Farming Roots Run Deep

A love of farming runs deep for Alan and Valerie Kingston, the couple behind Glenilen Farm. Alan grew up on the farm–now known as Glenilen Farm–that’s been in his family for generations, located in Drimoleague, West Cork, right on the banks of the River Ilen (hence ‘Glenilen’). In fact, up until his passing in 2018, Alan’s father Sam could be seen tending to the farm, often from a buggy. Similarly, Valerie also comes from a long line of farmers and grew up on a dairy farm in Co. Cork. Years later, the couple made their home at Glenilen Farm, adopting the mentality that life and food should be viewed in the same way: uncomplicated and full of goodness.

From Our Kitchen to Yours

With such an abundant supply of fresh West Cork milk at her fingertips, Valerie decided to bring her entrepreneurial spirit, passion for baking, and schooling and volunteer work to the table. You see, before she married Alan, Valerie spent time volunteering in West Africa, teaching women how to turn milk into cheese, yoghurt, butter and other sources of nutritious food for their community. 

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On returning to Ireland and marrying Alan, she “invested” in two extra-large saucepans to start experimenting in their farmhouse kitchen with nothing else but a few simple ingredients to hand. With a little bit of trial and error (and some time spent anxiously waiting till morning to see what magic happened overnight in the warm saucepans), Valerie was delighted to see that silky sheen of a cheese curd or yoghurt that was made into cheesecake with garden fruit added and potted. Lo and behold, Valerie’s finished products went down a treat at the local farmers market. And so it began!

Different Kitchen,
Same Simple Ingredients

A few years and a few recipes later, Valerie perfected her combinations of fresh and simple ingredients to expand beyond cheesecakes and into everything from luxurious butter to the delicious yoghurt you enjoy every day. By 2002, Alan and Valerie constructed a commercial kitchen on the farm, and the products that were once made using milk produced from Glenilen Farm’s 55 dairy cows now also included milk from neighbouring farms, all within a 20-mile radius. As production continued to increase, however, their use of just a few simple ingredients stayed the same in order to bring simple, everyday goodness to those who value good food, thoughtfully prepared.

Simple Traditions For Today’s Needs

As Alan and Valerie continue to develop new and innovative recipes at Glenilen Farm, they still operate as if they were back in the family kitchen, using carefully sourced ingredients to make food with a conscience for families across Ireland and the UK. From utilising reusable glass jars to recycled rainwater, they simply do what comes naturally, keeping sustainability top of mind through a number of different initiatives as members of Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme. So when you enjoy Glenilen Farm for its simple, wholesome goodness, you’re doing what’s best for your health, the environment, and generations to come.

Our Journey So Far

CARING FOR OUR SMALL CORNER

Growing up on farms, we were raised to be conscious of our social responsibility and impact on the environment, so doing what’s right comes naturally. We can’t change the world, but we can change our small corner, and we take great care to do our bit right here in West Cork.

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