Situated in the rolling hills of Balrickard in Ring Commons and accessed by narrow country lanes that defy it’s close proximity to Dublin, this beautiful 77–acre farm has been in the McNally family since the early 1960’s. The current custodians are Jenny and Pat McNally along with their five adult children who are all involved in the family farm business.
Pat took over the running of the farm from his father in the 1970’s. Originally it was primarily a livestock and tillage farm but it also produced the staple vegetables of that era in Ireland, mainly potatoes, swedes and cabbage. Jenny and Pat married in the 1980’s and they began to diversify, growing the likes of French beans and mange tout, which were quite exotic in Ireland at the time. They initially supplied the big vegetable distribution companies and supermarkets but found it impossible to meet demands such as supplying French beans already topped and tailed.
McNally Family Farm joined the Temple Bar Food Market in Dublin in August 1997. They decided to go solo and sell directly to their customers, and they expanded their range to meet customer demand. Within a very short timescale they built up a reputation for their wonderful range of top–quality home–grown organic vegetables, fruits, salads and herbs, and their own yogurt and preserves.
The McNally family itself also grew, and all five children were involved in the business from a very early age. They did everything from helping with sowing seeds and weeding on the farm, to harvesting and working at the markets. Now all young adults, they continue to assist with diversifying and expanding the business to meet current consumer demands and to create unique customer experiences, ultimately highlighting the important link between grower and consumer.
Sarah runs her own catering business and is also involved with the markets, cafe and farm related events. Aoife is a food scientist and is working on developing an industrial kitchen where the current range of preserves will be expanded to include pickles and chutneys, ensuring that all the farm produce will be used in season, thus reducing food waste. She looks after the production and development of the yoghurt-based products and is also working full time on the farm. The twins, Patrick and Stephen, work full time on the farm along with their parents Jenny and Pat, ensuring that their wonderful local, seasonal and organic produce is available all year round to supply their dedicated customers.
Niamh was instrumental in setting up the farm shop and café and along with Sarah they have plenty of great ideas for future events, including pop up seasonal harvest dinners. A visit to the farm shop is a social experience as much as a shopping one, where it’s not unusual to end up chatting about food with other customers or sharing favourite recipes for using some of the exotic vegetables, salad leaves and herbs on offer, over organic fair trade coffee and home-made treats.
Farm produced seasonal vegetables, fruit, salad leaves and herbs; yogurt and drinking yogurt; preserves - jams, marmalades, chutneys and pickles. The farm shop also stocks a range of products from local producers – Ariosa Coffee; Corleggy Cheese; Scéal Bakery bread; herb teas from Intelligent Tea; organic herb seeds from The Herb Garden; Llewellyns apple juice, cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar.
Food markets (Sandyford, Temple Bar, Dun Laoghaire) and farm shop
Baked Goods, Beverages, Coffee
Local Food Hero, Irish Restaurant Awards. Recommended by McKennas Guides.
Organic Trust CLG