The Farming for Nature Ambassador Network welcomed farmers Aoife and Joe Reilly who operate a 7.5 acre organic market garden in Hollymount, Co. Mayo.

According to Farming for Nature, the Glasraí farm is very productive not only in terms of food production, but also when it comes to soil health and wildlife.

Co. Mayo farmers said they farm with the land as their core value and encourage a healthy, biodiverse ecosystem rather than a monoculture farm. They explained:

“We would like our farm to resemble and support a beautiful wild ecosystem within a productive market garden. It means balance, harmony and sustainability.

“Our decisions are generally centered around this theme, both for humans and wildlife on the farm,” the Reillys added.

Biodiversity is of paramount importance on their farm, they said, which includes three ponds, mixed hedgerows and a variety of trees, all of which provide habitats for wildlife.

Organic farmers favor wild areas of the farm where natural vegetation can grow and support insects and birds throughout the year.

Soil health is also crucial on the Glasraí farm, which is why cover crops containing various plant species are planted in rotation with vegetable crops on the farm throughout the year. This allows the soil to rest and regenerate its biology, the farmers explained.

The farm, which started as a family business and now has six employees, sells organic herbs and vegetables to local cafes and restaurants, online and directly to customers through farmers’ markets.

The Reillys are among 23 ambassadors this year who come from all over Ireland and manage their land in a way that conserves nature, while supporting their families.

Farming for Nature is now in its fourth year celebrating the stories of farmers nationwide, including in the beef, mutton, forestry, dairy, horticulture and labor sectors. floor.