In this news article, That’s Farming previews five of our most popular interviewees, which we featured in our Farmer Focus series.
Ed grows certified organic hemp on his home farm and harvest, press and produce a range of products whilst promoting its multitude of health and environmental benefits.
He told our resident editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“I first came across hemp in 2007 when it was brought to my attention you could build an entire house from hemp.”
“It sparked my interest then, so I started looking into how it was grown and where.”
“I wanted to do something different, something that was niche. I also had to see if all that you read about was true, and the only way to find out is to do it.”
“The seed is one of the most nutritional foods on the planet. If there were ever a plant designed for humans, it would be the hemp plant.”
“Most animals will eat it, including fish, and a canary will not sing unless it eats hempseed.”
Read more on this article.
Dominic resides in Co Laois with his family, but is originally from Dublin.
In 2000, his uncle, Martin Blake, asked him to take over his farm as he wanted to retire as he had no family of his own.
Leonard told Cunnane:
“I did not grow up on a farm per se. Living on the edge of Dublin with a few fields that were rented out to a farmer, I was used to seeing cattle around and a few sheep but had no real idea of the reality of raising them.”
“I have cousins who farm in Meath, and we used to visit them occasionally, but I am not sure that improved my knowledge in any way.”
“My arrival on this farm back in January 2000 was a culture shock for me, as I was used to being able to cycle into Dublin and meet up with friends and the like.”
Read his story.
Situated in Roovesmore, Coachford, and overlooking the picturesque Lee Valley, Donal Murphy and his family run a very successful dairy enterprise.
The Murphys are currently milking 50 cows on a 90-acre block. Donal’s father, Dan, purchased the original 77-acre farm in 1967.
Since then, the Murphy family has cultivated and nurtured the renowned Roovesmore Herd.
Speaking about the origins of the herd, Donal told That’s Farming:
“Grain was grown for the first two years, and in 1969, the first 15 cows were milked. The numbers gradually increased over the following years.”
Read this family’s story.
Peter Mc Keever
Peter, alongside his parents, Catherine and Pat Mc Keever, sisters, Catrina, Alanna, Patricia, and Nuala, run an apple production and cider company.
Peter describes the operation as “very much so a family-run business”.
He is a third-generation farmer in Long Meadow Farm and is accompanied on the enterprise by the next generation of farmers, his nephews.
The family farm has been in business for three generations. His grandfather established ‘Long Meadow Farm’, where he planted the first apple trees on the home farm in Portadown.
He told freelance writer, Alicia Temple: “We still have the trees grandad planted on our farm today.”
Read his story.
What started as a passion for cheesemaking has grown into a formidable, diversified cheese business for Eamonn and Patricia Lonergan from Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese in Co. Waterford.
The Lonergan family, who has been farming in the Knockanore countryside for over 60 years, started making their handmade cheese in 1987.
Eamonn says they farm with a herd of about 180 pedigree Friesian cows. They do this on just shy of 200-acres on both their own land and rented property.
The farm started as a mixed farm operation with sheep, pigs, cattle, and cows. But in the 1970s, the focus increasingly shifted towards dairy.
According to Eamonn, the initial spark for his eventual love of cheesemaking stretches way back to his younger years in the early 1970s.
Read their story.
[List compiled based on article view count]