Archive for the ‘Skerries CHG’ Category

Sustainable Skerries Hosts Éanna ní Lamhna of RTÉ Radio’s Mooney Show Wednesday 8th June 7.30pm – Little Theatre In conjunction with Vita a charity supporting sustainable development in the Horn of Africa – Donations welcomed


Everyone Welcome


Come along, listen or contribute to Bio-diversity, conservation, food and water issues relevant to Skerries


Water Conservation –We promote water conservation in Skerries, encouraging rain water harvesting and raising awareness on ways to reduce water consumption in the home and in business.


Food Supply – We work with a local farmer in the Community Harvest Group and with Fingal Co. Co. in the establishment of the Skerries Allotments, as we aim to ensure that our Community has a sustainable food supply.


Energy Smart Skerries – We assist initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses in Skerries, through better insulation, more efficient lighting and other smart energy saving measures.


Resilience – Our goal is to prepare Skerries to become a resilient Community, able to provide basic needs of Food, Water and Energy in the years ahead.


For more information and / or to get involved please contact us on :


email: sustskerries@yahoo.ie



 087 2266922 Frank


086 0643498 Mary


087 2417930 Marjorie





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Extract from article submitted to Organic Matters (IOFGA’s quarterly magazine), by Rosaleen McMenamin

The Skerries Community Harvest Group got off to a flying start on Saturday morning, at 11am at the Farmers Market by Skerries Mills. The vegetables boxes were all beautifully presented, thanks to our organic farmer, local man Paddy Byrne – all his hard work had paid off! There was a great buzz in the air, members sharing a tea or coffee and eating some of Ger & Debbie’s fabulous homemade scones – a real sense of community being formed.

In advance of the launch, a group of volunteers from the CHG arriving at Paddy’s farm on Friday evening to get instructions about where to pick and what to pack. Paddy patiently guided us in our endeavours! Our job was to fill the blue vegetable boxes donated very kindly by IOFGA (Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association )and have them ready for members the following morning. [A special mention to Grace Maher from IOFGA who personally collected our donated boxes and delivered them safely to the farm, thank you Grace for that and all your support to the Skerries Community Harvest Group! ]. We picked beautiful fresh organic spinach, parsley, white and golden turnips, three varieties of lettuce and rhubarb. These were all allocated according to Paddy’s instructions and of course Paddy’s wonderful organic eggs completed the boxes.

At the launch of the Skerries Community Harvest Group there was a huge sense of trust: for the members trust in knowing where our food was grown, how and by whom; for Sustainble Skerries a trust in the resilience being built up in local food growers; and for Paddy Byrne, our local organic farmer that he can grow food organically, the way it was meant to be grown and that there is a community of people committed to him, every step of the way.

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The core group are  members of the CHG who are giving some extra time to make sure that the project is a success. Some have been involved in developing the idea right from the start while others have joined the group more recently. We profiled the most important member, Paddy Byrne, in the last newsletter, so here is a bit about the rest of us!

Rosaleen McMenamin – Acting chairperson

Born in Mayo in West of Ireland on small farm, I’ve lived in Dublin for 20 years. I’m married to Paddy and we moved to Skerries in 2006. We both love it here and feel it is our home. I’m passionate about local sustainable economies for the independence and security it gives. I’m inspired by E.F Schumachers’ book ” Small is beautiful”. I was introduced to concept of Community Supported Agriculture by fellow Sustainable Skerries members, Bronagh and Frank and I’m thrilled to see the CHG – Skerries come alive and so looking forward to the first box in May 2011!

 Bronagh Ni Dhuill – Treasurer

I’m a teacher and have been living in Skerries for the last five years with my husband and our daughter. I’ve been involved with Sustainable Skerries since 2009. Ernestine Woelger and a group fom the Community Association and a few other volunteers (me included) organized the Launch Day in May 2009. The Launch Day was held in Skerries Mills and brought together lots of groups & businesses involved in sustainable stuff ( solar panels, etc.). It was a very successful day and from that we held an information night in the Little Theatre. Lots of people turned up to this and from that group came the Sustainable Skerries group that we know now.

 Ger Nee – Farm Visits Co-ordinator

Another Mayo woman, married to a Galwegian called Dave and living in Skerries since 2005. Having grown up on a sheep farm where we produced virtually all our own food, I am passionate about supporting our local farmers and in knowing where our food comes from. We needed very little persuasion to get involved with the CHG after meeting Rosaleen at the Community Association AGM. When not figuring out how we will cook chard, we can be found out hill walking or on the water!

Jim Fennell – Membership Co-ordinator

Jim has lived in Shenick Ave with his wife Mary for 7 years.  He is a retired teacher, enjoys a little golf and follows The Dubs.  He is an instructor with the Irish Water Safety Association in Portmarnock pool.

 Debbie Killeen – Communications

From East Galway, I was brought up on a sheep farm which gave me a great interest in where our food comes from and taught me the value of supporting the local economy. Married to Enda, we moved to Killalane, 5km from Skerries in 2009. We have 3 children, aged 4, 2 and 9 months who are already big fans of the eggs from Paddy’s farm. The older two are experienced growers of peas and strawberries and I’m delighted the CHG will be a chance for them to learn even more about how their food arrives on the plate.

Grainne Enright – Communications

I teach technology (and sometimes computers, maths or science) in the Loreto Balbriggan. I live on Strand Street with my husband Paul and my kids, Sarah (12) and Sam (9). I like reading and films (and am a member of the Rockabill Film Soc), and I’d like to be a better cook, so hopefully the vegetable boxes will give me inspiration.

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The idea of Skerries CHG came about when Frank McKeown and I attended a Convergence day in Cultivate last year . As part of the day’s talks the farmer involved in the CSA in Cloughjordan gave a talk about their CSA and how it worked. We thought it was a fabulous idea and when we reported back to Sustainable Skerries meeting everyone else was really excited too. We began to research the concept. They have been working wonderfully in places all over the world since post WW2 years.  As we researched it we began to talk about different models and which would suit Skerries best.

When we began to think about the practicalities of finding a farmer, we didn’t have far to look. Someone mentioned the sign outside Paddy’s farm as you drive up to Ardgillan. Rosaleen rang Paddy and arranged to meet and chat over a coffee in Olive. Paddy was very interested and agreed to look at what we had in mind. From there we have had numerous meetings in Joe May’s discussing the ins and outs of a CSA for Skerries.

Anybody we spoke to about the idea was very excited and as a result we didn’t even have to advertise too much to get the group of members that we now have ready to start in May.

Bronagh Ni Dhuill

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Our first veg boxes will be ready on May 7th and to celebrate we will be holding a launch at Skerries Mills at 11am (details of collection will be confirmed by email before then). It will be a chance to meet as a group, have a cuppa and get to know each other a little bit as we pick up the first boxes. We’re inviting some of the press along too. It’s an occasion worth marking so please do come along!

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What is Skerries CHG

Skerries Community Harvest Group (CHG) was recently launched by Sustainable Skerries. This is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme. It is a partnership between the people and the grower where we all work together to provide healthy, local food for our families and our community. This partnership allows us to share both the rewards and also the challenges that our independent farmers face every year. CSA’s are a relatively new concept in Ireland but they have been working wonderfully in USA, Canada and in Europe for many years.

By joining, we as members become a part of where our food comes from. Each member pays a set monthly fee, and in return you receive a weekly box of locally grown, freshly picked organic vegetables. As a member you can also visit the farm on Member’s Day to walk the land, learn about the vegetables being grown or even  help with the harvest. A newsletter is sent out regularly keeping you involved in the daily happenings on the farm and recipes. By forming CSA’s we strenghten our community’s links to the land.

The CSA allows everyone the opportunity to have access to a resilient, local and healthy food supply.

Who benefits and how?

 The Land:

  • Is preserved for farming
  • Preserved from harmful farming practices
  • Nurtured into fertile, bountiful soil
  • Soil is protected for future generations

 The Farmer:

  • Is given an opportunity to make a viable income by growing food in a responsible and harmonious way, directly supported by the consumer, no middleman
  • Knows he is going to sell his produce at a fair price because he and the members agree the price upfront
  • Can have confidence that he will have a market for his crops as the members make a yearly commitment to him:  to pay an agreed fee monthly in advance through the growing season and collect their produce weekly at an agreed distribution point
  • Has the pleasure of knowing who his produce is going to and consequently feels more care, responsibility and reward in his work
  • Is relieved of marketing labour and can focus more on growing food

The Members:

  • Receive local, fresh, seasonal vegetables delivered on the day of harvest
  • Pay close to supermarket prices for fresh, seasonal, mostly organic produce
  • Know where and how their food is grown, who grows it and have the opportunity to partake in the miracle of growing food
  • Are provided with a structure through which they can support a viable local agriculture and contribute to a local economy
  • Become more aware of their relation to the land, farm life and processes that make our lives possible

The Wider Community:

  • Preserving good farming practice and local food
  • Community building of people who share concerns about our future
  • Local economy as money paid for the food stays in the local community

If you are interested in learning more or in becoming a member please contact us at:

Email:  sustskerries@yahoo.ie

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Welcome To Skerries CHG

Well this is our new Blogsite, you will find recipes, Info on your next veggie box, whats coming into season on the farm. etc etc.

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