A day in the life – Glasraí Farm

by Maria McDonnell


Glasrai Tomatoes

From Winter to Summer

When I started the apprenticeship in March everyone on the farm (Glasraí) talked about how wonderful the place looked in summer. I guess it was hard to imagine back then when it was raining almost everyday and freezing most nights, which added up to very little or no growth. As I stood there and looked at the empty drills except for the odd crop here and there, I really did find it hard to imagine what the place would look like in July.

Well now we are in July and all I can say is that the place looks beautiful. The puddles that were there earlier in the year have dried up. As you stand in the middle of the main crop field, you can see lovely straight uniform lines of potatoes, brassicas, carrots, parsnips, sweet corn, beetroot, onions, leeks, squash, celeriac, celery and more… The no dig area is just as impressive.

Our Thursday harvest day is jam-packed. We finish the online and wholesale orders and get ready for the market on Friday. On Thursdays at the moment, we harvest salad, brassicas, spinach, chard, herbs and strawberries. I don’t think anything screams summer like strawberries. There really is a special childlike joy you get when you lift the foliage and find a big red strawberry underneath. Customers are absolutely delighted when they see them at the market.

On our farm there is also a big effort made to grow flowers. We sell some edible flowers wholesale but really, we just enjoy the pops of colour and the bees also love it.

The tunnels are pumping out tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers. The smell of tomatoes and basil growing in the same tunnel is like being on holidays in the Mediterranean.

I guess one must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.