This was a gala week for us at Rock Farm – we hosted the prestigious Organic Trust AGM and celebrated 10 years as a certified organic farm. We are proud members of The Organic Trust which is Ireland’s premier organic certification organisation. Alex and Carina are totally committed to organic practices in their farming.
Minister for Land Use & Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, performed the official opening and was impressed at the passion and positivity for organic farming and organic food, and the commitment from farmers here to the sector. She explained how the organic sector has been growing in both size and importance in recent years, saying, “50% of Irish organic beef is consumed in Ireland keeping the added value within our domestic economy so the organic sector has a positive role to play within the economy”. She is keen to grow the sector, aiming for 10% of agricultural land becoming organic by 2030. Pippa Hackett is a Green Party TD and a committed organic farmer in her own right, running a mixed organic farm (suckler cows, sheep, hens and horses) near Edenderry in Co. Offaly.
The AGM included free soil sample testing by the NOTS so the sight of delegates with small bags of soil was not uncommon. Using soil microscopy analysis, farmers received excellent feedback on the health and constitution of their soil.
Unsurprisingly our kitchen team produced a delicious organic lunch for the delegates showcasing the best of our Rock Farm produce (all organic of course). They started with a silky Cream of Pumpkin Soup and had a choice of an organic Pork Goulash, Dexter beef stew or vegan stew for mains. That came with our own spuds, vegetables and salad. Dessert was both local and seasonal – Apple and Blackberry Crumble with fresh cream. Let’s just say the plates were pleasingly spotless!
Rock Farm is a working organic enterprise on 90 acres, using permaculture principles with rare breed cattle, pigs and poultry as well as a thriving vegetable section. We operate an agro forestry system combining trees and livestock in the same area. We also grow several varieties of barley which is used for the whiskey made at Slane Distillery – ensuring top quality grain and keeping food miles to a minimum.