At Goleen Harbour Farm we produce vegetables and salads Organically mainly for the local eateries such as The Crookhaven Inn, O’Sullivan’s and Notages in Crookhaven, Along The Way Cafe in Goleen and The Barleycove Beachbar. For Summer 17 we will also have a small farm shop to sell direct to customers. We also have a small Orchard with accompanying fruit bushes planted in 2015 and baring a good crop of fruit this year.
Our livestock are horses and Connemara Ponies an Irish rare breed we produce foals and have our first 2 this year Goleen Harbour Heather and Goleen Harbour Prince below.
We also produce Goleen Harbour Organic Honey and are working with Commercial Bee Keeper Mark Newham and his daughter Helana of Coolmore Bees, Mark approached us as he has many hives in and around Goleen, he says the Bees seem to do especially well in the area and believes it may be something to do with the presence of a natural antibiotic in Fuschia which is in abundance in West Cork. We have started with 7 Hives which we should be able to double in the Spring, the bees are the native Black Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) we will be planting a Pollinators trail of plants and flowers in the spring to attract more Butterflies and Bees etc to our farm.
We plan to introduce laying hens and ducks, in addition to producing Organic Eggs they will help keep down the Slugs and produce manure.
We have planted around 7.5 acres of our land with 7500 trees under the Native Woodland Scheme, this scheme is aimed at the restoration of existing native woodlands and the creation of new native woodlands. We are working with Forester Mark Donnelly who has a tremendous wealth of knowledge on Biodiversity, he was formally Head Forester for The National Trust in Wales. Tree species include Oak (2600), Alder, Hazel, Hawthorn, Birch and Scotch Pine, There will be walking trails through the woods to connect to our Coastal Walk and an Outdoor Classroom area.
The remainder of the farm is grassland of mixed quality, we have about 6 acres suitable for making Haylage or Hay and about 17 acres of Special Area of Conservation (SAC) land which was very overgrown that we have started to graze with our horses and Connemara Ponies. The Connemara’s are a designated Irish Rare Breed and therefore qualify as Livestock Units we have 3 you can read more about them here.
By grazing the area we aim to make it more suitable again for the Chough a sea bird rather like a crow with an orange beak, they much prefer short grass and are found on the Sea Cliffs on our part of the Wild Atlantic Way. We are already seeing the results as several Chough have taken up residence this year (2017).