We won an award, thank you!

Yesterday evening after a very busy day of work, I went out the door on top of my head to an awards ceremony in Westport. We had been nominated for the “local food hero” award at the Irish restuarants awards, and we won! Thanks to all of you who nominated us for the award, we were delighted and touched to have our work and the work of the team here acknowledged in such a way.

It can be very hard to keep the focus on the things that matter when you are under pressure, and we as food producers have certainly felt and continue to feel that pain over the last number of years. From the outside it can often seem that all is great, but sometimes if you scratch just beneath the surface, you can see all the hard work it takes to keep the ball rolling by the amazing people that work here.  Scratch a little deeper and all the pressures and strains that we face everyday to get produce out the door become evident, and it can be a lot.  

There have been so many challenges over the last 5 years and it has gotten more and more difficult to keep farming doors open, we have seen in our industry farm after farm getting out of growing vegetables in this country, the reason can generally be traced back to one root cause. Costs have skyrocketed whilst in real terms the rates paid for primary produce by supermarkets to veg growers here in Ireland between 2010 and 2021 has decreased by 8.5%.  

So, it was poignant to be acknowledged and reminded that what we do is valued, that protection of biodiversity whilst producing sustainable food is seen as something that does matter. We know it matters we have banging this drum for nigh on 20 years now and our message has never deviated one iota from day one.

From the days when our neighbours were encouraging us to use a “touch of Roundup”, we were on a mission and chemicals and destruction of biodiversity were not in our handbook.

Having beehives, and rehoming mad not so miniature pigs, growing thousands of trees, planting wild flower strips, growing acres of green manures, and hundreds of meters of hedgerows, of collecting and reusing our cardboard boxes (how many supermarket do that!), of saying no to plastic, being the first ones delivering veg boxes in electric vans, having solar panels on our farm packing shed and rain watering harvesting before it was a thing that everybody was doing (And thankfully everybody is doing it now) and of course growing (and sourcing where possible from other Irish organic growers) organic chemical free sustainable produce. That was and continues to be our path.

So thank you for the nomination and thank you to the judges for choosing us as the winner in our category.

And with that it is back to the work of growing, sourcing, and delivering good healthy food to your tables all over the island of Ireland.

Thank you as always for your support!