John Greene is an accomplished grower of seasonal soft fruit. At Greens Berry Farm in Tinnock, Gorey, Co Wexford (just off junction 22 for Gorey on the M11), John is putting into practice his childhood upbringing on the strawberry farm his father owned. He has over thirty years experience growing a variety of summer berries for the retail soft fruit market and his own two outlets (one of them located here at the entrance to the farm). In summertime, when the farm is at the height of production, a large and very colourful open stall at the farm entrance tempts passers-by driving the main road to stop and take a look. The stall is a colourful visual display of baskets of all the lovely fruits he grows. Also on sale here find Greens jams and preserves, homemade from farm fruit, plus Irish apple juices and John's new potatoes in season. Home grown farm berries include strawberries, blackberries and raspberries grown on a mix of indoor and outdoor canes and bushes. Strawberries are grown in peat and all berries are hand picked to ensure fruit in optimum condition and without bruising. Biological pest controls and Integrated Pest Management methods are employed - that is the use of bugs to eat other bugs that eat the berries - which cuts down on the chemical spraying normally essential to maintain crops in large scale commercial soft fruit growing. This means healthy vibrant fruit tip top quality and ripeness, ready to be enjoyed.
Tom Durcan, craft butcher of over twenty five years experience, is a master of spiced beef. It has won him many honours. This fine Cork speciality is the underlining product at his butcher’s stall in the English market. Tom’s career began as a youngster, when he took a summer job in a butcher’s shop during school holidays. The experience proved invaluable. Working with an experienced butcher with his own slaughter house provided what Tom describes as a ‘fantastic education’ for the young novice in how to source animals, and the ground rules for good butchery.
West Cork has long been a trailblazing region for new artisan food production. Toons Bridge Dairy takes it's name from the nearby bridge over the River Toon, in a small and picturesque hamlet in the Macroom countryside in West Cork.