Mick Keogh and his son Patrick and Michael Keogh run Keogh’s Vegetable Farm.
How many years has the business been in the family?
Keogh’s Farm is 5th generation now. We originated very close to Monart, now we’re in Crossabeg.
We grow cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, kale and sprouts.
We’re up early every morning cutting the vegetables. In the summer you need to make sure your up extra early before it gets too hot.
When growing crops you need to make sure that you are always rotating the crop.
How long do leeks grow for?
Leeks take about 9 or 10 months to grow. Leeks need a good bit of sunlight. We have a huge amount of different varieties here.
Rabbits enjoy nawing on our leeks so we have to keep a close eye on them. Like all vegetables you can pick it when it’s at the size you want. Full size Leeks are great for cooking with but baby leeks can decorate a dinner plate and be eaten.
Leeks get their name from themselves – when it rains the water stays at the bottom of the plant so when you do cut them they leak out quite a lot of water – hence the name. The more rain we get the quicker the plant grows. It’s natures way of helping the crop to grow. We grow a number of different varieties of leeks here.
We like to plant a lot of our broccoli in July here at Keogh’s Farm, it takes about 75 – 90 days to grow.
Why did you decide to start growing kale?
Kale is very popular these days, it is known as a super food.
Kale is very frost resistant, they’re easily cut. There is a lot of juice in the plant therefore it seems to be the new health craze, people are juicing with them.
Cauliflower is sold by piece so it’s very important that you get the size of cauliflower right. Nobody wants a tiny one or a huge one so we need to keep an eye on the size of them. As soon as it’s the right size you have to cut it straight away, if you don’t it will just keep growing. Not a lot of people grow it as it needs a lot of care and attention. The best way to grow cauliflower in the winter is near the coast so the breeze from the sea helps to stop them from freezing. The salt breeze really helps, that’s why Wexford is such a great place to grow crops.
Keogh’s Farm supply cauliflower and broccoli to Monart all year round.
The snow is a terrible thing when we’re growing crops, In 2010 during the bad snow we lost a huge amount of crops and on a particular night, temperatures plummeted to minus 16 degrees! There’s no blankets that can save the vegetables from that weather unfortunately!
People are wanting to support local more now than 10 years ago and it’s great to see!
I find it’s very important to support local.
When you’re spending money in the local area you are supporting your local area and that’s so important.