By Donogh Moore
Good Food Friday will take place from 2 to 5pm on April 19th at Beechlawn Organic Farm, Ballinasloe. The day will kick off with an extensive farm walk led by the founder and co-owner of the renowned Organic Farm, Padraig Fahy. His co-lead on the day will be the well-known and respected forager, Edward Blaine. Edward has years of experience in foraging, and since moving from the U.K to Co. Clare has set up his own artisan food business. Between these two experienced guides this FREE walk is set to full of information, fun and one of the highlights of the day, and there is no registration – just turn up at the Farm main gate.
Next up will be internationally respected chef, restaurant owner and Irish Times columnist J.P. McMahon, who will give a demonstration to attendees on fermentation. With fermentation becoming increasingly popular in recent times, it is sure to be of great interest to guests, and J.P. will be using local seasonal veg and foraged items in this demonstration. A Raffle will also take place on the day, with the prize being a giant Easter Egg Hamper. This raffle is in aid of Jackie Dolan’s ‘Road to Recovery’. As the event is taking place at Easter, there will be events on specially for the children, such as an Easter Egg Hunt, as well as Face Painting. Refreshments will be available onsite throughout the day.
Beechlawn Organic Farm is a family-owned business that Padraig Fahy and Úna Ní Bhroin founded in 2002, and is currently run from their farm at Beechlawn. Last year they were successfully ahead of the pack to win a highly acclaimed Bord Bia Award for Innovation, for the launch of their bio bags. Beechlawn are now a leading force in the retail sector in the fight to eradicate plastic packaging in the area of fresh fruit and veg. Their first batch of compostable labels will be delivered in mid-April making the whole bio bag veg pack completely compostable.
They are also expecting compostable cling wrap for some of the veg packs that are in trays and by the end of 2019 their target is to have all prepacks in compostable packaging. In order for veg to be clearly traced and certified as organic it is required to be separated from chemically grown veg, thus causing the packaging problems which are being currently being encountered but they are focussing on tackling that this year. The business was awarded both the McKenna Guide 2018 and the Georgina Campbell Award last year, which further proves that the farm’s growth is gaining huge industry recognition. Local stockists are Eurospar in the Square and O’Connors Foodhall in Brackernagh.
After their Good Food Friday event, the next big day in the farm’s calendar is the annual gardening festival, BLOOM, which takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Beechlawn Organic Farm will host a stand to display their variety of products on a national stage under the Bord Bia Banner of excellence. They will also hold a harvest fair on Sunday Sept 15th this year. For more info, or to purchase a home delivery veg box check out their webshop or phone the office on 090 9646713. (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm).
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