Happy Beltane! Beltane is the Gaelic May Day festival. It is held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Beltane is mentioned in the earliest Irish literature and is associated with important events in Irish mythology. Also known as Cétshamhain ("first of summer"), it marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. We’re not driving out any cattle today, but we are marking it by lighting a fire and sharing a meal of our own home grown pork with our family.
Summer is here It’s one of the many beautiful things about Ireland. Four distinct seasons. The summer might not be the one I grew up with, but longer days, swallows’ return and growth emerging is something I adore. We’re in our new farm “Lanespark” and one of the many things we are in awe of are the beautiful trees here. Each one unfurling and waking from the Winter slumber we first viewed them in.
Home We’re slowly becoming more at home in Lanespark. One of its many advantages is extra land. Lanespark has been certified organic for the past ten years. As we begin to graze our sheep and pigs followed by our hens, we look forward to the incredible transformation this grazing system can offer. Ruminants and indeed omnivores (which pigs and hens are ICYDK) bring incredibly different benefits to soil health. Soil health increases nutritional density in foods. No chemicals, no need for fertilisers (the animals do it for us). No herbicides. Just the sun creating grass. Animals converting grass to protein. Super, natural nutrition. And you can taste the difference.
RDS Sustainable Farm Awards Kylie has been named as a finalist in the RDS Sustainable Farm awards for 2022. This is a great honour for our business and we’re looking forward to the announcement of the winner this coming Friday.
Pigs Our Oxford Sandy and Black pigs are an integral part of our team. They move daily to fresh pasture leaving behind nutrition and a little soil disturbance. We feed them a fermented whole grain diet which is soy free and supplemented by any eggs that don’t make the cut into cartons. This ensures the pork is lean and matured slowly. Our pigs spend a lot of time romping, digging and exploring. We have a very limited supply which you can order online and receive next day.
Groundswell UK On another note, Kylie will be speaking at the famous regenerative agriculture showcase Groundswell in the UK on the 22nd and 23rd of June. Presenting alongside Regen Ag luminaries such as Greg Judy and Diana Rogers, Kylie’s presentation will be about “Small Farm Success”. Introducing multi species, multi sward into a farm system - how that affects profitability, eco systems and social satisfaction. The Groundswell event provides a forum for farmers and anyone interested in food production or the environment to learn about the theory and practical applications of Conservation Agriculture or regenerative systems, including no-till, cover crops and re-introducing livestock into the arable rotation, with a view to improving soil health. If you’re going to be there, please get in touch, Kylie would love to say hello.
New Calves Say hello to our newest members of the team. Four Fresian calves - often thought of a waste product of the dairy industry - these little fellows have the important job of keeping grass down and adding their specific nutritious gut biome and fertiliser to improve the health of our soil.
The hens are laying like mad. As the days become longer, the hens shift up a gear and go into full production. We have lots of lovely fresh nutritious pasture range eggs available. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like a home delivery or indeed if you would like to stock our eggs. Kylie and Billy Magner's Farm, Lanespark, Ballynonty, E41 PF74 Co. Tipperary +353 (83) 876 3598