Host Farm Profiles
Host Farms 2022
The following are the host farms involved in the OGI Internship Program 2022.
- Airfield Estate
- Beechlawn Organic Farm
- Cait Curran
- Corbalton Hall
- Green Earth Organics
- Joseph Kelly
- Larkins Hill Farm
- Mill House Farm
- Moyleabbey Organic Farm
- Rock Farm
- Riversfield Farm
- Shanbally Farm
- Sinead Cranwell
Airfield Estate is a 15.37ha holding situated in Dundrum, South County Dublin. It is currently functioning as a working farm, public garden, ‘farm-to-fork’ restaurant, heritage and educational visitor experience. The Airfield mission statement is ‘to connect people with their food and the land that it comes from’. The area currently in organic conversion is used for growing vegetables, cereals, fruit, cut flowers and herbs. These crops are primarily used for display and educational purposes to demonstrate the variety and quality of crops that can be grown in Ireland using organic methods. Tunnel crops and as much produce as possible from the gardens is supplied directly to the on-site restaurant.
Beechlawn Organic Farm
Established in 2002 we started with one acre and in 2021 grew 50 acres of organic vegetables including over 40 different varieties. We employ 25 full time people including a field work team, packhouse team, office and sales team and delivery driver team. We have 20,000 square foot of polytunnels for protected cropping and propagation of seeds. We started selling through a box scheme in 2002, moved into farmers markets and then gradually into wholesaling which makes up most of our sales now. We supply farmers market traders, restaurants and other food businesses as well as our own veg box scheme. We use tractors and machinery for precision seed sowing, and some of the weeding. Doing an internship here will show you the logistical work as well as the physical work involved in large scale commercial organic horticultural production. www.beechlawnorganicfarm.ie
Cáit Curran has been an organic grower for 35 years and has been producing to biodynamic principles for the past ten years. We are a smallholding on hill land west of Galway city. The horticultural unit is just over 1 Ha with 0.5 Ha under cultivation divided between protected crops and a small area of outdoor production. A wide range of crops are grown mainly by hand with minimal mechanical input.
Part of the holding is a wildlife area with pond, trees and native beehives.
Produce is sold at the Galway Saturday Market and from a farm shop on the land on Fridays. A small number of box scheme customers, restaurants and retail outlets are also supplied.
Apprentices have the benefit of a wide range of hands on work experience in all areas of production and one to one training.
10Ha farm which is organic since 1989. Consists of old permanent pasture, hardwood woodland, some tillage and 2Ha vegetables including 10 polytunnels and a huge range of machinery and tools for both indoor and outdoor growing. The river Slaney runs alongside the farm on which is also situated a Norman Motte and Bailey. The produce supplies our farm shop which opens on Fridays and Saturdays. The other part of the business is to supply restaurants in the greater Dublin area. We grow at least 40 different crops over the season. At the moment we are in the process of converting part of the vegetable growing land to the no dig/min-till system with a big emphasis on making compost. Our aim at the moment is to grow our vegetables with ease which means to aim for a lovely clean plot with as few weeds as possible containing super highly nutritious tasty produce.
CORBALTON HALL FARM
Corbalton Hall Farm was previously a conventional farm of 350 acres on a beautiful well love estate in Co. Meath. Ann has taken ownership/custodian of the farm in the last year and has decided to bring the land back to life and go Organic. We have currently planted 153acres of cover crop of Rye, Oats and Beans to improve soil fertility for future arable crops, possibly heritage crops.
It will be an exciting and unique project to work on and learn while going through the Organic conversion process. We will have two large polytunnels, (adding more in 2023) small propagation tunnel and a large vegetable garden area, which we are currently planning our cropping plan for 2022/2023. We will grow a wide variety of vegetables salads and fruit. we are growing the team and Corbalton Hall and it’s the right time to Join the team, where we can learn from each other.
We have agroforestry plans to help maintain and improve the ecosystem and encourage wildlife back to the land.
Green Earth Organics
The farm went into organic conversion in 2004 and we currently farm on 25 acres of organically certified land of which 13 to 15 acres is under organic vegetable production any given year while the rest consists of a wildlife biodiversity area, native woodland forestry (3000 trees), a native orchard and red clover grassland ley.
There are also 2 dogs, a horse and a pony. The farm was farmed by Kenneth’s father and grandfather before him in the traditional manner although not certified but with minimal artificial inputs. Kenneth brought the farm into certified organic production in 2006 and delivered the first vegetable boxes from a 1 acre plot in the summer of that year. Since those humble beginnings the home delivery service has grown into one of the biggest organic home delivery schemes in the country delivering direct to homes in Galway, the greater Dublin area, Limerick, Clifden, Westport, Castlebar and more while also selling nationwide using a courier service. The main drivers behind the business success is in the consistent quality of the produce put in our boxes especially from the farm. There is always room for improvement and we would view the right candidate as being a crucial element in increasing and improving the propagation, development and care of our vegetable range especially our protected crops.
We are a 30 odd acre farm just outside Balla in Co Mayo. We are certified organic for 8 years now and operate a herd of sucker cows as well as our vegetable growing business. We grow just under 1 ha of vegetables in total, split between outdoors and our 5 tunnels. The majority of our produce is sold into the restaurants and cafes of nearby Castlebar, the biggest town in the county, and Westport, a very busy and growing tourist town. We are lucky to have built up a loyal customer base over the years who value our production of healthy, high quality, ingredients that they are proud to advertise on their menus and serve on their plates.
Larkins Hill Farm
Larkin’s Hill Farm is a 100-acre mixed farm enterprise of beef, tillage, and vegetable production. Our full farm is in conversion with IOA. Our aim is to have a closed system if possible with each of the enterprises feeding into each other.
The farm itself is situated on the shores of Lough Derg in North Tipperary. The nearest village is Puckane and the nearest town is Nenagh.
The horticulture unit is being run by Dan and Una and Dan’s brother Charlie does a lot of work with the livestock. We are all trained and very experienced farmers and growers.
The veg unit comprises of three commercial tunnels and six acres of field scale crops ranging from potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, and the tunnels are mainly focused on tomatoes and tender crops like salad leaves. We use a variety of tools, equipment, and machinery to tend to the crops and cultivate the soil. Everything is done on the farm – seeding and propagating to harvesting, packing and delivery.
Our current outlets are shops, SuperValu, we supply a veg box scheme, restaurants and we are building a wholesale market.
We have a beautiful farm and our experience, and the range of activities makes it a dynamic and ever-changing enterprise.
Mill House Farm is a 2.75 HA Farm specializing in salad crop production. We will soon be extending our tunnel cover to 5,000sq m. Our mixed leaves sell to the finest food service outlets and into several Super Valu and independent retailers throughout the West and beyond.
We produce salad crops right through the year raising all our crops from seed. The farm is a hive of activity with a constant cycle of sowing, harvesting, packing and delivering. We have invested in machinery best suited to our needs enabling us to produce crops efficiently on a relatively large scale.
We are keen to find an apprentice (or maybe 2) interested in working with us to take our business to the next level and realize the full potential of organic salad growing in the Mid West of Ireland.
There is definitely a full time career opportunity here for the right candidate following the internship.
Moyleabbey Organic Farm
The farm is approx. 13.5 acres. We actively farm about 5 acres at a time with the rest in green manure ley. We grow approximately 18 different crops outside and in tunnels. The farm is owned and run by Liam with the support of two other employees (both former interns), and we host volunteers through wwoof.ie all year round. We sell direct at our home farm shop on Fridays and at Carlow Farmers Market every Saturday and do a small amount of wholesaling. See the video on our website for a good idea of what we do here (it’s quite old now but still gives a good picture). There are no farmed animals on the holding. Our website is www.moyleabbey.ie We are certified by the IOA and have had full organic status since 2006.
ROCK FARM, SLANE
Rock Farm is a certified Organic farm under the trading name Conynghams, certified by the Organic Trust, owned by Alexander and Carina Conyngham, situated on the estate of Slane Castle. They started farming at Rockfarm in 2010, we grow organic vegetables and Fruit and have a herd of Dexter Cattle, Tamworth Duroc cross pigs and Organic eggs and Bronze turkeys.
During the start of the covid pandemic with the closure of most our local customer restaurants we relied on online sales and the opening of our farmers market / shop which has gone from strength to strength and has got our name out into the wider community, with the sale of our Dexter beef burgers and pork sausages and our fresh salad and vegetables and other local artisan producers.
We are a small team of workers who work at the farm and the combined ecotourism hospitality glampsite that co exists on the farm, we are all about leave on trace, something we are very passionate about.
Our farm is based outside Callan in Co.Kilkenny. We grow approximately 5 acres of field vegetables. We also have three tunnels which are used for propagation while in the summer we grow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, french beans and basil indoors and spinach and salad leaves during the winter months. We grow a wide variety of vegetables outdoors. Our main market is a weekly veg box delivery service and we also supply a number of restaurants . Work on the farm is varied and tasks change as the season progresses. We carry out most of our own propagation so work on the farm involves seed sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting and packing vegetables for sale. Work is carried out with a combination of hand tools and tractor driven machinery.
Shanbally farm is located near Nenagh, Co. Tipperary and it was acquired by the Duggan Family in 2013 with a view to restoring the Georgian House, courtyards, gardens & estate. In total the 200 acre farm is partly certified organic & partly in conversion.
Since 2015 we have been growing, harvesting & processing medicinal plants & herbs for the herbal medicinal market, mainly in Ireland. Our propagation incudes sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting & packing.
Shanbally Farm also grows a range of organic vegetables & supplies its own Café (Steeples, Nenagh) and other culinary outlets. We also grow 50 acres of organic oats. Under the Shanbally brand it is intended to develop education, tourism, café and accommodation for people attending events.
The “Walled Garden” & House and Gardens will open to the public in 2021
The whole farm is 200 acres of which we have 50 acres certified organic – majority of this is in organic oats and about 5 acres in veg. We have 4 polytunnels and 120 apples trees, 90 laying hens and about 3 acres outside veg. Our main point of sale is at the Kilkenny farmers market each Thursday, we also run a veg box scheme and supply an artisan shop and café in Kilkenny city.