Investing to support organic producers

By Maurice Garvey

CLONDALKIN Tidy Towns are supporting an initiative that could see the delivery of vegetable boxes from a farm directly to customers homes in the Dublin 22 area.

In February, the new Clondalkin Tidy Towns subgroup for Environment and Biodiversity, met Nathan Jackson from Beechpark Eco Farm in Clonsilla.

Nathan Jackson1 compressor

Nathan Jackson from Beechpark Eco Farm

Beechpark is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where the farmer works the land and consumers become members of the farm.

From June, Beechpark will be in a position to offer small, medium or large boxes of their produce delivered to people in Clondalkin - costing €10, €15 or €20 respectively.

Clondalkin Cllr Eoin Ó Broin (Ind) said those interested can add their phone number to a Clondalkin Veg Box WhatsApp.

“Each week, Nathan sends a message asking who wants a box. During the Covid-19 restrictions, the farm are happy to deliver boxes to peoples’ homes. Afterwards, they would prefer a central location for collection,” said Cllr Ó Broin.

“They have had discussions with the Happy Pear about this. An alternative to this scheme is to sign up for a year as a CSA member.”

Ó Broin says a customer pays €400 for a small share or €600 for a medium share and is entitled to a box a week for 52 weeks (40 weeks at €10 a week plus 12 free weeks).

“The idea with CSA is that one invests to support start-up organic producers and guarantees to take a box regardless of the impacts of the weather on harvest.”

Nathan formerly worked for another CSA venture Derrybeg farm in Celbridge and still serves on the Derrybeg steering committee.

“Beechpark is a new farm I work with – the website and social media are still in development but should be up and running by the end of May,” said Nathan.

Clare Lee, from Derrybeg Farm, said they have members from Lucan, and boxes are available for anyone to buy. Their website is Derry Begfarm

Currently, Nathan would like to know if there are 10 or more people in the Clondalkin area willing to purchase a box most weeks from June on.

If so, he will start organising the WhatsApp. Nathan can be contacted at 087 6195518.

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