Beechlawn Organic Farm won the Best New and Innovative Product Award at Bord Bia Food Awards on Tuesday 10th October. Well done to Una Fahy for leading the way with new Biobags and reducing our use of single use plastic.
Padraig and Una met in 1999 while both studying organic horticulture at The Organic College, Dromcollogher. In 2001, they started growing vegetables on Padraig's parents farm. The following year, Beechlawn Organic Farm was established.
The business grew year-on-year, and the couple gradually gave up teaching horticulture to work full-time alongside other staff members, growing and selling organic vegetables.
Starting with a box scheme, the business moved into farmers' markets. In 2009 it started selling to supermarkets. Over the following years, Beechlawn Organic Farm gradually gave up the markets and now focuses on the veg box delivery scheme alongside sales to shops, restaurants, supermarkets and larger wholesalers.
You can find out more and order your box of seasonal vegetables by visiting their webpage
PS: EuroSpar in The Square stock Beechlawn Organic Veg as well!
For more information on Beechlawn Organic Farm and their wonderful produce check out their webshop or sign up for their weekly deliveries of fresh, delicious, organic fruit and veg!
Timeline, Business Development
• 2002: 2 acres of veg grown, 1st volunteer stays with us on a 6 week internship from a horticulture college in France. 1 small polytunnel erected, 20 customers joined our new box scheme, and application for Organic licence submitted. Farm shed is cleaned out and whitewashed for the new enterprise.
• 2003: Lots of volunteers come this year, sometimes three at a time. Organic Licence granted! 2nd polytunnel erected, heated propagator bought, Grant received from Galway Rural Development, rotovator, tractor, two wheel rotovator, plough, and tiller bought.
• 2004: 3rd polytunnel erected. Deliveries in Athlone and Ballinasloe now up to 80 customers on the box scheme.
• 2005: 1st farm van purchased. 4th polytunnel erected, 1st full time employee on the farm for the Spring Summer and Autumn. Market in Athlone and Ballinasloe begins in August. Home delivery customer numbers reduce as people now come to our market stall. Cold room built into farm shed.
• 2006: Market in Loughrea starts in August. Home deliveries down to 30. Wooden student house erected for volunteers and farm workers.
• 2007: 2 full time employees as well as Padraig and Úna working full time. New shed door and a 10,000 sq ft multi span polytunnel with the help of the Dept. of Agriculture “Organic Grant”. New extended heated propagator and our 1st tunnel is devoted completely to seed sowing and germinating. Number of volunteers who have stayed with us since 2002 now above 60! 1st Farm Open Day with music, food and tours in August. Home delivery numbers increase to 50, now including Loughrea. A busy Christmas with extra markets and our annual holiday after Christmas.
• 2008: Started selling at the Oranmore and Moycullen Farmers market. We grew 13 acres that year, in cluding 8 new acres rented across the road from the farm.
• 2009: With the help of Musgraves, Supervalu and Bord Bia and with some funding from the Organic Unit at the Dept of Agriculture Forestry and Food we bought a shrink wrapper and a barcode label printer. We renovated our packing shed and started selling packaged veg to shops and supermarkets. We put another four acres of rented land into organic conversion and planted a green manure for using in 2012.
• 2010: With another grant from the Dept. of agriculture we began renovating another farm shed to use as a wash house to wash earthy veg coming in from the field and keep it away from the washed clean veg and imported fruit. We began employing an administrative and accounts assistant.
• 2011: We harvested over 30 tons of potatoes this year in a partnership with another farmer in Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, continued to sell to more shops and grew 17 acres of veg. In the summer we started selling mixed pallets of veg using transport companies to bring them to Cork, Dublin, Wicklow and Kerry. We finished up selling in three markets and focused on Loughrea and Oranmore market alone. We purchased a root crop washer for washing carrots potatoes, turnip and other roots coming in from the fields. We employed an new delivery driver, veg packing supervisor. We got help from a crop planning advisor John Hogan this year.
• 2012: We continued expanding with the purchase of a leek washer. We began to build an office above the new veg washouse.
Beechlawn Organic Farm featured on Galway Matters this week!
"We started growing commercially in 2002, gradually building up the business since then.
Beechlawn Organic Farm is a business partnership that was conceived and has been developed by husband and wife, Padraig Fahy and Úna Ní Bhroin.
The seeds were first sown after Padraig and Úna met at The Organic College, Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick, and both qualified with Diplomas in Organic Horticulture.
The business germinated in 2001 when they began the garden, which they nurtured producing their first fruits in 2002.
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