Host Farm Profiles
Host Farms 2023
The following are the host farms involved in the Organic Farming Internship Programme 2023:
- Beechlawn Organic Farm
- Carrowgarry Farm
- Green Earth Organics
- Irish Seed Savers Association
- Joseph Kelly
- Kilmanahan Castle Organics
- Larkins Hill Farm
- McNally Family Farm
- Mill House Farm
- Moyleabbey Organic Farm
- Rock Farm
- Riversfield Farm
- Shanbally Farm
- Sprout Farm
You can find out more detailed information on our host farms by downloading this Host Farm Detailed Profiles document at the button below.
Beechlawn Organic Farm – Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
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
Carrowgarry Farm – Beltra, Co. Sligo
Carrowgarry farm is located in Beltra, about 20 minutes drive from Sligo town and just beside the Atlantic Ocean. We have two polytunnels and a walled garden where we grow vegetable in an organic way (organic pest control, soil preparation, compost making etc.). We sell our vegetables to a local and award winning cafes and through a small box scheme.
Green Earth Organics – Galway
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.
Irish Seed Savers Association – Scariff, Co. Clare
The Irish Seed Savers Association is situated in east Clare on a hilly 20-acre site. This site includes the gardens, the orchards, and the buildings used for workshops and seed processing/storage. The gardens are where the apprentice will mainly be working, and these consist of approximately one acre of outdoor and protected cropping, with a small glasshouse and six polytunnels of various sizes located across the site. We grow organic crops for their seeds, which are harvested, processed and packaged on site. The work of the garden team is to sow, plant and maintain these crops (mainly vegetables with some flower and dye plants) until the seed is ready to be harvested. We are looking for an apprentice who would assist in the hands-on side of this work, including ground prep, sowing, weeding, and other practical gardening tasks, as well as engage with our values of food sovereignty, conservation and sustainability.
Joseph Kelly – Balla, Co. Mayo
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.
Kilmanahan castle organics – outside clonmel, Co. Waterford
Kilmanahan Castle Organics is situated on the Waterford/Tipperary border, just outside Clonmel, on the grounds of Kilmanahan Castle on the banks of the river Suir. The farm consists of a walled garden, some field scale vegetables, polytunnels and tillage. We are certified organic and currently growing on approx. 2ha with plans to expand into the future.
We produce a range of crops throughout the year mainly sold to the local market, shops, restaturants, etc.
Larkins Hill Farm – outside nenagh, co. tipperary
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.
McNally Family Farm – North county dublin
We are a family farm based in North Co.Dublin with 14 employees working on the farm. We’ve been growing organically for over 25 years, we grow all our produce and sell directly at farmers markets and at our farm shop. Throughout the year we grow over 50 lines of salads and vegetables over cirica 100,000 sq ft of protected cropping and 30 acres of field veg. Our protected crops throughout the year include a range of salads, tomatoes, a range of chillies, shishito peppers, padron peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, gherkins and this year we’ve tried a new crop, Oca/Oka. Our outdoor crops include a range of brassicas(cabbages, kale, flower sprouts), root veg, culinary pumpkins and potatoes. We started selling directly to customers with one market day in Temple Bar Food Market. Over the years we’ve built up a wide customer base and now attend 3 farmers markets weekly along with our farm shop opening 4 days a week and a restaurant wholesale business. Day to day activities include sowing, planting out, weeding, preparing & clearing tunnels, harvesting & packing. Most of the work in the tunnels is hand labour and while we have a lot of specialised machinery for outdoor use, hand labour is still needed for some tasks. On the farm you’ll get experience in growing a wide variety of outdoor and indoor crops in the Irish climate using a range of growing methods.
MILLHOUSE FARM – williamstown, co. galway
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 – Athy, co. kildare
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.
RIVERSFIELD ORGANIC FARM – Callan, Co. kilkenny
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 – nenagh, co. tipperary
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
SPROUT FARM – outside dublin, north co. kildare
The Farm is located in north Kildare just outside Dublin. Its reasonably flat free draining fertile land. We are producing salad leaf for a chain of restaurants in Dublin and Kildare called Sprout Food co. The crops we are growing are spinach, kale, mustard leaf, and cos lettuce. We grow the crops using biodynamic principles, which is organic principles plus the addition of biodynamic preparations. The focus on the farm is to produce food in a sustainable manner while building/maintaining soil health. We see soil health as the cornerstone of successful farming.
There is a mix of manual and mechanical methods used on the farm.