At the beginning of September we started a farm programme with Finlough – one of our organic suppliers in Co. Roscommon.
Every week we send down one of our chefs who spends a few days learning about the soil, weeding, how to trim plants properly, how to weed properly, how to harvest correctly, how to get the most flavour out of your food before it even gets to the kitchen and how much back breaking work goes in to weeding. Weeding is really very important you know.
For a lot of us who work in kitchens we think we are connected to the food we are preparing, but really we have no clue until spending a few days working the land. Its the farmers who should be getting most of the credit for whats on your plate.
Finlough is a small family and friends run operation, owned by Finn Murray of the Hopsack in Rathmines – an absolute gem of a man, who instantly understood what we wanted to do when we proposed the exchange. The acreage of the farm is mainly given over to suckling cattle (also organic) with only a small amount dedicated to horticulture, just six tunnels with a huge focus on soil quality and well rotated veg. Christine and Ted look after this side of things. They’re brilliant. They also have a gorgeous little cottage on the land that they rent out to anyone looking for some real Irish countryside seclusion.
This is hopefully a programme that we will continue to roll out with all our staff….not just the chefs. Its a win-win scenario for everyone involved, the farm, the fumbally and the person who gets to spend a week learning the lay of the land.