Showing posts with label farmers markets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farmers markets. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Burns Family Playing A Blinder At Home On The Farm

Burns Family Playing A Blinder
 At Home On The Farm
Joe and Sandra at the Farm Shop.

The Killeagh farm of Joe and Sandra Burns is pretty well known for its stall at local farmers market and for its delicious vegetable crisps (available all around the country). They were going well on both fronts until Covid19 struck. Bang went the markets. Bang went the food festivals and with them a huge chunk of the crisps business.

But the resilient pair are fighting back. The business from the markets has been largely replaced by their superb Farm Shop. Believe it or not, the idea for this came from a little pioneering venture at the farm gate last year by daughter Meghan, one of their three children.
Parsnips. No shortage!

In the middle of all this, instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they found time to think of people less fortunate. Back in May, with huge help from the neighbours, they raised over €600.00 for Pieta House at an event in the farm.

And Joe told me that it is the neighbours who are the mainstay of the success of the Farm Shop. Here, though the shop is in the yard by the house, they operate a “honesty box” system. The price list for the vegetables is displayed (also available online); cash payment is put in an envelope and then into the box.
Joe, with Toby, and daughters Meghan (left) and Katelyn.

And what a choice you have! Fresh out of the nearby fields, you can have carrots (including rainbow carrots), parsnips, swede/turnip, white turnip, cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli, white cauliflower, purple cauliflower, romanesco, beetroot, kale, rhubarb, celery, courgette, onions, plus eggs, strawberries, mushrooms, tomatoes.

All the colours of the beet!
Of course, there are spuds, new at the moment, Queens or Ladyclaire. And Roosters. By the way, those Ladyclaires are the ones they use for their crisps (the white ones) and they are very good for boiling, steaming and chipping. And speaking of crisps, well they’re there too, the original Veg (carrot, parsnip and beetroot), Beetroot, and Mixed Potato.

A superb selection of fresh produce in the middle of the lovely East Cork countryside. Not in the middle of nowhere, by the way. This treasure trove is just about six minutes off the main Cork-Waterford road (N25) in the village of Killeagh. 

If you’re coming from the city, instead of turning right for Youghal at the eastern end of the village, take the small road (L3806) straight up past the church. Tap P36 X582 into your Google maps and you’ll be there in no time. You’ll see a sign or two for the farm as you get closer. 

One of the highlights from last year was the pumpkin picking season. Groups of kids - play school, primary, families - came for the picking. No less than 83 children in one group from Mayfield. They enjoy the picking but also get the full tour, lots of tasing of raw veg - the coloured beetroot is a big hit. 

It is educational in a fun way for the visitors and the Burns family absolutely enjoy it themselves and are looking forward to December 2020. In a year or two, there’ll be apples to be picked as well. Joe has planted some 100 trees. The deers, displaced by clear-felling in nearby wooded hills, took an interest at first but seem to have eased off and the apples are growing well.
Pumpkins, sheltered by the barley.

Close to the lines of apples, a couple of hives have been installed by a local beekeeper as Joe and Sandra seek to improve pollination of the apples and other fruit and also expand the diversity of the farm. Another section of land has been planted with oats and linseed and it is allowed grow for the benefit of the birds under a Glas scheme.
Purple cauliflower and Romanesco

Sandra is perhaps best known for the crisps, originally produced in a small mobile kitchen (2014*). In fact, they had really started in the farmhouse kitchen. The mobile kitchen was quickly outgrown and now they have a very impressive brand new permanent facility on site. Here they can do much more. The packaging though is slow and proving something of a bottleneck. A new machine had been eyed up to ease the pressure but, being a fairly large expenditure, its purchase has had to be postponed because of Covid.
All quiet in the crisps unit!

With the farmers markets now off his agenda, Joe is enjoying some extra spare time and they, as a family, are getting out and about a bit more to cheer on their local teams and so on. Still, there’s always something being planned. Take Sandra for instance. She recently shared a Beetroot Brownie recipe with the shop’s customers and “it went down a treat.” She promises to work on another few! No standing still around here!
Sandra and Meghan at a festival in Ballymaloe. Covid19 put a stop to all that. Fingers crossed, festivals will be back soon

The Farm Shop is open every Thursday Friday & Saturday 10-6
Drishane More
Killeagh, Co. Cork P36 X582

* Back in 2014, I tweeted: Just got to get Joe's Farm Crisps on Twitter. Brilliant product. They're still not on but at least you'll find them on Facebook now!
Down on the farm!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Taste of the Week: Joe's Farm Crisps

Joe's Farm Crisps
Joe's Farm Crisp: Beetroot, Parsnip and Carrot.
If you are a regular market goer,  you'll probably know of Ballycurraginny Farm from Killeagh. They sell their locally grown vegetables at Mahon Point (Thursdays) and Midleton (Saturdays).                                

In recent weeks, a brown paper bag has appeared among the potatoes and the cabbages. Its humble appearance hides a tasty gem, dozens of them. I missed out once or twice before getting my hands on a bag of Joe's Farm Crisps, grown and cooked on the farm by Sandra Burns.

Must admit I did't know quite what to expect and was delighted with them, very flavoursome crisps indeed. Made from beetroot, parsnip and carrot, they are delicious and our Taste of the Week! Check them out at the markets or contact the farm at 087-6329334 or by email at

Friday, January 3, 2014

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week
One of the most encouraging developments in Farmers Markets in the last 12 months or so is the cooperation between the various producers and market stallholders. And I don’t mean looking out for one another, which they do.

Dungarvan Brewing Company's use of Badger and Dodo's coffee in their absolutely gorgeous Coffee and Oatmeal Stout was an early example while, more recently Arbutus Bread started used Eight Degrees beer for their Beer Bread.

The most recent one I came across is, I think, a very tasty success indeed, and is my Taste of the Week. Here you have the free range produce of Martin Conroy’s Woodside Farm in East Cork becoming the base of a superb ready to use (well, you do have to heat it!) meal by Flynn's Kitchen of Riverstick.

Basically, the meat balls are made by Iain Flynn using Martin's pork mince, beef mince and lardons. The sauce is tomato based with basil, chive, garlic oil and veg added. And I can you tell us the result is divine! Enjoyed that the other day and now can’t wait to try Iain’s Chorizo and Bean Stew, their other combination, both available at the local Farmers Markets.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Food and Drink Spotting

Food and Drink Spotting
Walnut and Date cake via Lorge Chocolatier Kenmare.
See his delicious chocolate and nougat and more at
this weekend's Kenmare Food Carnival.
Farmer's Market for Camphire International Horse Trials & Festival

Local food and craft producers from across the region are set to feature at the Camphire International Horse Trials which will take place in west Waterford from July 26 to 28.

For those with a sweet tooth Maurice Butler from the Dungarvan based Butler’s traditional Ice cream will be on hand to ensure visitors enjoy some of Ireland’s finest handmade Ice-cream, Baldwin’s Farmhouse Ice-cream from Knockanore and Candy Rock Lane from Cork will also be on hand with sweet treats.

The Summerhouse Café from Lismore will be onsite with their popular local produce along with Helen Murphy’s Catering whilst Volcano Wood Fired Pizza will serve up delicious artisan pizza from their mobile wood fired pizza oven.

According to Festival Organiser, Billy Garvey, “Visitors to Camphire will be able to sample some wonderful local food produce whilst enjoying all the equestrian action of the Trials.  Furthermore, the wonderful views of the Blackwater valley provide a truly unique setting to enjoy what will be a great weekend in our outdoor Village.”

Free Wine and Poetry!
Don’t miss the Free wine at Felix Dennis's poetry readings this week in Dublin and Cork - there's gallons of it, according to Stuart of From Vineyards Direct. Dennis is “one of the most popular, critically acclaimed poets of recent times attracting thousands of dedicated fans across the globe”. Check him out here
 €20 - Tickets / €10 Concessions (Includes pretty much unlimited FVD Wine.....a good time guaranteed). 
Dublin - Thursday 11th July
The Button Factory
 Cork - Saturday 13th July
The Firkin Crane  

Galway’s Masquerade Extravaganza

A carnival of masked revellers, led by a lively band, will wind through Galway’s medieval streets on Saturday 28th September during the highly anticipated Gala ‘Mardi Gras’ style masquerade event, sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants.

Combining five bands, three venues and one great party, the evening is tipped to be the 2013 festival highlight! Guests are invited to don their most colourful clothes and captivating masquerade masks as they venture on the movable feast. In each of the three venues, guests will indulge in a different course of delicious seafood while being entertained by live performances ’til the wee hours.

The Galway Oyster Festival has been hailed by the Sunday Times as “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” and ranks in the AA Travel Guide among Europe‘s 7 Best Festivals as well as most recently winning a place in the Independent UK 10 Best Food Festivals.

As this vibrant city pulls out all the stops for The Gathering, 2013 is the year to taste the celebrated hospitality and vibrant atmosphere that is gloriously Galway. More info from

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Doneraile Farmers Market

Doneraile Farmers Market

Enjoyed my recent visit to the Farmers Market at Doneraile Court. It is a rather small market but there is quite a bit of quality there. And, of course, you can make a day of it by adding lunch in the Tea Rooms plus a walk in the park which has the added interest of three herds of deer.

My first stop was the Bee Sensations Stall where Tom and Croén Ruttle sell honey from their own hives. And not just honey in jars but also in comb form. Besides they use honey instead of sugar in their jams. And these are irresistible! How can you say no to Strawberry, Champagne and Passionfruit? Especially after trying a sample.

We also bought a pot of their Croén’s Kitchen Gourmet Honey, Plum and Passionfruit jam where the Passionfruit tones down, in a nice way, the sweetness of the plum. And another pot that found its way to the city was the Gourmet Honey Seville Orange and Ginger Marmalade.  And some jars of honey as well.

They also do Natural Beeswax Candles and Soaps, Honey Based Sweets, Breads and Preserves.

Hard to drag oneself away from Bee Sensations but we did and got as far as the Skellig Pantry, all the way from Ballinskelligs with some gorgeous fish products, including smoked trout. Also some patés and the one we enjoyed most was their tasty tub of mackerel.

Had a pack of cheese crackers, courtesy of Dan of the Mustard Seed in the car, and was looking for something to go with them. Found it at the Odd Couple Stall, the same Odd Couple that operate an Italian shop in McCurtain Street. They had a range of artisan cheeses from Italy; they personally know the producers. I was interested in the Pecorino, a semi-mature one from Sardinia (they also have some from Sicily). And must say that it went down perfectly with the crackers.

Also picked up a few other bits and pieces at different stalls, including a half dozen organic eggs that cost a rather hefty €3.50. Others stalls there include Dolls House Designs (amazing dolls houses) and the Good Little Cook with their pastas and sauces, including their  award-winning cocoa tagliatelle and Joanne, the Cake Fairy, based in North Cork, who’ll make all your cake dreams come true!

And there is more. Well worth a trip down from the city – you’ll be there in no time. The next market is scheduled for July 14th (11.00am to 3.00pm).

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bandon Farmers Market

Bandon Farmers Market
Baking Emporium

Finders Inn
 Enjoyed a refreshing visit to the Bandon Farmers Market recently, refreshing mainly because I hadn’t seen many of the stalls anywhere else before. Enjoyed meeting up with, for instance, Nathan Wall of the Saddleback Pig Company, the Big Cheese herself and the Hungry Hill granolas.
The Big Cheese

The Market was set up in 2006 by a voluntary committee, who shared a love of good food, to supply a wealth of local and artisan produce to the residents of Bandon and the surrounding area. Early every Saturday morning the car park of the Old Market Garden buzzes with the activity of stalls setting up and the first customers arriving. Fruit, Vegetables, Fish, Cheese, Chocolate, and Cakes are among the many delights and you may warm up these days with a hot coffee.
Heavens Cakes
 Quite a selection of smoked cheeses available and got two big chunks for a fiver, included a delicious extra mature Carbery. Then a call to Nathan and also to Finders Inn for their excellent Ratatouille mix.

Baking Emporium's Apple Strudel
 No shortage of cakes or breads. Indeed, Heaven’s Cakes, well known in the English Market, are based in Bandon and, in addition to the cakes, have some smashing loaves available on Saturdays. The Baking Emporium is well known in West Cork and their Apple Strudel caught my eye. Next door was the Hungry Hill stand. Had a sample or two here before purchasing.
Yeast loaves by Heaven's Cakes
Lots of other stands here, including vegetables (from Ballycotton and The Hollies), fish from Baltimore (always a queue for fish), The Olive Stall, an Italian stall, an Asian one and more. See the full list here

Monday, April 16, 2012

Market Meal #2, thanks to Rachel

Easy meal, thanks to Rachel. By the way, the leaf on the rice is not Lemon Balm (variegated) but  Ginger Mint.
This edition of Market Meal owes much to Rachel Allen as all three dishes are based on her RTE series Easy Meals. The starter and mains were on last week's programme. 

The starter is a spicy squid salad and we got most of the ingredients in the English Market, the squid from O'Connell's Fish. Had a bit of a problem with the rocket though as the stall, deliberately or otherwise, had put their price label across the use by date label. I bought it on the 13th and the expiry date was the 11th. Opened it on the 14th and the rocket, as you’d expect, wasn’t exactly at its best. It was then we peeled back the top label. Rushed up to the local Supervalu and got a mixed bag of leaves (including rocket) in tip top condition.

No problem with the ingredients for the Pan Fried Chicken and Mango Salsa main course. The chicken breasts, which were absolutely superb, came from O'Sullivan's Poultry stall, in the English Market. Must say that all the dishes were easy to cook and all were superb, light and tasty yet filling enough.

With some Mango on hand, we decided to skip last week's suggested Chocolate Dessert and instead choose an earlier Mango and Raspberry Mess by Rachel. Once again, it was a cinch to assemble. And easier still to eat. Just three letters needed to describe this: Yum.

Had to make up my own mind on the wine and struck the jackpot with Little Beauty's Pinot Gris, Limited Edition 2010, from Marlborough, New Zealand. They recommend it on their notes for Asian Cuisine and it turned out to be just perfect. Distributed here by Wine Alliance and available at stockists nationwide. 

Links to Recipes
Squid starter:
Chicken mains:
Mango dessert:
See Rachel do it on the player:!v=1144760

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A wander through the market...

A Wander In Mahon Point Farmers Market

“Have a nice wander” was the parting shot from a twitter buddy as I headed off to the Thursday Farmers Market in Mahon Point. “A wander” I questioned silently.

But the word was fairly apt, even if the market stretches hardly a 100 yards and back again of course with a detour in the middle. But is does turn into a wander. No rush as you stroll and stop and shop, time galore to ask a question, talk about the weather, the new lambs, the new salad and so much more.

Of course the more you get to know the stall holders the more the chance of a chat (great paté
 and fantastic patter from Barry Tyner) and of course Mahon is not unique in that respect. True, but still these are generally friendly folk, always ready to talk. I met one lady stall holder for the first time Thursday, a really cold day, and she immediately confided that she had so many layers of cloths on that she was unable to bend!

O’Driscoll’s from West Cork has to be the most popular stand here. Every time, there is a queue for their fantastic fresh fish; good service and a good price too. Must admit I have a few regular stops: Woodside Farm, Flynn’s Kitchen, Arbutus Breads, Gubbeen, Glenilen, and more.

Go not just to talk but to buy as well. I start with a full wallet and empty bags; end with the reverse being true. And no regrets. Great stuff there: apples and mushrooms from Ballyhoura, chickens and beef from East Cork, tasty sushi, two farmers from East Cork also with great selections of vegetables and also Organic Republic with a big selection of fruit and veg.

Coffee stops, the olive stand, fish also from Ballycotton, a cheese stall, jams and relishes from Una Poynton and an award winning range of pies from Una’s Pies, not to mention Buttevant’s Old Millbank for smoked salmon and other goodies.

And something nice to finish with? No bother. Why not call to Midleton’s Bite-Size (love their carrot cake), Cookies with Character, or the Natural Food Bakery (they also do a smashing carrot cake as well as my favourite white yeast loaf).

I know I have left some out. You may see the full list here.  And don’t forget, if you don’t; make it to Mahon, that many of these will be selling their fares at Midleton and Douglas on Saturdays. So give that wallet an airing and bring a few large bags.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Market Meal (greenfly included!)

Market Meal #1

Are you like me?

Sometimes I head off to the market, without a clue and end up buying willy nilly. Later, have some sorting out to do. Eat this at lunch, this at dinner. Or are you all organised? Head off with a list?

Either way, you can have fun but perhaps we do need some idea as to what to buy. And, to be honest, I usually do, even if a rather vague one!. The market, whether the various farmers markets or the English Market, are great places to fill a menu. Just like this unplanned one that we did this week.

Market Meal #1
Starter: Paté (Barry Tyner).
Mains: Pork Steak (Woodside Farm)
Cheese: Gubbeen
Dessert: Date Cake (Natural Food Bakery).
Date slices

Let us fill that in a bit. Barry (left) does a great Cognac and Garlic Paté but this time we went for the creamy Chicken with Caramelised Onion one. Served it up with toasted White Yeast Loaf (Natural Food Bakery) and a salad.

That salad featured lettuce from Organic Republic. Quite a bit of greenfly on it – suppose that proved it was organic! Shook it up and washed it off and looked okay. In any event, I’d prefer to eat a few tiny aphids than some unseen pesticide!

Martin of Woodside Farm has quite a presence at Farmers Markets; you’ll find him (or wife Noreen) at Mahon, Cobh, Midleton and Douglas. His free range pork steaks, tender and super tasty, are just the job. We did a Paprika Pork recipe (top picture), a simple pan fry, enriched with caramelised onions and crème fraiche (pictured).

It was served with rice and green vegetables. The greens, beans and broccoli, came from the organic section in a nearby Dunne’s Stores. Supermarkets have their uses too!

Gubbeen are regulars in Mahon and the cheese was their gorgeous smoked mature. Two relishes were used (same as with the paté), a Baxter’s Redcurrant Jelly and a Mango Chutney from Aldi.

The Natural Food Bakery have a stall in Mahon and also include the Coal Quay in their itinerary. Besides, they have a shop/cafe at the Daunt’s Square end of Paul Street. I bought the Date Slice* in the Coal Quay and that, plus a cup of Badger and Dodo coffee, provided a fitting end to this Market Meal!

Have you put a Market Meal together? I’m sure you have. Let us know!
* The date slice consisted of layers of oaty crumble with sunflower seeds and a hint of ginger and sweet stewed dates. Wheat free, sugar free and dairy free.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Great see the Farmers Markets back in action. Happy New Year to all the producers and hope to see you in the coming months. Met a few in Mahon this morning and this picture represents a small selection of what was on offer.
Click on image to enlarge

Thursday, October 27, 2011



Go into a supermarket nowadays and you’ll see signs all over the place for meal deals. You won't see such signs at your local farmers market but with a little “digging” you certainly can come up with a convenient meal.

Mahon Point is the farmers market that I am most familiar with and here is a recent example.

Starter: Chicken & Brandy paté from Barry Tyner

Mains: Lamb Tagine from Flynn’s Kitchen.

Dessert: Panacotta from Glenilen.

Lots of variations are possible: olives from the Real Olive Co., salmon paté from the Old Millbank and maybe crab cakes and soups from Flynn’s for starters; various types of Indian dishes from Green Saffron and also Flynn’s do a few more for mains; cheeses from Gubbeen and Marks, cakes and pastries from Bite Size and others, fruits and more for your dessert.

I probably left out quite a few (sorry!) but you can see my point. You can quickly make up a really high class convenient three course meal.

Was at the market this morning and Ballintubber Farm, where we bought our vegetables today, had loads of pumpkins on sale (photo). Stalls were busier than usual – Ian O’Flynn thought it might be because the schools were off due to the election – and we picked up some fish from O’Driscoll’s, various bits and pieces of pig from Woodside, apple juice from Ballyhoura, a favourite yeast loaf from the Natural Foods (photo), and more to set things up nicely for the jazz weekend.

Only regret was that I had to leave before the Beer and Cheese event got underway at noon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Think I'll head up here on Saturday morning - with the shopping bags!!
Click on image to enlarge

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Market Morning.

The Olive Stall at English Market

Markets galore this morning. Where to go? Midleton, Douglas, the Food Fair in Castlemartyr? In the end, settled for the return of the market to the Coal Quay and then a trip to the English Market.
The Coal Quay, which should have been back in action last November, finally had reason to celebrate today. Quite a few stalls back in the renovated street, many selling clothes, plants, and so on and a decent section of food stalls (including Tom’s Bakery – love their country baguette) at the river end.
No meat or fish there so that meant a visit to the English Market. So, following a Charlie Chaplin figure who was getting lots of looks, we made our way to the Grand Parade entrance and made calls to stalls such as Tom Durcan, Bubble Brothers, On the Pig’s Back and Iago as the bag filled up with lamb’s liver, Rosscarbery Recipe Cured Rashers, Manchego cheese and more.
Enjoyed a fine meal in the Cornstore last night but today it was their neighbours The Bodega who were open and ready to serve teas and coffees and more to the customers and stall holders of the newly returned market.
I made my way to their vacated temporary base at Emmett Place, a base they seemed quite at home in for the best part of two years. Called into the Crawford Cafe for a cup of coffee and scone, both top class. Price though was €5.15 while it was just €3.90 across the road at Luigi Malone’s. Make you wonder.
Coal Quay Market - back to base (Click to enlarge)