This year, visitors to the farm will see ewes due to lamb, new lambs, different breeds of sheep, vintage and new farm machinery display, see the Champion Île-de-France Shearling ewe, Gemma who won ‘Champion of the Breed’ at This year’s Balmoral Show, as well as enjoying cookery demonstrations by the Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland using Mullygarry Farm lamb.
Rodney and Emma have also created a farm shop, opened in 2020, for its own and other artisan foods. It also provides a delivery service to customers from the family-run sheep farm near Enniskillen.
Rodney, a third generation farmer, explains: “Our objective is to be recognized as a quality producer of slow-raised, premium lamb, a really delicious meat that we are keen to encourage more people here to enjoy.”
Their farming journey began in 2017 with a small flock of Ryeland and Ile de France sheep which they have nurtured into a flock 250 strong on their farm nestled in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands amidst the naturally rich, rolling hills for which the county is justifiably famous.
Through their ethical farming methods, they endeavor to promote the values of the ‘farm to fork’ principles of fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food systems, from pastures to plate.
Rodney and Emma are focused on rearing premium grade, grass-fed lambs on their pastures by the process of ethical and sustainable slow rearing and using the latest sustainable farming practices, whilst ensuring their lamb is free from growth hormones, preservatives and antibiotics.
“The climate here provides perfect conditions to enrich fine pasture lands for the lambs to develop and feed, helping us produce a uniquely flavored and healthy, grass-fed lamb for people to appreciate,” continues Rodney.
The couple have full control over how the meat is handled. Not only does the farm shop allow customers to see how and where their meat is reared, but also gives them the opportunity to support other local businesses by hand-picking produce aligned with their values which they then stock in the shop. These include locally grown fruit and veg, jams, chutneys and oils as well as local handcrafts.
Mullygarry Farm will be open to pre-registered school children on Friday, June 16 and the public on Saturday, June 17 (11am-5pm) and Sunday, June 18 (12pm-5pm). The shops are open three days a week plus deliveries and also stocks local jams, chutneys, sauces, vegetables and oils.
Twenty-one working farms from across NI will be highlighting the quality, availability and cost-effectiveness benefits of buying local, as one of the biggest free awareness initiatives, Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend.
It is predicted that 20,000 visitors will attend farms across Father’s Day Weekend, June 16-18, to enjoy a packed programme of free activities to showcase NI food and farming at its best.
The initiative is led by the Ulster Farmers’ Union, with the support of Bank of Ireland as title sponsor and sponsors Asda, NFU Mutual, the Livestock & Meat Commission NI, Moy Park, Thompsons, Everun, Gilfresh, Gouldings NI and the Irish Farmers Journal also shows support.
By opening their gates to the public, the farms aim to promote awareness and understanding of the agricultural industry, while also fostering a connection between urban and rural communities.
William Irvine, deputy president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and chairman of the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend, explains: “Our aim with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend is to showcase the outstanding contribution our farms and farm families make in producing the quality food we so often take for granted.
Richard Primrose, Bank of Ireland UK Agri-Business manager, adds: “A thriving agri-food industry is vital for communities within Northern Ireland and we’re proud to once again be the title sponsor for the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend and to celebrate and recognize the important contribution the agri-food sector makes to our society and economy.”
Employees who are the ‘cornerstone’ of a Belfast veterinary practice take owners…
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