Farm to Fork: The drive-through spudshack offering potatoes by post
So excited about this feature in the Irish Times, thank you Catherine Cleary!
Ballymakenny Farm Potatoes has moved from supplying chefs to a drive-through and courier service.Maria Flynn has to take a moment to gather herself on her first ever Skype call. She has taken to the technology with ease. But there’s a point where her eyes fill, and she has to gather herself as she mentions the phrase that keeps flowing in: “We’ve got your back.”
It has been a head-spinning few weeks for Ballymakenny Farm Potatoes. Instead of supplying chefs, they have set up a drive-through spudshack on the farm, and are posting potatoes by courier to anywhere in Ireland.
Her husband David is the farmer on the family’s 120-acre farm near Drogheda in Co Louth. “I just do what I’m told when I’m in a field,” Maria says.
The couple took over the family farm in 2007. “From the year David took over things went into decline for us. Most of it was out of our control. The weather has got really weird in the last few years. The seasons aren’t defined anymore.”
She could see them heading into debt with lower prices and mounting rent bills, diesel and wages. “To manage my anxiety and stress I needed something positive to focus on.”
She asked David to buy some purple violetta potato seed after a vegetable grower asked her “why don’t you grow for chefs instead of shops?”
“It tickled my interest to set up a hobby. And I was going to go up to Dublin in my Toyota Avensis with my purple potatoes in my boot. I was going to try and get a bit of cash at kitchen doors, to be completely honest, to make enough money to get my hair coloured and that kind of stuff. I knew the farm was out of my control. So I had to do something for control, and that was my little business.”
Read the full article here.