My name is Máiréad and I am proud to be among the growing population of female farmers working in horticulture in Ireland. My interest in growing vegetables developed in 2017 while on a career break from healthcare. During this time an opportunity arose to learn about all things organic horticulture. I have always wanted to work for myself and love growing and eating my own vegetables. My vision for Garraí Mara developed and a plan was put in place.
I have always been passionate about health promotion while working in healthcare. I discovered first-hand the healing and nurturing benefits for both physical and mental health gained from working with nature, and more specifically, eating fresh, local, healthy, organic food. The main aim of Garraí Mara is to produce and sell fresh, local, healthy, organic food. I also hope to create and nurture an environment at Garraí Mara that promotes mental and physical health for all who work here, visit, or purchase the produce from the land.
I am also passionate about sustainable farming. This involves caring for the soil, increasing biodiversity to look after nature and creating a positive effect on the whole ecosystem in the surrounding environment. I believe there is more we can do individually and together as a community to look after nature.
I currently run the Bumproom pregnancy fitness classes in Dungarvan, this is a physiotherapy lead research based education and exercise class on all things pregnancy related and beyond. I plan to bring exercise and education to the farm in time with workshops on meditation, exercise, health, nutrition and how to grow your own food. We also look forward to hosting social farming groups at the farm to allow specific groups the opportunity to experience the benefits of working in nature and work alongside us during the usual schedule on the day to day running of the farm. As Garraí Mara farm is in the Gaeltacht, we aim to promote the irish language with these groups while also showcasing the benefits of organic horticulture for people, nature and the surrounding environment.
Some photos below of the Garraí Mara journey since 2017.