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Eight years on and Kenneth and Jenny’s organic farm continues to grow

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A County Galway farming business, Green Earth Organics, was announced the winner of the top prize of €10,000 cash in the St. Columba’s Credit Union Ltd. (SCCUL) Enterprise Awards recently.

Established in 2006 and based in Corrandulla, Green Earth Organics is the brainchild of Kenneth and Jenny Keavey who relocated from London to take over the farm that had been in their family for three generations.

“Basically, Green Earth Organics supply fresh, healthy produce to people’s homes. Our home delivery service is completely flexible with set boxes which are put together with seasons in mind, to help people to eat healthily. That’s it in a nutshell,” said Kenneth.

“We deliver all over Galway City and customers don’t have to be in when we deliver. We have a fully flexible online ordering system and there are some good offers on there now if you want to try it out,” he added.

The farm is situated eight miles from Galway City and currently the Keaveys are farming on 18 acres of organically certified land. Another 10 acres is split between a wildlife biodiversity area, native woodland forestry of 3,000 trees and red clover and grassland.

“In 2005, I left my well-paid job as a senior research scientist working for a bio tech company in the UK to come back to Galway to start Green Earth Organics. My wife Jenny and I had a vision to develop an organic food production and supply business from the family farm.

“Over the six years we’ve worked hard and changed our business model by taking risks and looking outside our current box,” said Kenneth.

Originally, the land belonged to Kenneth’s grandfather, and it was then inherited by his father. Finally, Kenneth took over and put it straight into conversion for organic status in 2004.

Since then, Kenneth and Jenny have watched their business grow from a humble vegetable box scheme to one of the biggest organic vegetable farms in the west of Ireland.

Currently employing seven full-time and 12 part-time staff, the farm now delivers customised organic vegetable boxes nationwide through their online platform. They also supply the supermarket sector in the west of Ireland and award-winning Galway restaurants such as Michelin star Aniar.

After eight years of business, Green Earth Organics secured the overall prize of €10,000 cash, a €2,500 advertising package from media sponsor The Galway Independent, and a specially commissioned sculpture by Galway-based sculptor, Liam Butler, as well as top prize for the SCCUL Enterprise Agriculture and Food category.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

New design aims to take the backache from those last scoops in feed bin

Francis Farragher

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Michael and Brenda Egan with their new ‘Tipsy Bin’ – designed to make life easier ‘on the back’ for farmers.

IT can be the bane of many farmers’ lives in their yard as they try to extract the last buckets of meal from their bin leading to one big stretch and at times a stretched back too.

Now, a Glenamaddy entrepreneur is fully confident that he has ‘cracked the problem’ after designing a meal bin that neatly leans over on a bevel to take the ache out of that final clean out.

A couple of years back while out on his brother’s farm, Michael Egan, noticed how awkward it was ‘to get to the bottom of the bin’ and in one of those Eureka moments he thought that there just ‘had to be a better way’.

An Operations Manager for Kingspan and Rom Plastics before that, Michael set about designing the new bin which also incorporates a flat base and a clever water draining hole to facilitate an easy wash out.

Along with his wife Brenda, they have set up a company called Megafab who are now distributing their new Tipsy Bin to locations around the country but mostly in direct sales to farmers.

“We are aiming to sell directly to farmers and feel that the bin at €299 (including VAT) is quite keenly price with a  small delivery charge, depending on location.

“Initially we had hoped to launch the product in March but then the COVID situation happened so we put it off until October and I’m delighted to say that we’re flying it so far. The bin is very practical and user-friendly,” Michael Egan told the Farming Tribune.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Organic farmers in West get €1.3m

Francis Farragher

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Pippa Hackett: More money on the way for organic farming.

CLOSE on 70 organic farmers in Galway will be receiving average payments of almost €4,700 under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS), the Dept. of Agriculture have confirmed.

Minister of State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Senator Pippa Hackett, confirmed the start of €5.5m worth of OFS payments to 1,200 farmers across the country from Wednesday last.

She said that the advance payments were being made two weeks ahead of schedule, with the success of the scheme being reflected in a 50% increase in organic farming acreage since 2014.

Currently, there are 68 Galway farmers in the OFS scheme who between them will be getting payments of €319,041 this week, an average of €4,691 per participant.

Between the five Connacht counties and Clare, there are now 366 farmers participating in the OFS scheme bringing in total advance payments of just over €1.3m, an average of  €3,500 per participant.

Roscommon has the biggest number of organic farmers in the West with a total figure of 141 participants followed by Galway on 68, Clare and Leitrim 51 each, with Mayo and Sligo having 56 organic farmers split evenly between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

New faces on IFA commodities committee

Francis Farragher

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A NUMBER of new faces will be elected onto the Galway IFA Commodities Committee in a postal vote that will begin next week and be completed by early December.

The most keenly contested position looks like being that of Rural Development representative with three candidates going for the job.

Eamonn Burke, Corrandulla branch, was the outgoing representative, but his term of office ends this month, opening the way for three new nominations.

They are: PJ Conroy, Looscaun, Woodford; Pat Flaherty, Oranmore and Peter Gohery of the Eyrecourt branch.

Rural Development is considered one of the more important positions in that it will be ‘fighting the case’ for the bigger spending areas such as REPS, GLAS and any new environmental scheme.

The other contest is for the position of Grain Representative which had been held by John Daly of Kilconnell, whose term of office is also up.

There are two nomination for this position – Eamonn Burke of Corrandulla and Mervyn Cooke of the Aughrim IFA branch.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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