Paul Sunderland Farm
Sunderland Farm is in Gorey, Co. Wexford, owned by Paul Sunderland. They grow cabbage, beetroot, turnip, parsley and courgettes.
‘There is 3 of us that take care of the farm. We have 6 or 7 acres, it’s a small farm but it’s important to us that we are providing local vegetables in Wexford’
Paul’s farm is based on a very high hill and the one disadvantage is that it can be a bit more windy in this area.
Sunderland Farm will cut the vegetables in the morning, deliver to Cullens fruit and Vegetables and Cullens deliver it to Monart in the same day. If extra courgettes are needed, Cullens Fruit & Vegetable Farm is right beside Sunderland Farm so it can be picked and delivered in the same day. There are great advantages in supporting local food producers, fresh fruit and vegetables are always available.
Sunderland Farm has been supplying Monart for 10 years and supply the below vegetables;
Cabbage is very weather depended it will always grow quicker in the summer months (approx 60 days). The heat helps it to grow and as the weather cools it takes longer to grow. Winter crop would be planted in July and won’t be ready until January. Paul grows 6 varieties of cabbage. ‘We find cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables’
Courgettes can’t be planted too early because the frost will destroy them. Sunderland Farm is on a hill so the wind can be a bit of an issue with the courgettes and they need to be observed daily. They’re a very time consuming crop to grow, they need to be picked everyday or they will overgrow but depending on what size courgette you want. You can let it grow for 6 weeks or pick it earlier for a smaller size. When a courgette overgrows it is called a marrow.
Courgettes grow with a beautiful edible flower. Monart use the flower and all different size courgettes. From one plant you could get roughly 20 courgettes, the plant keeps growing. This plant is sealed with plastic so it keeps them clean.
Turnips are weather depended as well. If the weather is mild they will be planted in February if not we wait until March to plant them. Turnips are covered until they are 3 weeks off harvesting then we will take the cover off. If they are not covered they will shoot up and over grow. The turnips smell amazing when growing!
Az (head chef in Monart) searched for golden beetroot to add to his menu, so this is why Sunderland Farm started planting it. Golden beetroot takes about 2 months to grow from sowing. You can pull the plant earlier if you want small beetroot but for the full size beetroot it will take 2 months.
Parsley looks after itself, you could get up to 2 or 3 pickings from the same plant. It is a very hardy plant, if it freezes over it will thaw itself out.
Have you noticed any huge changes farming in the last few years?
Yes there has been a huge change. When I listen to my father talking about farming back in his day, people are definitely not eating as many vegetables as they used too. There is a bigger choice now but the traditional vegetables are not as popular but there is a huge increase in people eating/using herbs. We started growing parsley here at Sunderland Farm for Cullens so they can get it fresh in the same day.
What is the most satisfying aspect of being a farmer?
It is definitely the satisfaction of watching your crop grow and being able to cut it.
Everyone can enjoy your fresh local vegetables then.
Supporting local is a huge part of Wexford and we are proud that Sunderland Farm produce ends up on the plate at Monart.