Kate Egan runs a 9-acre chemical-free farm dedicated to bio-diversity and permaculture in Ballymore, Co. Westmeath.
The Farming for Nature ambassador purchased the holding with her partner, Tom, three years ago, with a view to establishing a self-sufficient smallholding.
An esker ridge, old hedgerows and an old woodland are all-located on-farm.
Kate’s products include vegetables and fruits, which along with geese, ducks, and hens, are sold at a local market, helping to reduce food miles and support the local economy; a compost tea is also produced.
“We use a mix of market garden techniques, organic gardening and permaculture to manage our growth.”
“Our first value is improving nature, offering a sanctuary, providing an oasis for wildlife,” Kate explained.
“I don’t actually think you have to do that much for nature really – what you have to do is leave it alone, finding alternatives and trying not to worry too much.”
“If we have healthier soil, we are more likely to have healthier plants — and healthier plants are much less likely to be bothered by pests and diseases,” Kate concluded.