Thomas and Claire O’Connor sold their pub and purchased a 25-acre farm in Gleann na Gealt, Camp, Co. Kerry.
The husband-and-wife-duo now produce vegetables, salads, wheatgrass, meat, poultry and eggs on their organic farm; they sell this produce in their shop, Manna Organic Store.
The Farming for Nature ambassadors have 15-acres of native Irish woodland, 4-acres of permaculture including fruit trees and 4-acres of agroforestry; they have retained existing mature trees. They are keen to promote and protect the health of the soil. “Nature is bountiful – one seed can grow plant and can produce 100,000 seeds.” Thomas said.
The problem, the Kerry native pointed out, is that modern agricultural systems tend to interfere with the natural cycles.
“I think the real thing is for us, as farmers, is to reimagine the farms we want to live on in the future as opposed to the commodity and profit-driven farms that we live on now.”
“We have knowledge and information which we can gather from the world, so we can make different choices.”
“I think the most important thing is to use your imagination. Remember when you were a young person on the farm and the place was full of wonder - this is what we need to do if we want to go back to nature.” O’Connor concluded.