A county Tipperary-based family that closed its mushroom business in 2016 as a result of Brexit, has just completed the organic conversion period and is awaiting organic status for its vegetables and salad leaves at Clonmore Farm in Cahir.
Barbara Quinn, runs the Clonmore Farm enterprise alongside her husband, James. Their daughter has also joined the business, focused on food safety and marketing.
“We set up our first mushroom farm in 1992 in Monaghan at a time of high unemployment in Ireland. From there we moved to a new green field site in Tipperary in 1999, establishing our new mushroom farm,” Barbara told agriland.ie. “Following numerous expansions and years of hard work, we were employing 55 staff and selling 35,000kg of mushrooms weekly. In autumn 2016 we were forced to close the business as a result of Brexit.”
However, this did not stop this entrepreneurial family: “We registered and entered our farm into the conversion period with The Organic Trust in 2019 and began our journey towards organic farming. We have recently completed this conversion period and are awaiting organic certification this weekend. All our produce is chemical and pesticide-free,” Barbara said. “We are currently producing from four polytunnels and 1ac of our land. We will continue to expand production and adjust our range of produce in line with market demand.”
This year they have grown: salad; spinach; rocket, kale; chard; broccoli; cauliflower; beetroot; garlic; red onions; white onions; scallions; shallots; round and pointed cabbage; leeks; French climbing beans; mangetout; green and golden courgette; cherry and large tomatoes; carrots and potatoes.