Sustainable Farming

Here at Gáinne Mór Alpacas our aim is to use eco-friendly methods where possible to limit our impact on the environment. Making the farm more sustainable is very important to us in helping to tackle climate change. Our aims for 2022 are;

> Installing Water Butts to re-use rain water.

> Not spraying pesticides on grazing pastures and hedgerows to reduce harm to local insect life. All poisonous weeds to alpacas will be removed manually.

> Designated areas for the All Ireland Pollinator Plan to create areas where pollinators can thrive.

> Organic matter from our alpacas to be used in planting areas.

Why Alpacas?

Sustainable, renewable, ethical and 100% biodegradable means alpaca fibre is becoming one of the worlds most eco friendly materials. No wonder it is referred to as the Fibre of the Gods.  Alpacas live between 15 to 20 years and they produce fleece their whole lives. Alpaca fibre is breathable, moisture wicking, and has a highly durable strength that makes is outlast other fibres. Alpacas are naturally colourful which reduces the use of dyes in their products. As the alpaca gets older the fleece becomes courser and it can be used for bird nest feeders, rugs, stuffing for bedding, pathway underlay and more recently a green alternative to traditional home insulation.

Treading Lightly On the Land

Being such an Earth friendly animal alpacas have soft padded feet with two toes which do not cause damage to the land like hoofed animals. They have a better eating habit than over livestock as they nip the top of the grass without damaging the roots.

Over the last 5,000 years alpacas have been primarily raised for the amazing fleece qualities but they also produce alpaca beans that are often referred to as black or liquid gold for it's great soil nutrient properties. Alpaca manure creates excellent compost, it naturally contains the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphours, potassium and micro nutrients. It can also be spread on the land directly as fertiliser that is easily harvested from communial dung piles. It is lower in organic matter content than manure from cows, sheep, goats etc and this allows it to be spread directly onto plants without burning them. There is many ways to use the alpaca manure, the small pellets are easy to use for gardeners and some will plant the seed directly into the alpaca bean. You can dig it straight into the soil or you can let some soak in a bucket and pour the water over your plants. 

If you'd like some alpaca manure to try yourself, please get in touch.

Helping The Bees

Bees are essential for the health of our environment and to ensure we can grow food that requires bees for pollination. Gáinne Mór Alpacas have neighbouring bee hives and as part of our farming methods we will not be spraying pesticides on the farm. Some of our pastures are in abundance with Dandelions in the Spring which is the first food source for the bees. Dandelions are a super food for bees and our alpacas do like a nibble on them to. We have also noticed an increase in butterfly activity on the farm in 2021.

We will have more designated areas in 2022 for planting and non mowing to help our natural pollinator numbers. We will be planting a diversity of plants in Spring which bloom at different times of the year.

We have honeysuckle bushes, clover and danellions at our farm and on our walking trail the thistles and gorse on the hills be in full bloom. 

 

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