenerative agriculture; organic growing; soil health; and biological farming. NOTS is offering a season ticket for €40 which allows access to all 11 walks.

Organic oats

The first biological farm walk of the series will take place in Westmeath, on Ballard organic farm on Monday, June 10, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Pat Lalor’s farm is a mixed beef and cereals with a primary focus on organic oats and utilisation of FYM as a nutrition source. Ballard organic farm is a producer of the renowned Kilbeggan organic oats.

The second walk takes place the next day in Tipperary, on Crawford organic farm on Tuesday, June 11, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

Mimi Crawford’s farm is a micro-dairy, beef, pig and poultry enterprise focused on stacking biological functions and species’ roles for maximum ecological and farm benefit. It offers a small farm perspective but scalable operations.

The other biological farm walk dates are:

  • Wednesday, July 10: Tommy Tierney, Tipperary, 5:00pm to 7:00pm;
  • Tuesday, July 23: Jim Cronin, organic gardening, Clare, 2:00pm to 5:00pm;
  • Wednesday, July 24: Mark Gillanders, Monaghan, 5:00pm to 7:00pm;
  • Saturday, August 3: Stephen O’Reilly, Cluainview farm, Kilkenny, 11:00am to 1:00pm;
  • Wednesday, August 7: Trevor Harris, Kildare, 5:00pm to 7:00pm;
  • Saturday, August 24: John McHugh, Laois, 2:00pm to 4:00pm;
  • Thursday, September 26: Andrew Bergin, Kildare, 5:00pm to 7:00pm;
  • Wednesday, October 2: Gordon Hardiman, Galway, 5:00pm to 7:00pm;
  • Thomas Fouhy, Cork, date and time to be confirmed.

Further information is available from NOTS on: 071-9640688; or email at: [email protected].