Welcome to Talamh Beo

Conan Connolly's Farm

EIP Soil Biodiversity Project Participant


Conan Connolly


Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

Water Catchment Area:

Newry, Glyde and Dee

Land Use:

Suckler Cattle, Poultry

Conan Connolly's Farm

With Conan’s qualifications in Civil Structural Environmental Engineering, his best paid work opportunities would come from carrying out destructive industrialization, but he was instead driven to earn his living from ecologically restorative work. 

He grew up on a farm learning from his Grandfather who had his knowledge from his father (this was biodynamic and organic methodology before it became known as permaculture) and has been directly involved in land restoration and management at Síolta Chroí’s pilot site in Agahcloghan, Carrickmacross. He holds a BAI in Environmental Engineering from the University of Dublin, a Certificate in Permaculture Design (ShiftBristol), a B.Eng in Civil and Structural Engineering from Dundalk IT and is currently completing a Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration through Gaia Education and Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation in the Netherlands. He has broad experience on various types of campaigns, also in the design and delivery of outdoor skills camps and leadership programs, along with project oversight and financial management experience gained whilst working in local government. Conan also has experience in oil spill remediation,construction and road maintenance, woodworking, farming and food production.

On his farm he has both a small suckler herd and poultry. Conan wants to improve and restore his land through regeneration and is moving towards agroforestry. Conan hopes that through participating in this EIP he can experiment to find ways to improve his soil, demonstrating scientifically that building soil naturally is the way forward. He wants to establish a sustainable farm income, finding ways to support himself and others to live rich full lives in harmony with the land, whilst promoting the regeneration of soils and ecosystems.

Conan is also an active member of Síolta Chroí, a not-for-profit co-operative which draws on ecosystem restoration and regenerative agriculture models that not only reverse ecological degradation and restore biodiversity, but also improve the resilience and livelihoods of landowners. In this video from Síolta Chroí, you can watch as Conan collects eggs on his farm.

Conan introduces himself, his farm and his interest in the soil biodiversity project in this short clip.

Conan introduces himself, his farm and his interest in the soil biodiversity project in this short clip.

You can also connect with Conan on Twitter

I hope that through participating on this EIP Soil Biodiversity Project I can experiment to find ways to improve this land, to demonstrate scientifically that building soil naturally is the way forward.

EIP Soil Diversity Project

Conan’s farm at Carrickmacross is made up of clayey sandstone and shale. 

Through his participation in the EIP Soil Diversity Project, Conan trialled and documented a range of technical innovations  (such as bioNutrient meters) and physical innovations (e.g. soil biological activators, mineral amendments, biochar, green manure, compost, compost teas, inoculants etc). Conan chose a field that is severely compacted and decided to use orchard trees and a forest garden to break into the compacted soil and improve the drainage. 

Conan’s progress through Dr Elaine Ingham’s Launch Your Lab (LYL) educational course and the results of his farm trials are available to read in his farm’s project report below. At the end of the course, Conan will be able to diagnose & take action on his soil and plant health. 

Conan held a specialised event on the 2nd of November, 2022, where he was interviewed around coming back to take up farming and the obstacles he encountered on this journey.

You can check out Conan’s course certificate and find out more about his trial plot, experiment and baseline soil test results in his project report.

Project Report

Down on the Farm

Checking on the Hens!

Join Conan as he checks on his flock of chickens. Here he feeds the hens and collects the eggs on a grand, soft day on his County Monaghan Farm. If you follow through to the Youtube channel, you can see more of Conan's farm and the regenerative & agroforestry work he is participating in.

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