Organic Farm Stay, Westmeath, Ireland
Lough Bishop House is set in the middle of a working farm, with sheep, cattle and horses.
We have long been concerned about the environment and since 1995 we have farmed within the guidelines and principles set out in the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS). We are currently in REPS4.
In May 2008 we decided to take things further and now having complete the Conversion period we are full Organic Symbol holders licenced by IOFGA.
Lambing takes place in April, when there is more grass and the days are longer. The horses too have their foals in April, and calving is split between November and April. There is no nicer sight than groups of animals grazing contentedly in the sunshine.
August is when the meadow is cut to provide fodder for the winter months. We were delighted this year to find wild orchids growing in the meadow. We marked their position in the field and carefully mowed round them leaving them to finish flowering and go to seed!
Derrynagarra Irish Moiled Cattle
The Irish Moiled is one of the rarest cattle breeds and is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the rare Breeds Survival Trust’s Watch List.
Traditionally a dairy cow, it has earned the reputation as a truly dual purpose animal, producing both high quality marbled beef and milk from poorer quality grazing. It is naturally polled (no horns) and has quite distinctive markings.
We purchased our first Irish Moiled animals in 2006, starting with two in-calf heifers. They fit very well into our farming system, producing heifers and bulls for sale to other pedigree breeders and of course beef for the freezer.
Bulls are also of interest to commercial suckler farmers, because they are easy calving, have bright active calves with no horns!
Our animals are all DNA Typed, parentage proven and registered with the Irish Moiled Cattle Society. Part of the registration process is that the animals all have to be named.
Derrynagarra Irish Draught Horses
Helen and Christopher Kelly have been breeding prize winning Irish Draught horses for over 20 years, and all of their stock carry the registered prefix ‘Derrynagarra‘.
We currently have 2 Irish Draught mares:
1996 Bay mare ex ‘Banks Fee Annabel’ RID by ‘Crosstown Dancer’ RID
Reserve Champion RDS 2000.
Reserve All-Ireland Champion at 15th National Irish Draught Show.
Colton Ford Breeders Champion at Tullamore Show 2005.
Her 1st foal ‘Caliph’ was Champion ID Foal at RDS 2001.
At the age of 22 and having had 10 pure bred foal, Clorin has now retired from breeding and Helen now rides her regularly round the lanes!
2006 Grey mare ex ‘Derrynagarra Dochas’ RID by ‘Star Kingdom’ RID
Lough Bishop House
T: +353 (0) 44 9661313