Sunday 18 February 2018

Living peacefully with nature

Emma Gallagher

A YOUNG family in Corrigeenroe know all about the importance of healthy living.

The Warners run Harmony Farm, which is basically a self-sufficient place where the aim is to live peacefully with nature.

Mum Judit explained: "I had breast cancer a few years ago and it returned for a second time three years ago. It came back as a different type, thankfully I am doing fine now.

"However, I wanted to learn more about the importance of cancer-fighting foods.

"There is very little information out there about how to help prevent cancer and also what to do when you're in recovery – food is very important."

She explained that the type of food to stay clear of is processed products.

"People should try and avoid white sugar and white flour, margarines and some oils.

"However, this doesn't mean to give them up completely, you can substitute them with completely natural products – foods that help fight disease."

She added that the likes of onions, cabbages and green tea are excellent and should be incorporated into daily diets.

"It includes simple things that really make a difference. I love reading and I found the subject very interesting.

"With my friends from the therapy sessions in the Cancer Support Centre in Sligo, I find that they too are interested.

"It is difficult to find information so I decided that I would put what I learned together into a course, which is being taught in Harmony Farm."

The next one-day workshop is on June 8th.

Judit is originally from Hungary, where from a young age, she learned traditional aspects of farming, such as milking cows by hand, making cheese and even running a rabbitry.

She later went on to study nature conservation, which she is putting to good use in Corrigeenroe.

Her Irish husband Patrick is also interested in ecology, having worked as a forester.

Judit added: "I've lived in Ireland for almost 20 years and we moved to Harmony Farm 10 years ago. We've been producing our own food for a long time and our friends were interested in us showing them what it entails.

"A lot of people now want to learn about the health elements. As I had cancer, twice, I really looked at it as a second chance.

"I became very conscious of what I was eating, making sure I was doing the best to stay healthy."

The farm, although small at 12 acres, includes a nature conservation, with woodland hedgerows etc to encourage various creatures to reside nearby.

"We also have animals such as chickens, geese, turkeys, sheep, goats and ponies.

"The large vegetable garden includes polytunnels, it was here in the tunnels that I found a lot of solace when I was going through therapy.

"I wanted to be outside, as therapy is a difficult period," Judit recalled.

Judit's children, Niki, 17 and 10-year-old Zoli are also heavily involved in the farm.

"Niki is our baker, she's very interested in minding the sheep and she has her own pony.

"Zoli calls himself our goat shepherd – he is looking after seven of them and loves riding in the pony and trap."

Judit added that the farm runs numerous courses – all taught by the family – such as poultry keeping, a taster of smallholding maintenance and how to look after various animals.

"Day-long courses are €70, including food or it's €120 for two people.

"Families who want to come to the area for a few days can stay around as there is plenty of accommodation in the locality.

"We don't have enough produce to sell yet – maybe one day soon," she added.

Sligo Champion

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