Below are some common questions we’ve received. If you cannot find an answer to your question below please feel free to contact us here.

What’s in a weekly bag?

Each Saturday over nine months, members receive their organic vegetables in a paper bag (sometimes two!) containing a variety of produce. This covers summer, autumn and winter crops, while spring is reserved for sowing seeds for the year ahead and preparing for crop rotation. 

In summer we plan to produce…

Salad leaf, scallions, chard, radishes, beans, cucumbers, coriander, tomatoes, kohlrabi, courgettes, summer squash, basil, chillies, and baby potatoes.

In autumn we plan to produce…

Kale, potatoes, beetroot, celeriac, pumpkin, fennel, butternut squash, swede, turnip, and cabbage.

In winter we plan to produce…

Winter squash, parsnips, carrots, parsley, onions, leeks, broccoli, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, mustard leaf, and Brussels sprouts.

Please note that some of this harvest may not be available as all crops are weather dependant. For crops that we are unable to grow, we buy them in from another local Irish organic farm – for example potatoes, carrots and cauliflower

Membership of the farm involves sharing the risk of a poor harvest with the farmer and the other members. With the CSA model it is understood by all that we share equally in the risk and the reward!

How does the steering group stay in touch with the members?

Members receive emails regarding any upcoming events at the farm in addition to notifications via WhatsApp/text from the farmer during the 9-month season. We will also endeavour to update the website regularly, we have a Facebook page and X/Twitter too. Important notices about members’ meetings will be emailed to all current members.

I can’t afford the share cost. What is possible for me?

If the fees are more than you can afford, please contact our membership coordinator at membership@derrybegfarm.ie to discuss further. When possible, we provide a bursary scheme to assist members on low or no income. Bursary schemes only last for one year.

Is the farm receiving EU subsidies or other grants?

The farm does not receive EU subsidies at present. Each year the steering group applies for eligible grants from the local council or other initiatives.

How long has Derrybeg Farm CSA been operational?

We have been going since 2012. We have a licence agreement with Kildare County Council, whereby we have permission to grow organic vegetables on the one acre site.

We are part of a CSA network and draw upon the knowledge and experience of other CSA farms currently operating in Ireland. We are connected with the international agency URGENCI.

Can I try if for a while and then opt out?

The nature of community-supported farming means that members need to commit for a year. If you find that the scheme is not suitable for you, then you do not have to renew your membership. At any rate, it probably would be best to give it a full year, with all the different types of vegetables in each season, before deciding finally if it is not for you.

What happens when members are on holidays?

Since the farm needs support throughout the year, payments need to continue even if you are on holiday. You can arrange for a friend to collect and use your vegetables when you are away. If nobody can collect them, please let the farmer know, so that the excess can be distributed among the other members.

How will I collect/receive my share of food?

You can collect produce direct from the farm at Mooretown (opposite Salesians College) on Saturdays, between 11am and 1pm. Produce will be harvested throughout the day on Friday and Saturday morning and will be divided into bags by 11am on Saturday.

You should collect your share on Saturday during the pick up window as salads etc. will begin to wilt if not refrigerated. We have a WhatsApp group where members can coordinate collections for each other if convenient and to minimise travel.

How can I get involved in working on the farm?

Volunteers are always needed and appreciated at Derrybeg! For anyone wishing to help with farm work, they may contact the farmer or volunteer coordinator directly – info@derrybegfarm.ie. After a brief chat and completing a volunteer form you can begin. After a two week trial period it is then possible to volunteer long-term if you wish. All volunteers must be over 18. Members, those living nearby, as well as college students can help out. We also work with local community groups and welcome individuals who may have additional needs to volunteer, if accompanied by a support person.

Jobs and workload can vary throughout the season. Some days it might be sowing seeds, weeding or watering, while other days it might involve painting or construction, or simply harvesting the vegetables on a Saturday.

There are a multitude of things to accomplish on the farm from regular essential jobs such as sowing, planting, harvesting and maintaining the beds in all of our plots to fun projects like tree planting!

Do members have to work on the farm?

No. Members are required to do nothing more than pay their fee and collect their produce. That said, there will always be opportunities for members to work on the farm if they wish.

Is getting a share of seasonal vegetables every week going to suit me?

Receiving a share of local vegetables, in season, every week for nine months, is different from shopping in a supermarket or even at an organic market. You don’t choose the food but take whatever is available that week. So you need to be able to plan your meals around the produce you get. There are lots of recipes on the internet and on our social media.

Preparing the vegetables is also more time-consuming than when you buy them ready-washed. However, with a little forward planning, it is possible to simplify the food preparation and to eat very well at the same time. The quality of the food will be very good. Its price compares very well with supermarket prices. And rest assured your food has little to no carbon footprint!

What are the advantages of local, organically grown food?

Local food is picked very close to the time you consume it. It has less handling and transport than food that comes from further away. This means it is fresher and more nutrient-rich. Local food also gives you a connection to the growers, the land and the other members of the farm community.

We use no plastic packaging, only brown paper bags for larger items, biodegradable compostable bags for more delicate produce, and twine or paper tape when needed. We encourage members to return their bags for re-use.

Are the vegetables organic?

Yes, all our vegetables are grown organically but we do not have official organic certification at present. We do not use any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or artificial fertilisers of any kind.

Can I exchange vegetables I don’t like?

All members receive the same items. Unfortunately as we’re such a large CSA, it’s not possible for volunteers to customise different shares. However, you can use the WhatsApp group to swap among the community, or pass them on to family or friends.

Do I need to pay membership as a lump sum?

We need as many people as possible to pay their membership as a lump sum. That said, this is often not feasible for people so we are also able to take payment as monthly instalments. Contact the Membership Coordinator at membership@derrybegfarm.ie if you would like to pay your membership in this way.

When and how do I pay the membership fee?

The due date for signing up for each season is May. Subscriptions for the year must be received by then. The easiest method of payment is by direct bank transfer but we can also accept cash and cheque. As above, members can also pay their subscription in monthly instalments.

If you miss the May deadline for signing up and if spaces are still available, it may still be possible to join. Please contact the Membership Coordinator at membership@derrybegfarm.ie.

How much is a season’s subscription and what quantity of produce does it contain?

Please see the membership page

In what way do the members manage the farm?

Derrybeg farm is a not-for-profit enterprise run on cooperative principles, which are:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member management
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training, and information
  • Co-operation among co-operatives
  • Concern for community

The steering group takes care of finances and legal matters. The farmer(s) make the decisions about the day-to-day farming tasks. The steering group also consults members about other matters relating to the farm. For example, members will help decide how money remaining from membership fees at the end of each accounting period should be used. We use a consensus process to make decisions in the steering group and among members.

Overall responsibility for the running of the farm will be in the hands of the farmer(s) but they will work closely with the steering group, who represent the members.

Meetings will be held twice a year for all members in order to discuss progress and the future of the farm.

Finally all members will be free to visit the farm and talk with the farmer(s) if they want to know more about how the farm is being run.

All subscriptions will be used to pay inputs and wages. Any money left over will belong to the whole group and can be used to expand the farm or buy in excess or novel produce for the members. Decisions on what to do with any surplus will be made at a meeting of all members. In the event of the farm dissolving, once any debts are paid, all of its assets will be donated to another similar enterprise.