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Ireland: In an Unpredictable Time, an Urban Farm Looks at What It Can Preserve

Cassidy is now thinking more about preserving fruit, vegetables, and herbs to sell to shops. “I’m thinking more about stuff with a longer shelf life,” he says.

By Donal Corrigan
Dublin Inquirer
Jan 20, 2021


Elmhurst Cottage Farm supplies cafes, restaurants and shops all around Dublin – including the Fumbally Café, Lilliput Stores, the Cake Café, and Slice.

When a bunch of them closed last year because of Covid-19, Cassidy was left with way fewer businesses to sell to.

He put his crop of edible flowers into salad packs to sell at markets rather than restaurants. “Obviously you don’t get as good of a turn around for yourself,” he says.

In normal times, Erasmus students would help on the farm with seeding and planting, harvesting and de-weeding, bee-keeping, and chicken-keeping, but they couldn’t come this year.
“We need the help. There is 1,000,001 things for them to do,” says Cassidy. Saffy, his dog, walks ahead of him.

Cassidy had to focus on tending to the produce that he had already planted rather than planting more, he says.

Planting and harvesting potatoes is a massive job, he says. “That was one thing I thought, I’m going to need to concentrate more on herbs and salads rather than potatoes.”
“I had to focus my energy on what the restaurants” – those still open – “wanted and needed and get that into them rather than general upkeep of the place,” he says.
At the entrance to the polytunnels, Mollie the cat squints her eyes in the low winter sunlight.

Read the complete article here.


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