The Community Farm

The Cloughjordan Community Farm is a cross-community initiative set up in August 2008. The farm is spread over 40 acres; 28 acres 2 kilometres outside Cloughjordan and a further 12 acres in the Ecovillage. Over 50 households currently subscribe to the farm and at full capacity it can cater for up to 80 families.

The Farm is based on a model of farming called Community Supported Agriculture and is the first and largest CSA scheme in Ireland.

This year the farm produced a wide range of vegetables – potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, kale, chard, turnips, parsnips, pumpkins, tomatoes, courgettes, broad beans, grapes, berries, melons and much more. Four polytunnels have been erected to extend the growing season. Kerry cows supply milk and small clutch of hens provides us with eggs.

A variety of grain was grown – oats,barley and wheat as well as more unusual types such as rye and spelt – some of this will be animal feed and some for the members. The farm is not only organic (no artificial fertilisers or pesticides) but is also Bio-dynamic – a method which aims to improve the health and fertility of the land through preparations similar to homeopathy.

Further information from the farm website here

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

This is a new model of food production and distribution that aims to improve the quality and quantity of of food available locally while reducing the environmental impact of producing this food.

CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. A direct relationship is created between farmers and farm members who pay a subscription which guarantees the farmers a wage and the members a weekly basket of vegetables, fruit, eggs or any type of farm produce.

CSA also creates synergy between growers and producers with grain produced for local bakers and milk for cheese-makers, resulting in a democratic and integrated food production system leading to employment and local food security.