Feature Farm of the Month:
Glasraí Organic Farm
By Aoife Reilly, Grower at Glasraí Organic Farm
We are a 7 acre farm in Co. Mayo. We have a team of employees (2 full-time, 4 part-time) alongside ourselves. Our main market route is farmers markets however we also do some wholesale to a supermarket, some restaurants and a smallish weekly box scheme of around 30. We have a young family so its important for us to try to maintain a healthy farm/life balance. Also as we are getting older, we want to ensure that we have established a farm that is a manageable and viable size to support us and our team. We are 6 years farming here and we are finally starting to find our feet in the world of organic growing.
I think the farm is an interesting place to work as we have a lot of philosophical discussions over tea breaks and carrot weeding sessions about life, soils, more life, and everyone here has a strong interest in what they are doing. The Glasrai team is probably my (Aoife’s) favourite thing about the farm. Farming can be a lonely tiresome job but surrounded by a great team it is transformed into an engaging fun environment. That is not to say we don’t work super duper hard here. We do.
We grow a huge variety of vegetables and are branching slowly into some soft fruits, some perennials, and in the future some top fruits too. We would like to increase our fruit resilience here in the west where so little fruit is actually grown. The damp climate doesn’t help. We also import organic fruit, some seasonal staples from Europe to keep the market stall interesting and provide as much of a range as possible so people can skip the fruit and veg section of the supermarket (at least that was the idea). We find it impossible to get supplies of organic Irish fruit to stock our market stalls.
We don’t have any intentions of growing our vegetable business, perhaps just getting our own supply of organic fruit up and running in season. Over the next few years we want to relax into and enjoy working on what we have worked very hard to establish.
Glasraí Organic Farm is based in Hollymount, Co. Mayo.