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Farming in the Uplands, a sharing of knowledge and experience. Ostan Loch Altan (Hotel) in Gort a’Choirce on Friday 21st October at 8pm. Fáilte roimh gach duine. Everyone welcome.

A European Innovation Partnership (EIP), ‘Cúlra Créafóige’ managed by Lárionad Achmhainní Nádúrtha – Cill Ulta, based in the North West Gaeltacht is to host a public presentation on Farming in the Uplands – a Sharing of Knowledge and Experience, on Friday 21th October in Gort a’Choirce.

Our guest speaker, Steve Collins, is a medical doctor with a PhD in nutrition and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Long Island, USA and a global expert in the treatment of starvation. He has worked for 30 years to alleviate famine. Steve’s nutritional expertise and scientific methods are uniquely suited to harmonising food production and farming at Derry Duff Farm.

Cuibín, Derry Duff is a 54 hectare, organically certified hill farm, high on the slopes of Cnoc Buí, Cork’s highest mountain.  It is in between Bantry and Glengarriff in West Cork.  The farm is south facing, between 100 – 250 metres above sea level, with spectacular views across the hills and mountains of the Borlin and Mealgh valleys.  The farm itself is stunningly beautiful, with a wild, mountainous and diverse landscape, with running streams, waterfalls and an area of tall, mature trees.

When Steve arrived at Derry Duff it had been uninhabited for over 40 years and was overgrown and non-productive.  Since then, they have gradually restored the land to productivity; installed drainage, dug clay and gravel to create a track network , rebuilt ancient stone walls, renovated the lowland pasture, established natural habitat and converted marginal land to new pasture.  They built a large greenhouse, established a tree nursery and planted out hedgerows and thousands of trees.  Also an orchard was established, a forest garden and vegetable garden and dug multiple ponds and a large reservoir which feeds the irrigation system, for 6000 blueberry plants.  

Trees are planted extensively, allowing land to regenerate after grazing to increase biodiversity and attract pollinators and reducing runoff and soil erosion through the use of terraces and planting on steep slopes and along streams.  The hope is to be more than carbon neutral by 2022. They continue to experiment and modify their practices to improve the ecological profile, environmental impact and sustainability of the farm.  

Steve will share with us the challenges they have overcome and also the benefits to the land and the farmer from making the change to an overall more sustainable system of farming.

Please join us in Ostan Loch Altan (Hotel) in Gortahork on Friday 21st October at 8pm. Fáilte roimh gach duine. Everyone welcome.

Curaíocht an Phobail EIP is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.