Wild Birch Farm
Many food producers in County Wicklow think sustainably and act sustainably and that’s very much the case for Amy Jennings and Myles Conway who farm organically on a small plot of land on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Wild Birch Farm is a certified organic one hectare micro-farm and was founded by Amy Jennings and Myles Conway in 2018.
Amy is an organic farmer, a botanist and beekeeper, and along with Myles who is also a horticulturist, they have a deep interest in managing the land in a regenerative way.
Their focus at Wild Birch Farm is to cultivate the land with intention and integrity to produce food in County Wicklow which is not only nourishing but also very delicious.
The couple grow organically grown mixed vegetables, fruits and flowers using biologically informed regenerative practices and they use low tech and horse powered solutions to optimise the cropping system.
Their vision for their farm is about organically grown produce and sustainability, horse power, beekeeping and nature and nurture. Sustainability is key so the pair farm in a way which goes beyond compromising the local land and surrounding ecosystem by improving it for future generations to come. They are extremely proud of being a certified organic farm and they employ a broad range of environmentally friendly farming practices.
What is extremely unique about Wild Birch Farm is that they use draft horses which can do nearly all of the same tasks as a tractor. Their beloved Suffolk Punch draft horse ‘Faith’ is their solution to small-scale, resilient farming with a closed-loop system. Using horse power brings Wild Birch Farm back to the roots of what it means to work the land while presenting a viable model for a small, productive farm which lasts.
What is key for their farm are their bees and beehives. Amy and Myles are totally committed to the native Irish honey bee, which were once thought to be extinct, and they strive to protect and promote the breed.
Nurturing nature is also crucial as Amy and Myles continually aim to grow safe and nutritious food for the local community. Where they can, they choose seed which is adapted to the Irish climate, and, coupled with an understanding and good management of our soil biology, they hope to produce the best quality food possible.
There is a wide variety of crops grown at Wild Birch Farm throughout the season but the primary focus is on growing quality salad leaves which go into our different salad bags. The couple create various different salad mixes using a variety of colourful leaves and textures. As much of their produce as possible is harvested on the day of sale to optimise both freshness and nutritional content.
The focus at Wild Birch is on achieving maximum yields from a minimum land area while at the same time increasing biodiversity and the fertility of the soil.
Understanding that soil health is the most important element to growing good quality disease free produce, Amy and Myles take many steps to nurture the soil. They use horses instead of large machines to help reduce soil compaction, they add compost and compost teas to feed soil life and they carefully rotate crops.
We have planted over 3,000 native tree species which will grow into hedgerows and mature trees. They also leave approximately 50 per cent of the land uncultivated which encourages native flora to grow which in turn supports our native fauna.
* Wild Birch Farm is proud to be a member of Wicklow Naturally