Why these farmers are happy not to sell their organic produce through supermarkets
It's been 21 years since the McNallys decided to sell their organic vegetable produce directly to the market - and recognition of their sterling efforts ever since came with last week's accolade from the Irish Food Writers' Guild in Dublin.
Dublin-based McNally Family Farm scooped the award in the business organisation category.
"It came as a complete surprise to us. It's great to be recognised and we will get another lovely plaque for the wall at home - but don't tell anyone until after the awards dinner in Patrick Guilbaud's", Jenny McNally joked when we spoke before the ceremony recently.
Jenny, while from a farming family in Kilsallaghan in North Dublin herself, began her working career as a bank clerk but gave up the money-moving business when she married Pat, a fourth-generation farmer based in Ring Commons, just outside Balbriggan.
The couple switched from livestock to solely horticulture just before the economic collapse of 2009. "You must remember that the recession hit farming long before it hit everyone else," Jenny remembers.
Ever since, the whole farm has been covered in polytunnels growing vegetables of all kinds including potatoes, courgettes, white, red and Savoy cabbages, cauliflowers, artichokes, kales, beets and salads, as well as herbs of every variety - all grown organically.
More than 20 years ago, Jenny started seeking out markets for their organic crops, and the first stop was the Saturday Temple Bar food market in Dublin city in 1997 - as luck would have it, they cleared their stall at the first attempt." We finished that day with 70 old pounds earned and ready for the bank," Jenny recalls.
The McNallys gradually expanded their geographical reach in the capital to include the Leopardstown food market on Fridays and the Dun Laoghaire one on Sundays.