The first OGI farm walk of 2013 took place on Eamonn and Geraldine McDonagh’s farm near Kilmaine, Co. Mayo on 17th June.

The McDonaghs run a 30 acre mixed farm carrying a wide range of enterprises and the family is practically self-sufficient in food. They produce about 1 1/2 – 2 acres field vegetables along with a 31 ft x 35 ft tunnel for protected crops. The farm also has 15 ewes, 4 dexter cattle, 1 jersey house cow, pigs and poultry.

This farm has probably the lowest carbon footprint of any in the country. All of the farm work is done with working horses trained by Eamonn. Over the course of years he has brilliantly adapted and designed a wide range of farm machinery to cater for practically every conceivable farm job and he demonstrated the uses to an attentive audience. Later in the evening he gave a demonstration of weed control in his potato crop using his horse and grubber.

His beautifully laid out tunnel was full of healthy seasonal vegetables keeping the family supplied throughout the year. Two acres of field crops included potatoes, carrots, parsnips and fodder beet – all in great condition and well maintained. Fertility is provided by the farm’s livestock and some additional brought in seaweed. All aspects of the farm are well thought out and executed and it could serve as a model for any aspiring, or indeed, existing organic farm.

The evening concluded with Geraldine’s lovely homemade biscuits and scones liberally spread with clotted cream from the Jersey cow. If the enjoyment of the visitors and their reluctance to leave was any indicator, then this was a very successful farm walk.

All in all, a great start to the farm walk season!