Environmentally Friendly Farm, Northern Ireland
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Broglasco Farm has been in the Kane family for over 100 years, and the farm has moved on with the times, but we (Richard 7th generation farmer, and Leona) very much appreciate what the generations before us have done, and how we can maintain our farm for the generations to come behind us. Our legacy will be to promote the environment, along side positive farming, while creating a living from it. We have been working hard for a long number of years to comply with the Countryside Mangement scheme. Our farm is completely arable with no animails at all apart from an array of pets, Chance (rehomed-Weirerammer), Sprite and Lilly (pure white rehomed cats), Richie and Holly (rehomed minature shetland ponies), Breeze our pony for Emily and three Dexters which we hope to develop in the future projects.
We have always been keen to work with the RSPB, Wildlife Societies, Bee Associations, Slow Food Movement and promote wildlife and pollintators along with farm on a daily basis. This is something that we feel comes very natural in one world, and can be done so that we all benefit as a whole.
Richard has been a pioneer in pushing the mintel style of farming, as we dont plough our land. This means that the soil bed is basically left untouched, with just a small seed being inserted into the ground, we also use liquid fertilisers so that they are not being sprayed but put directly in beside each seed in the bed when being planted. This is a much more efficent and environmentally friendly way to farm. Over the winter months the farm, basically is quite idle, we have been planting vetch which is a great source or cover crop for the ground putting back in much needed nitrogeon naturally, and without an extra cost to us. It is also the ideal pleace for wildlife over the winter months, nesting, and bird cover.
"We will always continue to do our best on our farm, as we are not just farming for today, we are farming for our childrens future."
In 2018 Leona completed a Prelimary Bee Keeping course with, Roe Valley Bee Association. She has now four bee hives, and is really enjoying the social aspect of having mentors to help her attend her bees. This is so beneficial for the environment. It is a hobby and we enjoy four hives now on the farm. Leona has been the main push behind growing acres of wildflower and sunflowers. She loves seeing the array of butterflies, birds and the different bees all enjoying the flowers. Once the flowers are finished, we dont mow them, we leave them over the winter months for the birds to enjoy the seeds. It also give them somewhere to nest or hide from pretators.
Richard makes an effort not to use as many spray on the farm, as we are very lucky that he is BASIS Qualified, and can see what the plant needs rather than always using sprays. We DO NOT USE NEONICOTINOIDS on our farm. In NI no farmer uses them, only in the Mainland UK. So its good to know where your food comes from exactly! we also have stopped using herbicides as we dont need it. If a spray is required, then it will be done in the evening once the bees have gone back to their hives.
WILDFLOWER & SUNFLOWER MARGINS
Every year we plant a large area of our farm now with wild flower and sunflower margins and we will keep you posted on how this goes, via our social media pages. Its an aray of colour of butterflies, birds, bees we have spotted so many different species and its a wonderful sight to see.
At the moment we do not have the space to let others keep their bees on our farm. This is something that we will work on for the future.
We are delighted to be working with the RSPB as the North West Ambassador for championing of birds. We are very keen on barn owls, as Richard was very lucky to capture one on video last year in one of our barns. We now have three owl boxes located on our farm, and hope they will one day decide to nest in one or more of them.
We are looking forward to welcoming a wildlife surveyor to look at our farm to see what birds we have living and breeding at Broglasco. So far we have spotted lapwings, skylarks and yellowhammer - just some of the priority species in Northern Ireland. We also have swallows, Great Tits, House Martins, and Chaffinches nesting at our farm house. Leona thinks she spied a woodpecker chick the last week in June (2020). Swallows and Swans migrate to our farm and area every year, and delighted to have spotted the black swan here on our fields.
Check out out our baby pheasants that hatched beside our yard.