Deirdre O’Sullivan and Norman Kenny
When Deirdre O’Sullivan and Norman Kenny purchased Nurney House with its accompanying fourteen acres near Carbury, in Co. Kildare back in 1990 they had a clear plan to grow organic fruit and vegetables. They were very few organic growers in Ireland at that time and they were determined to establish a sustainable business supplying quality organic food direct to the customer. Fast forward almost thirty years and Nurney Farm remains one of the most innovative progressive organic farms in the country. They have worked tirelessly over the years to build up a successful dynamic business and in the process have gathered a loyal customer base. In 2001 they bought an adjoining twenty-six acres increasing their growing area substantially, the farm is certified by the Irish Organic Association.
Marketing has been central to the development of the business and as they primarily sell direct to the consumer direct feedback from customers has influenced crop choice and varieties over the years. Nurney Farm open their farm shop on Friday’s, they also sell at the Trim Farmers Market. In 2014 keen to expand their base in Dublin and to bring a range of organic products to the market they opened the Green Door Market with Coolanowle Organic Farm and Christy Stapleton. This operates 6 days a week in Bluebell, Dublin and Nurney Farm have a stall there 4 days a week. “Our customers were more than happy to buy other organic products such as meat and dairy so it made sense to work with other producers to expand the product range so people now use the Green Door as a “one stop shop” to buy all of their organic food. They love the idea of meeting the producer and are keen to buy sustainably produced food while supporting small family farmers” said Deirdre.
Norman in recent years has added beehives to the farm. A diverse mix of crops, livestock, forestry, agroforestry and native habitats for a whole range of species of plants and animals. Custodians of this piece of land Deirdre and Norman remain passionate about growing food in a sustainable way for current and future generations.
Nomination: Grace Maher, Development Officer, Irish Organic Association