Consultancy for Organic Growers in Ireland

my background

  • 25 years experience in commercial vegetable growing
  • Farming here in Co Clare since 1997
  • Leen Organics was a Teagasc demonstration farm from 2005 to 2007
  • Provided training, mentoring and consultancy to many growers on various projects over recent years
  • Completed MSc in Organic Farming in June 2010 (thesis topic: Farm Field Schools for growers)
  • FETAC 6 Train the Trainer certification
  • Currently Coordinator for the Organic Growers’ of Ireland,  Organic Farming Progrmamme Internship, Horticulture.
  • Member of the Board Of Directors Of the Irish Seed Savers Association
  • Committee member of the Organic Growers Alliance (UK)

Now I feel it is time to pass on some of the techniques and systems that have worked best for me over those years. For further details of my background and experience, see my LinkedIn page.

services offered

farm walks

These are a very useful tool for growers looking to learn more outside the classroom. I have facilitated many such walks over the last few years, going back to when my own farm was a Teagasc demonstration farm from 2005 to 2007. During farm walks, growers are introduced to new techniques and can broaden their knowledge and skills base.

field schools

Organization, facilitation and day-to-day running of Field Schools. Working with small groups using participatory techniques where all members contribute and learn from each other and the group as a whole. This is a powerful, cost-effective and very empowering tool, using hands-on learning in the field.

teaching & training

A classroom setting is especially useful for growers that are completely new to organic growing. It is important that the basic ground rules are established before more practical exercises are attempted. Marketing, technical issues, crop planning, standards issues and systems analysis are all better dealt with in the classroom.

Through fieldwork, growers are trained in the use of machinery, tools, systems and practices. Taken together, these will enable growers to run their operations more efficiently and to scale up their production where necessary.

mentoring

Maintaining a long-term contact with a grower over at least one growing season so that problems can be dealt with as they arise. This can be very useful for growers in the initial phase of establishing an operation where they are trying to put into practice on a commercial basis theoretical knowledge they have learned in a college or through training.

conversion plans

Converting to organic can be a daunting task at first. There seems a mountain of paperwork to tackle and endless decisions to be made. Because we are familiar with the process, we can guide you step-by-step through conversion. Our experience can help your business succeed in those first important years.

Upcoming courses / conferences

Currently expanding my seed saving operations and producing bulk quantities for the Seed Growers Network of the Irish Seed Savers Association. Please contact me for details of planned courses or to enquire about training or mentoring.

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