The Best Place to Live in Ireland.
An Irish Times competition in 2012.
Douce Mountain Farm certainly was not the best place to live in Ireland in the 50ies and 60ies of the last century when all the McCarthys left their homestead for Australia, America and England, never to come back to live on the land of their forefathers. Douce Mountain Farm did not even have a name then as it was only a small patch of rugged land on a windswept mountainside in west Cork, not even big enough to sustain a very simple lifestyle. Subsequently Douce Mountain Farm went into hibernation – with the stone-built farm house boarded up, the trees and bushes growing wild and the land being used as grazing ground for the neighbours’ cattle.
In the mid nineties a couple with their one year old son bought the farm and over the years transformed it into a stunningly beautiful place, teeming with life in all its forms. Now they share their land with their 2 teenage children, a variety of animals and guests from all walks of life who come to Douce Mountain Farm to experience the natural beauty of the landscape and the tranquility of the unspoilt west Cork mountains. Douce Mountain Farm boasts now 49 acres of organically approved land where a wide variety of vegetables grow in abundance and are transformed into delicious food, shared by guests and family alike. Douce Mountain Farm is host to farm animals, including cows and milking sheep, chickens and ducks, horses, dogs and cats. Getting up early in the morning in the spring treats the listener to a dawn chorus of symphonic dimensions.
Douce Mountain Farm stretches up from the banks of the Ouvane River almost to the top of Douce Mountain. Only the chosen ones, on tiptoe at the very top, can see the tip of the Statue of Liberty on a fine day. Everybody else can clearly see, beyond the patchwork of small green west Cork fields the deep-blue water of Bantry Bay, contained by the rugged Sheepshead and Beara Peninsulas with their Old Red Sandstone cliffs. They can also see the peaks of Faill an Stuaicin, Sliabh Chom Seol, Starraic an Lolair or Lough Nambrackderg, names that go down the throat like Irish Whiskey. And that bit closer they could see the dazzling yellow of the gorse in the spring, the orange bog asphodel in the summer and the purple mountain heather in the autumn, all immersed in that clear, pink light that so pleases the Irish eye.
Douce Mountain Farm is a combination of picture-book country life, gorgeous home produced food, pristine spring water from the depths of the mountain itself, and a landscape honed by the ice ages and turned into lush fields by centuries of farming. Douce Mountain Farm is embedded in a wonderful community of small farmers and their families with a few artists thrown into the mixture – all shrouded in the peace and tranquility that is the essence of every rural existence.