Damien Tumelty and Jackie Gibson along with their family run Castlescreen Farm and farm shop near Downpatrick. Best known for their pedigree Dexter cows, this farm is one of the top suppliers of Dexter beef in Ireland. Producing naturally marbled beef that is distinctly succulent and age-dried for 30-35 days really intensifies the flavour, making Castlescreen Dexter beef a real favourite at BBQs across the country. Aside from the Dexter’s there are many other farm animals that call Castlescreen home, including donkeys, pigs, ducks, geese and pygmy goats. Along with home reared lamb, pork and bacon, their latest culinary venture is pasture raised organic fed chicken
Castlescreen is one of three farms that will be a location for the fun and educational live online activities taking place during Bank of Ireland Virtual Farm Weekend, which is to be held virtually on Friday 31 July – Sunday 2 August. The original Open Farm Weekend event was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions and although visitors cannot physically attend any of the 19 farms this year, they can engage with them on Open Farm Weekend’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and www.openfarmweekend.com throughout the Virtual Weekend.
One such virtual activity is goat yoga which will be taking place as a one-off on Castlescreen Farm on Friday 31 July.
Jackie Gibson said, “When we were approached to try the goat yoga we thought it sounded fun and something we could try out when we are hosting the live event. I was yoga mad for years but haven’t practised much since having my children. Goats are naturally playful and curious animals and love to get stuck into the middle of things. We’ve had pet pygmy goats on Castlescreen for years and our current two, Bonnie and Clyde are real characters and they didn’t take much persuasion to jump and give yoga a go, only a few custard cream biscuits!
“During the farm tour and on-site BBQ, we regularly run with NI Food Tours, the goats are always a hit with visitors who love to touch and feed them. They have a calm temperament and are just like little children running about the farmyard! We are only doing the goat yoga as a one-off for Virtual Farm Weekend but who knows, it could be a business venture in the future!”