I planted about two hundred trees in the first year and from then on there was no turning back

“My wife’s family had a farm, and her uncle was getting very old and couldn’t look after it anymore. So, a neighbour was taking care of it until the uncle passed away. A lot of trees had to be removed around the house and it was quite exposed. We would drive up every second or third weekend to keep it tidy, but as professionals working in Dublin, we didn’t have any intention start farming full time. Most of the farm was sold and we kept five acres around the house. The first thing I did was buy lots of saplings and dedicated a corner of the five-acre farm to planting trees. I thought they would grow nicely in a few years but one corner didn’t look like enough. We weren’t planning to use the land anyway so I dedicated one more corner, and so on… I planted about two hundred trees in the first year and from then on there was no turning back. I decided to plant a forest of only native Irish trees. For the past 13 years, I took two weeks of unpaid holidays every year to plant trees on the farm. I’ve planted about three-thousand trees so far, and from those, about 1,800 stayed alive… Just last year, in the autumn, I was planting Bluebells under the first trees and I came across these black things on the roots, I didn’t really know what they were, I was just hoping they wouldn’t kill my trees. A few days later, there was a programme on the TV about Truffles. Only then I figured out what I’d found. I went back and cut some of them in half to find this beautiful light brown and black marbling inside. This year, I’m planning to get a pig or a dog to look around properly, maybe if we find enough we can actually retire to our beautiful forest.”

GOIGFORorig