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Social farming takes off in Glenelly Valley

Campbell Open farm

Lisa McBride from Arvalee with a new lamb.

MORE than 100 people visited the family farm of John and Mabel Campbell in Plumbridge recently for a special open day event.

The Campbell’s opened up their farm set in the Glenelly Valley offering visitors and the local community the chance to experience the concept of ‘social farming’.

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Social farming involves opening up the gates to people who use health and social care services and who want to immerse themselves in the farming life of their community.

The Plumbridge family, who piloted the concept last year, are now one of 20 on either side of the border to open up to the community in partnership with the Western Trust.

The project is part of the Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) initiative, funded by SEUPB, with Queen’s University Belfast supporting the learning and research aspects.

Other partners are, DARD, University College Dublin and Leitrim Development Company, and the Department of Environment.

Those attending enjoyed the hospitality of the family kitchen where tea, soup, scones and home baking were the order of the day.

The outdoor activities of the project range from animal husbandry with pigs, sheep and cattle, to poultry and ponies. The family have also used the project to establish a kitchen garden growing a wide range of fruit vegetables, potatoes and flowers both outdoors and in a poly tunnel.

Campbell Open farm

Sisters Narina and Natasha pictured with early lambs. Also in the photo are Sean
McDonagh and Laurence Gallagher from the Social Farm Project.

 

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