Mixing old farming techniques with new and more efficient hand tools which enhances soil fertility and biology with minimum soil disturbance.
New Leaf Urban Farmers is an award-winning micro-farm located in Ballyneety, County Limerick. We farm 1.5 acres. Over the last four years we have evolved to a no-till approach which essentially means; we try to minimise soil disturbance outside of planting and harvesting. Although this may seem novel, it is critical to ensuring that our soil life remains as minimally disturbed as is possible.
Local farming is more important than ever before
Without big machines and chemicals
We use locally sourced composts (without animal manures)from County Limerick as well as making our own. We use no machinery on the farm just hand tools. Although it is more labour intensive, we are given healthy and nutritious vegetables in return.
From no-till, we are now transitioning to Korean Natural Farming (KNF) practices. This entails, capturing and culturing indigenous microorganisms and feeding them to our soil. Over time these organisms help feed and protect our produce and ensure against pests and diseases.
Learning from Korean Natural Farming
In 2019, we were awarded the prestigious Eurotoques (craft section) award in recognition of our endeavours. New Leaf Urban Farmers supply leading hotels, restaurants and cafés around the county and country. We also supply the very successful community owned and operated "The Urban Co-op" based in Limerick City. Our produce has a strong reputation for its freshness and flavour.
Why I founded the farm:
Our current relationship with nature and in particular food, is an imbalanced one. On the one hand, we need nature to continuously supply us with healthy and nutritious food for ourselves, our families and our communities. Yet on the other hand, we are also pushing the limits of what nature can provide because we have an imbalanced system.
Cheap, imported food (usually through budget retailers, often selling below the cost of producing it) has put huge pressure on farmers throughout the EU. Ireland is no exception...