As a busy year draws to a close, the Legacy4LIFE ‘Advancing Farm to Fork’ Team takes a quick look back at the outstanding organic farms we have visited, and what we have learned … 

Our First trip in early May was to Sean Condon’s organic dairy farm in Co. Limerick, whose happy and healthy dairy cows thrive on a low-input system, co-existing with the wealth of biodiversity on the farm. This is supported by biodiversity measures such as wild bird cover, robust hedgerows, and spaces for nature. Congratulations to Seán, who has since been named the Farming for Nature Public Choice Award Winner 2022!

On horticultural expert, Jim Cronin’s, farm in Co. Clare we learned about his approach to compost and soil fertility management, which supports living soils. This allows an array of fruit and veg crops flourish, without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Mark Gillander’s mixed farm enterprise in Co. Monaghan showcases how an integrated farm management system can support self-sufficiency and security, with little reliance on external inputs. Crop rotation with clover/mixed species swords and his cattle herd are integral in supporting his arable crops, which in turn support his herd in the form of protein feed crops.

Clive Bright’s farm in Co. Sligo sees the integration of natural solutions such as agroforestry (tree-planting), the harnessing of nutrients from successional plants, and ponds, to support his pasture-fed beef cattle herd. This farm exemplifies how management of the farm as an ecosystem has co-benefits for the farm, animal health, biodiversity and the environment.

Janet Power and Jenny Watkin’s horticultural enterprise at Gorse Farm, Co. Wexford, produces mixed salad leaves, microgreens and spinach for sale in local supermarkets and restaurants. This is all achieved on a 1 acre holding, with another 2 acres of land in semi-permanent meadow. This farm is a great example of how high productivity can be achieved organically and on a small land area, while also keeping space for nature!

Amy and Ross Jackson’s mixed farm integrates tillage and sheep farming, with the systems working in tandem to control weeds, maintain soil fertility, and enable production of oats, barley, and lamb. We also meet the family’s 2 handsome pigs and learned about breeding for quality meat in the sheep flock. 


It was great to attend the Organic Beef Open day on John Purcell’s farm in Co. Tipperary and see an example of how a larger beef enterprise can be managed organically, while stopping to appreciate different measures for biodiversity such as riparian tree planting, and idyllic rivers flowing through the land.

On John McHugh’s dairy farm in Co. Laois the herd grazes year-round, using a short-grass grazing system which is well suited to Ireland’s climate and semi-natural grasslands. Farming organically also allows for a reduced dependence on expensive external inputs, while the local community also benefits from use of a community garden on the farm.

Mimi and Owen Crawford’s mixed farm in Co. Tipperary is home to dairy cows, pigs, chickens and ducks.   All the animals have an important role to play: The cows graze ahead of the chickens, while the ducks control the slug population. The pigs feed on by-products of the dairy enterprise, which produces raw dairy products including milk, cream, butter and buttermilk.

Joe Menton’s mixed farm in Co. Offaly produces a year-round supply of organic chickens, ducks, and eggs, with turkeys and geese also reared for the Christmas season. Joe also keeps 2 sows, with the banbhs sold on to finishers.

Úna and Pádraig Fahey grow an impressive >25 types of vegetable on their horticultural farm in Co. Galway. This busy farm employs 25 people, supplying organic produce for box schemes, supermarkets and specialist outlets. Úna recently featured on TG4’s ‘Mná na Talún’, a four-part series that follows women in farming.

Our final visit of the year was to Selena and Alex McKenzie’s upland sheep farm in Co. Wicklow. The flock of ~300 sheep roam over 143 acres of pasture, with other areas on the farm dedicated to woodland. As well as producing organic lamb, this farm includes an agritourism enterprise. Check out the hot tub with a view!

Thanks to everyone who welcomed us onto their farms this year. 

These farms have certainly inspired us, and we hope they will inspire you too - stay tuned for more information with our upcoming organic farming booklet!

To see where you can purchase some of the home-grown, organic produce from the farms featured, follow the links below: