'We worked hard to find solutions and we want to pass that knowledge on'
KILDARE-based Deirdre O'Sullivan and Norman Kenny are seasoned and very successful organic growers. who have been growing vegetables since 1990.
Their business, Nurney Farm, is one of the host farmers in the Irish Organic Food Growers Association apprenticeship scheme.
"It is important for established growers to pass on their knowledge, experience and passion to get young people involved in this business," says Deirdre.
"We need more growers and this is a great way for people to really find out what is really involved."
Deirdre and Norman are both from a farming background and met while studying agriculture. After college, Norman worked as as a farm manager but they decided that they wanted to work their own land, so in 1990 they bought 14ac near Carbury on a five-year loan.
They felt horticulture was the only option available to them on that acreage and they began growing organic vegetables.
"We bought our own land, this gave us great freedom to do things our way, but it made us extremely conscious of every cost on the farm - we had to make a profit to make the bank payments. Norman continued with a contracting business and I set up the organic farm," says Deirdre.
The business has since expanded and they have purchased another 30 acres to supply their growing markets.