“We go the extra mile to care about our animals because we know that quality of life means quality of produce”
The Allen family have farmed the land since the 1820’s when Castlemine Farm was in the hands of Walter (Wally) Allen. The farm was passed down through the generations and Sean Allen took over in the 1950’s and has been farming the land ever since. The farm has now passed to the next generation and is run by his son Derek.
Derek, his wife Lisa, son Sean and daughter Ciara look after the 250 acre farm where they are currently raising Black Angus and Hereford cattle, free-range pigs, Lleyn x Texel & Charollais ewes, and free-range Bronze turkeys.
Derek prides himself on producing quality meat products that are fully traceable, direct from the farm, butchered and packaged by Castlemine Farm’s skilled team.
All of the Castlemine Farm meat products are raised according to Bord Bia’s Origin Green Food & Drink Sustainability Programme.
They make their own sausages, dry-cure their own hams and bacon, and dry age all their own angus beef and lamb. They have even created their own black and white pudding using one of their own skilled butchers recipes. During the Christmas holidays, Castlemine Farm rears their own bronze turkeys, where the turkeys are free to forage in the lush grass fields.
Castlemine Farm products have won a number of awards including the 2020 Gold - Blas na hEireann Irish Food Award, 2019 Best in Farmer’s Market - Blas na hEireann Irish Food Award, 2019 McKennas Guide Best in Ireland award and 2019 Meats - Irish Breakfast Award.
Castlemine Farm is the very definition of “farm to fork”. All the animals reared on the farm are raised to the highest animal welfare standards, processed, packaged and sold directly to consumers at the Allen’s farm shop. This method not only provides customers with the transparency and traceability of their food, but reduces food mileage and supports the local rural economy.
Besides spending hours walking fields ensuring healthy free-range livestock, there is not too much other input spent as the animals primary diet is Roscommon’s green, lush grass. Over the course of the year, Derek makes sure to rotate the animals between the various pastures on the farm in order to maintain land health and management.
During the winter months, when grass growth is minimal, the livestock is housed indoors.. During this period, the animals are fed silage and supplemented with grain (barley), which is all grown and harvested from the farm during the summer months.
Other environmentally friendly farming methods that Castlemine Farms practices is the use of a new slurry spreader, which injects slurry straight into the ground, significantly reducing slurry emissions. Additionally, kilometres of hedgerows are found throughout the entire farm as well as mature forestry; all aiding in the sequestration of carbon emissions. Just last year, Derek and his family planted 20 new trees and is actively looking into new methods to increase the biodiversity on the farm.
“It is my hope to pass the family farm, along with my passion for rearing livestock and tending to the land, to my children, Sean and Ciara.”
- Derek Allen