With the worldwide pandemic as a backdrop, Meade Farm’s growing team quietly worked away, planting hundreds of acres of potatoes, carrots and onions for the coming season. They started on 19th March in Clogherhead, Co. Louth with early potatoes and wrapped on 2nd May with organic carrots in Castletown, Co. Meath. Conor and the team measured their days in acres not hours, not finishing until they got the job done. They are happy to report that all the plantings look good; they hope at harvest time this will be reflected in yields.
“Our season started a bit late due to quite a bit of rain heading into the planting season. The land needed to dry out a bit before we could get it. However, we made a good recovery and kept at it once that window opened,” Farm Manager Conor O’Malley revealed. “There was a good bit of wind once the rain stopped and that really helped dry the land out.” Each field is first tested for soil suitability. Once that has been established a nutrient plan worked out, they follow it up with ploughing, ridging, rotovating, de-stoning, with sowing as the last step. Every crop in every field has slightly different needs when planting, but with a bit of luck in the weather, good agronomy will usually yield good results.
With increased acreage now being planted for all crops, the growing team are poised and ready for the important work that follows, managing the crops until harvest time. They are looking forward to utilising the Garford Weeder they purchased last year to assist with weeding. Meade Farm have set targets to decrease the amount of artificial inputs and increase the amount of organic and natural inputs used to manage crops. The Garford Weeder removes weeds around the plant but leaves the crop intact using visual scanning technology. It represents one of the many ways Meade Farm are committed to meeting their sustainability targets.
“The scene is set, now let’s see how we grow,” laughs Conor.