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26 acres - Nature farming

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  • 10-10-2019 2:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭


    So signed on the dotted line for 26 acres . Hill farming area. It's a personal (expensive)hobby to get into a bit of nature farming. Whatever one could call it. Have 12 acres already which I started last year ( 600 trees , hay meadow, wildflowers) so know alot more now.

    Will update as I progress along so others thinking the same can learn . ( Possibly from my mistakes)

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,344 ✭✭✭✭Say my name


    Great news.

    Is this owned land or rented land?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    Great news.

    Is this owned land or rented land?

    It was bought. It was land that was in a will of a relative so it had some emotional attachment and meant that it was not on the market. The tricky bit of letting the local farmers know is now done. So I will be watched;) like how I was with my tree planting in my other 12 acres project.
    https://www.boards.ie/b/thread/2057820221?fuid=0

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,170 ✭✭✭wildlifeboy


    any pictures would be good, can you create a few ponds too?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    any pictures would be good, can you create a few ponds too?

    Yep I can get pics taken when I am there.

    Ponds . Probably not. There is a fast running stream on the border so something to think about. It has some lovely native trees already so I have to move slowly so I can enhance rather than destroy what's there already

    First thing is to sow some yellow rattle to weaken the grass. Fert ( or manure)would have been applied regularly so I also have to get the fertility down

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭Muckit


    Do you hope to turn a few pound on it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    Muckit wrote: »
    Do you hope to turn a few pound on it?

    Yes it has to wash it face. Banking on future glas schemes for hay Meadows, partial rental and wildflower seeds(agreement in progress) . Figure nature farming is the future so I will be at the coldface if that is viable.
    If farmers are the caretakers of nature in the future there has to be a business case for it. I intend to test that.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,440 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    Are you planning any stock on the ground? Or just leaving it stock free,?
    A friend is getting land planted with native species in the next few months, through forestry scheme. He found a forestry company that was into the habitat protection side of things...
    I'm pretty sure the place will look fairly rough for a year or 2 after planting, but it'll recover, and there'll be 30 odd acres of broadleaf native woodland, (bordering a neighbours existing woodland), financially it'll be the most productive that this ground has ever been...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,539 ✭✭✭✭_Brian


    80sDiesel wrote: »
    So signed on the dotted line for 26 acres . Hill farming area. It's a personal (expensive)hobby to get into a bit of nature farming. Whatever one could call it. Have 12 acres already which I started last year ( 600 trees , hay meadow, wildflowers) so know alot more now.

    Will update as I progress along so others thinking the same can learn . ( Possibly from my mistakes)

    Sounds like an amazing project.
    Good luck.

    If your the type for a YouTube channel I’d imagine that would support your journey too, surely it would provide niche advertising opportunities that would generate revenue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭Prop Joe


    Excellent project im in fact doing something similar myself..Gonna mix it up on some swamp lad and marginal ground..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,449 ✭✭✭denismc


    Great idea for a thread OP, can I ask are you currently involved in farming or are you just starting from scratch?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    So I am guessing for the first year to leave all alone. Plan is to walk the land every weekend to get a good understanding of the place. Found a spring that runs thru one field into the stream. Was built into one of the field walls. Local farmer had an Irish name for it.
    Might plant one or two oaks but having planted 600 odd on another farm I am over tree planting/pruning/mulching for the time being.

    Guessing I will try to sell sileage/hay come end of summer,let local farmer graze after and then sow some wildflowers. Fertility levels are going to be high so may wait a couple of years to sow. Keeping an eye on future glas grants.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    denismc wrote: »
    Great idea for a thread OP, can I ask are you currently involved in farming or are you just starting from scratch?

    Not a farmer and would make a bad one at that. See myself as a caretaker I guess.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭monseiur


    80sDiesel wrote: »
    So signed on the dotted line for 26 acres . Hill farming area. It's a personal (expensive)hobby to get into a bit of nature farming. Whatever one could call it. Have 12 acres already which I started last year ( 600 trees , hay meadow, wildflowers) so know alot more now.

    Will update as I progress along so others thinking the same can learn . ( Possibly from my mistakes)

    Hi, 80's Diesel
    Good luck with your project, it's very interesting and certainly futuristic.
    Just looking for advice - My O/H aunt has 12 acres, she's a widow and has no one to farm the land so she's considering planting, it's limestone type land and very fertile so suitable for hardwood / broadleaf & native trees.
    How does the grants work, she's have to employ a contractor to do all the work including supplying trees etc. (no fencing required)
    She contacted Teagasc some time ago but no response as yet.
    Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭Prop Joe


    80sDiesel wrote: »
    So I am guessing for the first year to leave all alone. Plan is to walk the land every weekend to get a good understanding of the place. Found a spring that runs thru one field into the stream. Was built into one of the field walls. Local farmer had an Irish name for it.
    Might plant one or two oaks but having planted 600 odd on another farm I am over tree planting/pruning/mulching for the time being.

    Guessing I will try to sell sileage/hay come end of summer,let local farmer graze after and then sow some wildflowers. Fertility levels are going to be high so may wait a couple of years to sow. Keeping an eye on future glas grants.


    Hoping to start something similar myself with a plot of two acres..Gonna set up bird boxes possibly a bee hive,Want to ensure there is a large worm population,introduce some frogs/toads and plant some wildflower


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,296 ✭✭✭✭Water John


    Forget Teagasc make contact with one of the private consultants.
    http://www.aifc.ie/
    Try and get references of jobs done and satisfied clients.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭monseiur


    Water John wrote: »
    Forget Teagasc make contact with one of the private consultants.
    http://www.aifc.ie/
    Try and get references of jobs done and satisfied clients.

    Thanks Water John, that's exactly the information we were looking for.
    Greatly appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    First step taken last week and sprayed the place with forefront. Had too many docks and I didn’t think there was any wildflowers to save. Too many years of slurry/fert ( sileage use)would have taken care of that.

    Guessing that it will take 3 to 5 years for the fertility levels to drop sufficiently before I can introduce wildflower seed. Thinking the plan is one cut each year in July/August to remove nutrients. And then after graze and repeat.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,449 ✭✭✭denismc


    Any updates on this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    Blast from the past.

    Finally paid off the place this year which now feels like mine!

    So it's been just one cut a year to a local organic farmer and there has been no fert or animals on the land these last 3 years. Fertility is slowily reducing and I got rid by hand of the docks which just a few to tackle each year.

    Have introduced yellow rattle to a trial field and this spring got a beautiful display of cuckoo flowers and plantain now is beginning to take hold.

    Plan is to harvest more yellow rattle and spread it out to the other fields and then introduce other wildflowers from my other place.

    Requires patience but knowing the long grass over summer is helping diversify is its reward in itself.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,243 ✭✭✭tanko




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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,697 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    If you could put up photos that would be smashing. I remember your previous threads still,great photos.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    I dont normally do photos in general as it never captures the moment

    This is the nearest thing to what I am doing


    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭Packrat


    I get what you're trying to do as in use it organically and diversify the sward, but why are you "waiting" for the fertility to drop as if that was a good thing?

    Having a diverse sward and good fertility aren't mutually exclusive.

    Most of my pastures are over 50 years old, (since ploughing or reseeding) I have very diverse swards, I'm organic since last year, but rather than trying to reduce fertility, I'm trying to increase it by applying lime, fym and bacteria.

    If you're rewilding, then yes but you say you want to "farm" it and that you cut the fields once a year.

    Why no animals?

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭80sDiesel


    Hi. The sileage is used by an organic farmer. I am just restoring it. It has had enough fert to last a decade so I am reducing the fertility level to knock back the coarse grass and encourage the finer grasses and wildflowers.

    It's not a rewilding exercise. I have an acre set aside for that where I am letting the blacktho4n colonise. It's about restoring it to pre industrial farming purely for biodiversity.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭Packrat


    Well you're on the right track with cutting it and putting nothing back to reduce fertility. That'll bring it right down quite quickly.

    Pre industrial farming did include grazing animals and crops as you know and fym was always spread on the meadow fields in spring.

    Your organic buddy if he's certified or in conversion should only buy on feed from a certified organic or in conversion farmer according to the rules, - this is just said to inform, not to nitpick.

    Best of luck with your plan, it'll be interesting to see the results.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭Packrat


    This is exactly what i experienced as a child, even the photos of the valley look almost identical to where i live.

    These meadows have never been ploughed since then. Most of those grass species mentioned I still have despite bag fertiliser and slurry, but - both in moderation and no bag since 2021. The practice of cutting later and allowing the plants to head out which has been a side effect of lambing sheep in them every spring before silage cutting in late July has i think helped to preserve those species more than lack of fert.

    I have a photo from last year I think and if I can find it I'll post it here.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,296 ✭✭✭✭Water John


    Saw this set of pics today. Guy doing charcoal in a traditional way. Thought I'd put them here as he's another person in tune with his environment.




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