Our Farm

The Aran Islands, Co. Galway

Gabriel's Journey into Farming

Yeah, my first pet was a wild goat, a little white goat, similar to Catherine here. Growing up with my grandfather on his farm here on the island, I was immersed in the farming life from a young age. I remember milking a couple of cows before heading off to school each morning. My name is Gabriel Faharty, and I’m proud to make Aran Islands Goat Cheese.

The Farm

Our goat farm, nestled in the rugged beauty of the island, produces a variety of cheeses – soft, Greek-style feta, and even parmesan-style hard goat’s cheese. We built it up from scratch, taking advantage of the unique vegetation that suits goats perfectly. The rocky, stony terrain allows for a peaceful existence off the beaten track, with only the sound of seagulls accompanying your walks along the cliffs. Farming here is a tradition passed down through generations, and my grandfather taught me everything I know. Since starting in 2014, the Irish food scene has evolved, with people becoming more adventurous. Our seaweed cheese, once a hidden gem, is now recognized as the superfood it always was.

Seasonal Activities on the Farm

Life on our farm is a vibrant tapestry of seasonal activities that reflect the unique rhythm of the Aran Islands. In the spring, the farm comes alive with the birth of new goat kids, each one a bundle of energy exploring the rocky terrain for the first time.

As the days grow longer, we prepare for the busy summer season, welcoming visitors to experience the cheese-making process firsthand. The goats graze on the rocky pastures, their diet enriched by the island’s unique vegetation, which gives our cheese its distinct flavor.

Autumn brings the harvest, a time when the island is painted in warm hues, and we gather seaweed to blend into our soft cheeses, celebrating the bounty of the sea and land.

Winter, though quieter, is no less magical; the farm is a haven of peace and tranquility, with the goats snug in their barns, and the island offering serene, misty landscapes perfect for reflective walks along the cliffs.

Each season here is a reminder of the timeless beauty and enduring traditions of the Aran Islands, making life on the farm a truly unique experience.

Expansion into Other Industries

Over the years, our farm has flourished beyond traditional farming, branching out into various complementary industries that enrich our community and showcase the versatility of the Aran Islands. We’ve embraced agri-tourism, inviting visitors to partake in immersive tours that highlight our sustainable farming practices and the intricate cheese-making process. This hands-on experience connects guests with the land and our beloved goats, fostering a deeper appreciation for our heritage.

Additionally, we’ve ventured into artisanal food production, crafting a range of gourmet products infused with local ingredients like seaweed and wild herbs, each telling a story of our island’s natural bounty. Our farm shop now offers these delicacies, along with handmade crafts and skincare products derived from goat milk, supporting local artisans and promoting the unique cultural landscape of the Aran Islands.

By diversifying our operations, we’ve not only sustained our farm but also enriched the island’s economy and created a vibrant hub for innovation and tradition to thrive together.

Sustainability and Environmental Considerations

At the heart of our farm is a steadfast commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The rugged landscape of the Aran Islands demands a harmonious relationship with nature, and we take great pride in practicing eco-friendly farming methods that honor this delicate balance. Our goats graze on the natural vegetation, which not only supports their health but also helps maintain the biodiversity of the land.

We’ve implemented rotational grazing to prevent overgrazing and soil erosion, ensuring the pastures remain lush and productive. Our cheese-making process is designed to minimize waste, with by-products repurposed for composting and enhancing soil fertility. Water conservation is a priority, and we utilize rainwater harvesting systems to reduce our reliance on the island’s limited freshwater resources.

Additionally, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to power our operations. Through these practices, we aim to preserve the pristine beauty of the Aran Islands for future generations while producing high-quality, sustainable products that reflect our deep respect for the environment.