The farm

 

The farm was purchased by the McCall family in 1958. Kim’s father bred racehorses and fattened bullocks. In 1986 Kim took over and opted for suckler cows and sheep instead of horses. He also planted woods, reintroduced ponds that had been filled in over the years and gave the farm an environmental orientation.  The farm is on 85 hectares of land, 75 in permanent pasture and 10 in forestry. We keep approximately 70 cows and 80 breeding ewes. 350 tonnes of farmyard manure and 105.000 litres of slurry are spread on average. Bacteriolit is added to the straw in the shed and to the slurry. 3 tonnes of Bacteriosol have been spread on 10 ha and nitrogen at a rate of 67 ½ units per ha on 40 ha. Bacteriolit and Bacterioso l are a natural product from Sobac which speeds up composting  and we have found a noticeable improvement in the pastures since using it. The grass is sweeter and the animals eat more of the field. It also helps to rectify compaction problems and reduce weeds.
The farm was in REPS for a number of years and was demonstration farm for REPS 1. We have now joined AEOS and for this scheme have planted hedges, managed species rich meadows and replanted an orchard.
The farm is not organic but every care is taken to protect environment and wildlife in simple measures that do not interfere with the profitability. In 1990 the farm won the “National Farming and Conservation Award”, in 1998, the “Profitable Farming and Conservation Award”, in 2000 it won first prize for REPS for the Leinster region and in 2009, a RDS sponsored Forestry Award.

The ruin of the castle can be traced back to 1292, when a Norman knight named Archibald Calf took possession of the area. The area had older settlements with remains of mill races, ice houses, wells and tunnels, moats and raths and the village of Calverstown was here in front of the castle in medieval times.
We have been keeping the rainfall for the last 17 years and noticed a trend that the amount over the year has roughly been the same each year but the time that it falls in has changed. From 2006 to 2012 it rains more in June-July-August instead of late winter and spring as before 2006. 2014 seems to be an exception but only by a few millimeters.