Dr. Miriam and Malachy Dolan along with our three children Ben, Saoirse, and James operate a suckler herd with a small flock of sheep, two outrageous pigs all on 60ha in South-West Fermanagh. The farm is in one unit and the farmhouse is adjacent to the farmyard.
Our farm has been in the family for over 200 years and some of the remains of old houses of family ancestors can still to be seen today.
The farm has a very traditional feel as my father removed very few hedges in the 70s and 80s as was the thing to do at the time.
The garden and poly-tunnels occupy half an acre next to the farmhouse. Using the manure from the farm we grow a range of vegetables; potatoes, carrots, parsnip, leek, cabbage, sprouts, turnip, beetroot, onion, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, and many more.
There is an orchard on one acre in front of the house. The orchard is planted with native breeds of apples from Irish seed savers in Co. Clare. These varieties are in danger of dying out.
We farm using modern sustainable techniques. In terms of mechanization, we try and do all our own work at hay/silage. The use of contractors is very limited.
Spring and Summer
Removing trees and wood from the fields where hedges and coppicing took place. Spread farm yard manure on the fields. Calving cows, lambing, feeding the pigs, and ensuring the health of newborn animals. Hay & silage making.
In the garden from propagating seeds & chitting potatoes to digging and planting in the garden and poly-tunnels.
Winter and Autumn
Feeding cattle, animal husbandry, cleaning sheds, field boundary restoration (fencing & planting of hedges/trees), and machinery maintenance.
We have some Vintage tractors which require care. The more modern machines are all serviced on the farm.