I farm: “95ac in one block and I manage another 150ac nearby with my wife Jenny and daughters Sadbh, Aoife, Roisín and Niamh. We’ve been organic nearly 20 years. We run a Wagyu suckler-to-beef enterprise and grow gluten-free oats.”

Beef: “We’ve 35 cattle and calve all year round, seven or eight cows and their followers. We’ve a pedigree Wagyu bull and the cows are second and third crosses, going back to Herefords and Angus off a dairy herd. The calves are born like a kitten. They’d calve sideways but you’d be surprised how well they pick up then in four weeks. The Wagyu have to be let mature, so it’d be three years before we kill them.”

Oats: “We grow 30ac winter oats and 70ac spring oats, all gluten-free. There’s no gluten in oats but you have to prevent contamination. We lab-test continuously and crop walk. Wheat, barley and rye all head out two weeks earlier than the oats so you weed out any rogue grains. It averages out at about 1.7t/ac – winter and spring. We have all our own equipment and it only handles oats. We have a small mill on-farm and sell direct through online sales and into some health stores and specialty shops.”

Harvest: “We harvested most of the spring oats in September but it’d usually be August. There’s still 15ac left that won’t be cut, left to Mother Nature this year. It’s been the toughest harvest I’ve ever known. In a week’s time, we’ll be getting winter oats in, weather permitting.”

Organic: “You’re adding value with the gluten-free but your yield is well back because you’re not using fertiliser. Crop rotation keeps out the weeds. Your risk is less and you’ve no huge bills for spray and fertiliser. The spent grain that doesn’t go into porridge is fed to the cattle and hulls from the oats go into bedding. The only thing we buy in is diesel.”

Award: “We recently won the EU organic award for best organic food processing. It was based on feedback from our customers on how they feel after eating our product. It was a big surprise.”