Westmeath organic producers to open farms to the public

Organic farmer Joe Brady pictured with his son Finn outside his farm shop at Tullaghan, on the shores of Lough Owel.

Organic farmer Joe Brady pictured with his son Finn outside his farm shop at Tullaghan, on the shores of Lough Owel.

In conjunction with the national food promoter - Bord Bia - Lough Owel organic farm and shop is to host an open day for members of the public on Thursday September 15 at 3pm as part of National Organic Week.

The Bord Bia idea is to show to people who are interested in where their food comes from a local producer who is offering the finest of organic fare.

The evening will consist of a farm walk where Joe will show his Angus cattle, Saddleback pigs, demonstrate reseeding with arable silage, and a visit to the farm shop.

Joe, a printer by trade, took over the family farm about six years ago, and has gradually been progressing the organic ethos on his 65 acres of pasture since.

“What I’m trying to do is make a living from an average-sized Irish farm without breaking the law,” he said simply.

Joe keeps up to 55 head of cattle and four breeding sows, slaughtering 15 cattle and up to 70 pigs each year. All his ham and bacon is dry cured, and his beef is hung for a minimum of three weeks.

“We had this open day for the first time last year and about 70 or 80 people turned up,” said Joe. For practical reasons, he has put a 15-year-old age limit on those attending “because it’s not a petting zoo”.

The first 50 people to contact the farm on (087 ) 6911164 will receive a free food voucher for farm produce cooked on the day.

The following weekend Joe Brady will be one of the food purveyors at the Green Village festival in Castletown Geoghegan.

The Lough Owel organic farm shop is open on Friday and Saturday afternoons and deliveries can be ordered via www.owelorganic.wordpress.com or at (044 ) 9341649.

Moonshine Dairy Farm, where Mary and Gerry Kelly produce a range of organic cheeses at Hopestown on the northern shores of Lough Ennell, will also be opening its doors to the public between 2pm and 5pm on September 12, 13 and 18. Details from (087 ) 6872775 or email [email protected].

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