Dublin city centre CSA

Community Supported Agriculture in Dublin


Leave a comment

New Season Sign-Up

The new Dublin CSA season will start on the 7th of June and all shares must be filled by 1st June 2018 to ensure a financially viable start to the season.

We can fulfill 30 full shares over the season which will run until the 28th of Feb 2019, don’t miss out on yours and  sign up here!

Need more info? see below or send an email to csadublin@gmail.com

csa-flyer-new-season-2018.png

A full share equals to a weekly collection of your vegetables – it is known to be sufficient for one and often two people for the week.
The full share price is €517.50 for the season.

A half share equals to a bi-weekly collection of your vegetables – it is known to be sufficient for one person for approximately 1.5 weeks).
The half share price is €258.75.

At each collection, you will get to grab 5 different varieties in average. Depending on the period, you will get strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions (red and yellow), scallions, garlic, different varieties of salad, cabbage, turnips, carrots, parsnips, beetroots, potatoes, kale, chards, different varieties of squash, etc. And on ad-hoc occasion, some fresh herbs as a pot of basil or some sage or parsley, etc.

We are packaging-free, so please bring your own bag or containers of your choice.

Sign up here
Memberships will be completed on a first come first served basis, we will come back to you upon receipt of your sign up request.
Payment can be made upfront or via standing orders of 9 monthly installments.

Do not hesitate to share with friends, family, colleagues and your local community.
Even if you cannot sign up this season, someone you know might be interested 🙂

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Spring Potluck – Saturday 12th May

potluckcsa.png
Dublin CSA and Bring Your Own are hosting a potluck in Third Space Smithfield on Saturday May 12th between 4pm and 6pm.

This potluck is a communal gathering of like-minded individuals interested in the Dublin CSA and Bring Your Own.

If you wish you may bring a food dish to share with others. However it is completely voluntary.

Do you know of anyone interested in finding out more about the Dublin CSA? How about someone who wants to minimize their waste?
Please invite them along by spreading the word!

We look forward to seeing you there.


Leave a comment

The new season is here!

CSA Flyer new members3-01

Here you can find the breakdown of our costs and how the shares are calculated for the new season:

Dublin CSA Budget for 2017-2018

budget2

Share calculation for 30 members, which is the maximum we can sign-up:

budget6

With a full share you pick up your veg bag every week, with a half share you pick up every second week. A bag of veg is suitable to provide up to 2 people with enough veg for a week.

Please let us know if you have any questions! csadublin@gmail.com

Here you can find all documents for signing up to the new season: membership

We’re looking forward to see you! 🙂

 


Leave a comment

What is a farmer?

farmer-with-a-pitchfork-jpgblog

Having visited Romania for a European Food Sovereignty event and seen how people in the villages there live, it raised questions for me as to what the role of a farmer should be.

Coming from Ireland there are a number of different interpretations of what a farmer actually is. One view is somewhat romantic. It holds that a farmer spends their time in touch with the elements, animals and the soil. Farmers seen in this light are like those you might imagine in landscape paintings – working with simple tools and engaged in their community in every sense.

Another view of a farmer in Ireland is more hard-nosed. This stands the farmer on the same ground as a businessman – it’s just the means employed to return a profit that is different. Under this scenario – and it is a view that is quite realistic if the farming press and bodies such as Bord Bia are to be believed – farmers are the backbone of the country. Through their work they not only provide a living for themselves but produce products that are the raw materials for the Agri-food industry. The farmers of Ireland are like soldiers – they go beyond the call of duty and work tirelessly to maximise the production of their enterprises for the benefit of wider society.

There is huge variation in farmers up and down the country. However, farmers in Ireland in my opinion fall somewhere between the romantic and the business worlds. While they are often in the fields they are now increasingly in a vehicle or on machinery. Although they are trying to make a living from their farm they are increasingly dependent on payments from Europe to top up their income. In-fact, an alarming number of farms would not be profitable if it wasn’t for the cheque from Brussels.

On reflection of the visit to a Romanian village it was apparent how self-sufficient the people there were. The people there grew all of their own food; there was a real local economy – they even produced their own alcohol, cheese and bread in the village. It was I believe, like Ireland was maybe fifty years ago. That is, most of the agricultural communities in the country fifty years ago knew where their food was from and, importantly, where it was going. Nowadays, the farmer is generally more isolated from their community – their transactions are more likely to be business based and more often than not they do not know the identity of the end consumer of their produce. The people drinking the milk from a farm in Tipperary are now as likely to be babies drinking milk formula in China as to be from the local village for example.

While such changes have been seen as advancements generally, as the standard of living here has improved alongside these changes – some of the things that have been lost as a result of the modernisation of agriculture are perhaps too important to see go without some reluctance. Considering what a farmer is then, can we still say that they are in touch with the soil if they only look out on it from a 4×4? Are we still farmers if our only motivation for our work is profit? Is the villager in Romania making any less of a contribution to society if their chief activity is making a few bottles of palinka (/poteen) than a so called farmer in Ireland drawing down payments in the tens of thousands from Europe?

Personally, I think it is important for myself in the down-time of winter to look back on the year that was. It is an opportunity to reconnect with myself and a chance to lay down plans for the year ahead. This year I have the honesty and integrity of the villagers in Romania at the forefront of my thoughts. Far from the speed and urgency of modern agriculture in Ireland that I find myself alongside – I can happily say that next year, if all I do is make a few bottles of alcohol or a few blocks of cheese for my local community to share – then it will have been a good year.

 

Image: Farmer With A Pitchfork by Winslow Homer source: commons.wikimedia.org

 


Leave a comment

FarmDay #2, 2016: Lots of Laughs in the Liffey Valley

 

October 8th, the second official Farm Day of 2016, saw us bussing and biking beyond the boundaries of Dublin and into Celbridge, to join Seamus for a day of learning, planting, mulching, and feasting. The day was especially glorious for cycling, and the Liffey valley had plenty of treats in store for Bianca and I, first-timers on the bicycle route to the farm. Between leaf-strewn laneways, Lucan looking lovely, and luxuriously landscaped parklands at Castletown House, Declan gave us a 90 minute tour of the county’s finest scenery, and in no time we arrived at the farm, eager to join Sean and get our hands dirty! Our first task was to taste some of Seamus’s delicious veggie soup, and rehydrate with some tea, after which the hard work of learning began. Seamus gave us a comprehensive tour of the hard-working courgette and tomato plants (still producing!), the forests of kale that are just beginning to be harvested, rows of gorgeous pumpkins, peppers, and purple cabbages, and the highly efficient chickens making short shrift of any grass patches and former vegetable beds that come within their mobile coop and yard. We busied ourselves with selecting the finest, fattest garlic bulbs from those Seamus had saved, and planted those out in the former bean beds. Declan and Seamus mulched up the artichokes with more woodchip, on top of beds of cardboard, ensuring they stay cosy and happy in the chilly weeks ahead.

While hunger is a great spice, it seems that frequent tasting might be a great teaching tool. Both our minds and our tastebuds were kept sharp, with fresh produce (mostly) straight from the stalk – blackberries, perpetual cabbage, delicious garlic, recently ripened seedheads of flax, and the intense ale taste of hops (not all from Seamus’s farm, however, so probably not coming to a CSA veggie bag near you). In any case, we got great insights from Seamus into his crop rotations, the sustainability spectrum of organic weed control, seed saving, dealing with hungry visitors (rabbits), and the valuable work of the quacking and clucking farm help.

The next Farm Day is planned for the 12th of November, with hopefully more seasonal surprises, and continued sunshine, or clear skies at least. Either way, it’ll probably be a bit of craic, with decent company and lots of tea, and we’re all invited – YAY!


Leave a comment

Farming from a Distance

A reflection by one of the Dublin CSA’s growers, Seamus:

This is written on reflection of a recent trip to New Zealand. Firstly it is on the opposite side of the world and so is in the opposite season to here. When I arrived it was the end of January, coming out of our northern winter but over there – just coming to the end of the summer. Not that it felt like it – the daily temperature was usually in the twenties. This made for a Mediterranean like climate and although there was quite a variation between the top of the north Island (tropical) and bottom of the south Island (more like Ireland) New Zealand has a climate very suitable for growing plants and animals.

Travelling by bus down the North Island from Auckland the thing that struck me initially was the sheer devastation imposed on the landscape as a result of modern industrial, commercial agriculture. Yes, the land was green for the most part but this was a monoculture of grass which grazed monocultures of sheep or cows with very little in the way of native vegetation evident. Even where animals were replaced by trees – these again were monocultures on an industrial scale for the most part. It was clear that Europeans settlers have left a lasting legacy on both the character of the landscape and also on the mentality of their descendants – that land is of value when it can provide financial return to people.

I travelled to the Hawkes Bay area where I was to spend a week and a half working in exchange for bed and board WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). The area I was in – close to the town of Hastings – was renowned for its orchards. The farm I was to work with was quite unique locally and indeed within New Zealand – growing a wide variety of crops mainly for the domestic market. http://www.epicureansupplies.co.nz/

The farm comprised some 20 hectares (50 acres) although not all in the one block. This was big coming from half an acre plot. Being big meant a lot of labour, a good deal of efficiency and quite a bit of mechanisation. There was a seeding machine for planting up modules – a nifty bit of kit but quite excessive unless you were on this kind of scale. Many crops were direct seeded – i.e. planted directly into the soil without being raised to seedling stage. These included turnips, coriander, dill, some salad, radish and surprisingly pumpkin – with the seeds being dropped using a potato planter. Many crops were raised to the seedling stage and for this there was one employee seeding module trays more or less full-time.

In terms of variety of crops there was nothing that I hadn’t at least heard of but many that I had much less success growing. This was down to the weather with tomatoes, peppers (capsicums), aubergines (egg plants) and basil all growing happily outside. With the good weather came the need to water and this was carried out using a drilled well and industrial pump; quite a task given that standard beds were 100m long! The heat was also an issue when out harvesting – especially in the midday sun. I was lucky enough not to be sent to any of the 100m long basil beds which were planted through plastic – meaning heat from above and below.

Another interesting aspect to the farm was the growing of herbs. This was novel as it showed that perennial plants could also be profitable enterprises with sage, oregano, thyme and rosemary planted in beds that were harvested to order daily. Rosemary in particular really excelled in the hot climate and harvesting stems from rosemary hedges above head height meant wearing sunglasses at work was not just to look cool.
In a technical growing sense I learned a lot there. From the size of modules used, to the preparation of beds for planting I gained some hints and tips. The need for machinery once a farm goes beyond a certain size was clearly apparent with several tractors employed there to do a variety of jobs from rotavating, seeding, ridging up (leeks/pumpkins), and pulping crop residues.
The need for labour given the size of the farm was also clear from the outset. There were probably a dozen full-time staff. When I arrived there were 9 woofers. By the end of my first week there were only 4 as some were moving on – some having spent several months there, others several weeks. The loss of this many workers placed a burden on Clyde, the owner of the business, having to re-jig work hours to fit in all the essential tasks. At this point it was clear to me that wwoofers were intrinsic to the successful operation of this farm and showed how volatile dependency on this cheap source of labour could be. That said, wwoofers seemed happy to do the work and get some pay for work over the basic three and a half days to cover their bed and board for the week.

Overall, my experience on this farm was positive – meeting other wwoofers and workers and learning about vegetable growing in the southern hemisphere. Although still an enterprise geared for profit – it provided a respite from industrial farming generally and showed that a massive amount can be grown on a relatively small area.

In a more general sense I was struck by the price of vegetables in New Zealand. Vegetables in supermarkets were generally more expensive than in Ireland. It was also surprising that vegetables were actually less expensive at farmer’s markets than in supermarkets. As I understood, much of the land in New Zealand is used for producing food for export – generally on quite industrial scales. Those people growing vegetables to sell at farmer’s markets were by-in-large the exception and did not have ready access to the export market. They were happy to sell their food at markets rather than being stuck with it or selling it for very little to wholesale buyers. This was good news for me and others who were able to avail of the bounty of produce available at this time of year but raised questions as to the suitability of people of land to the industrial food model.

DSC_0514

DSC_0532

DSC_0527