Paddy has been farming at Harlinstown for over 40 years now when he took over from his dad Michael.
He then had a dairy herd and after a number of years he turned it into a sheep and dry stock farm. Paddy continued to farm here until in 2007 our eldest son Michael decided to take up farming full time.
Michael had a big emphasis on sheep and continued to do so until 2009 when he decided to turn the farm into a Dairy Farm again.
James our second son came home from his travels abroad in Australia and together they started to make plans to make changes here at Harlinstown.
This plan came to fruition in January 2010 and we now await our second year in production with the cows calving in February and March and then we will be ready to start milking again.
They now have 200 cows which is mainly Friesian/Jersey cross. The system they operate is based on a low cost production which is similar to that in New Zealand where both Michael and James farmed a few years ago. This system allows the cow to stay outside 90% of the time and they are fed mainly on managed natural grass based system and kale.
It is hoped to raise the female calves from this year’s cows which in time will come into the herd as replacements and therefore continue to build up our heard as a closed disease free heard.
Guests at Slane Farm can enjoy the many walks through the farm at their leisure and enjoy the beautiful green pastures of County Meath and come in close proximity to the farm animals.
Milking starts every morning at 6.00am and then again at 4.30pm every evening from March to November.
The horses on the farm are mainly used for leisure and they can be seen as one wanders through the fields. Jack the donkey can be heard as well as be seen along with the horses. He loves to see visitors as much as possible.
Our free range hens are situated beside the Hostel campsite and the early risers can collect fresh eggs for their breakfast.
The vegetable garden beside the hens is also a welcome site to visitors in summertime with plenty on offer in season.
The farm boasts many old ruins and can be seen while wandering through the fields. Wild deer can also be seen on the rare occasion and the antlers of one 17 years old stag can be seen hanging on the Hostel wall in the Living Room.
Please ask at Reception for information on routes to take.
Posted by Gemma Macken