Yes, I grew up on the farm but I wasn’t always a farmer per say. I had considered other occupations but was drawn back to the farm. I wanted to leave my mark on the farm.
As consumers we know about the benefits of organic to the land and also to our bodies, as a farmer why did you make the decision to become organic?
We always farmed extensively and wanted to maintain and develop this type of farming. Back in the mid 90s the only way to put that stamp of natural production was to be certified organic.
There is a two year conversion period and yes, there is plenty of paperwork and monitoring. But it has to be that way to ensure the integrity of the certification.
Is this a route you would encourage other food producers to go and what advice would you offer them?
You sell direct to your customers, how important is this for you and what are the benefits of this to you and to the customer?
If farm subsidies stopped then farmers would stop farming, the income from farm activity just covers the cost of production. Farmers live on the subsidies they receive from the EU. It is staggering to think that 100 acres could not sustain a farmer but that is the case, however if the price per kilo was higher then a living could be made. But people have become used to a cheap food society.
You were part of the group that set up the Nenagh Farmers Market and are now involved in starting one in Borrisokane. Why do you feel farmers markets are important?It is important to be able to sell direct to the consumer as they get the best food and the farmers realises how important his job is and can take great pride in what he is producing and selling from his land.
What would you like to say to customers to bring them to this market?
If you weren’t farming what would you do?
Be positive, think positive. Surround yourself with positive people. Count your blessings, appreciate good health and remember there is a solution to every problem.
You can buy from Michael at Borrisokane Food and Craft Market Friday's 2pm to 6pm or Nenagh Farmers Market Saturday 10pm to 2pm