The Abbey Farm
Farming is a traditional Cistercian occupation and has been a valued form of outdoor work at Glencairn over the years, both supporting the community and bringing a healthy balance of manual work to our life of contemplation.
We have engaged in a variety of farm-work over the years; our 200 acre farm was managed in the early days by our brother monks of Mt Melleray Abbey. The community also kept a poultry farm and managed a fruit and vegetable garden amongst other enterprises to support themselves.
From 1975, the community concentrated on dairy farming as our main form of income. Following the sale of our dairy herd in 2005, we specialised in dry stock and leased some land for tillage farming, later forming a farm-sharing initiative with Mt Melleray Abbey, raising heifer calves from 2012 to 2015.
A flock of sheep have also joined our farm in recent years, which currently consists of twenty-three ewes and thirteen hoggets. The arrival of newborn lambs in spring delights both sisters and guests alike, their skipping making an apt contribution to the joy of the Easter season!
In 2010, we planted 27 acres of the bio-energy crop, Miscanthus. Since 2016 this has been is the main source of heat for our monastery.
5 acres of our land adjacent to the River Blackwater is reserved as a wildlife habitat.