Questions & Answers
Are your vegetables and food organic?
We do not use any synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs. We are gradually turning our open field into a diverse habitat for wildlife as well as a site for food production. Anything we buy to supplement our fresh produce or as an ingredient for our condiments and sauces, is certified organic. We seem to check the right boxes as far as our growing methods and bought-in items are concerned, so surely our produce and products are organic? In fact, no, they are not.
Because we are not certified organic, we cannot, by law, describe ourselves as organic producers or describe the produce we sell as organic. Which is not unreasonable. Achieving and maintaining certification is an onerous and time-consuming process which is too much for us at present; it is surely fair enough that only those who have shouldered the extra burden should get the reward of describing their food as organic.
We describe our products as 'naturally grown', an empty term legally but one that is descriptive of what we do. Fundamentally, the difference between 'organic' and 'natural' in this context hinges on the fact that you as consumer and supporter have to make a leap of faith and trust us to be honest and decent producers, whereas you have a legal right to expect this of certified organic farmers and growers.
So thank you very much for making that leap of faith and putting your trust in us; we won't let you down.
Can I drop by the farm to buy produce or for a visit?
We have plans for a farm shop and proper visitor facilities, but these are not yet a reality. In the meantime, we can only welcome customers and visitors by pre-arrangement. Contact us by phone or e-mail if you would like to buy directly or see what we are up to.
Can I buy or order online?
We are not able to facilitate online shopping at present. However, you can order from us online for pick-up at our market stalls or (by pre-arrangement) at the farm.
Choose from our current products, then fill in the online order form. If you prefer, you can send us an e-mail, message us on Facebook, phone us or send a text message. Orders need to be received at least a day or two before the pick-up date to leave us time to pick the vegetables.
Do you deliver?
We do not currently offer a delivery service. At some stage we will be able to make local deliveries, and are looking at ways in which we can work with other distributors and networks to facilitate a wider delivery service.
Do you use environmentally friendly packaging?
As far as fresh produce is concerned, the majority of our market customers bring their own bags; for our own packaging, we use paper bags rather than plastic except for salad leaves sold loose at our market stalls. Salad mixes in larger fixed quantities (100g+) are packaged in compostable bags. Our sauces and condiments are packaged in glass jars, which are fully recyclable or reusable.
We are researching alternative sustainable means for packing and storing salad leaves to avoid the need for plastic bags. The compostable bags are expensive and therefore unsuitable for packaging small quantities, and we don't want to force customers into buying more than they need or want purely to make the packaging cost-effective. Packaging companies are responding to government and consumer demands and viable solutions should be available in the not-too-distant future.
The sort of long-term packaging solutions we envisage will have to be more inventive, and will probably involve a creative collaborative endeavour between us and our customers to change our habits rather than simply changing one set of products for another that, though less destructive, falls short of qualitative change.
Do you source your materials from Irish manufacturers and suppliers?
It is very important for us to support local and national enterprises and initiatives — apart from our own vision, it would be blatant hypocrisy to expect others to choose our locally grown produce if we in turn failed to support other local and national businesses.
Just as we go out of our way to look for environmentally friendly packaging, even when it is inconvenient or expensive, we make every effort to use Irish materials, equipment and services, even though this is rarely the cheapest option and may require many hours of searching to locate.
What we do not always have control over are the sources used by suppliers: we know, for instance, that when we buy organic seeds from Brown Envelope Seeds or The Irish Seed Savers Association, they have been grown as well as supplied in Ireland. But when we buy tools and equipment from local and national suppliers, these are not necessarily Irish 'all the way down'.
There are some circumstances where we will consciously favour non-local over local, non-Irish over Irish, and big corporation over small business. The big deciders here are quality and service. If we need the best in class of something and this is not made or supplied by Irish companies, we will have to go elsewhere. And if we are presented with shoddy quality or poor service from our preferred options, we will turn to more reliable channels until a satisfactory solution presents itself.