Organic Farm Walk - Andrew and Leonie Workman, Dunany Organic Flour
On Wednesday 11th May at 12pm Andrew and Leonie Workman of Dunany Flour Organic in Drogheda, Co Louth will host an Organic Farm Walk. Here Elaine Leavy Teagasc Organic Specialist & John Brophy Business & Technology Advisor give some information on their farm enterprises
Andrew and Leonie Workman have been farming organically for the past 18 years. From a tillage background growing cereals, there have been many changes in relation to the crops grown and routes to market since 2004.
Initially grain was grown and sold into the animal feed market. With fluctuating grain prices, they looked at other ways of selling grain. They decided to grow wheat and then rye and spelt for flour. This has now evolved into a family farm business where the Workmans are growing, milling, packing and distributing their organic wheat, rye and spelt from their farm. Oats is also grown for the organic porridge market
Organic Cereal Enterprise
The organic cereals grown on the farm is divided between winter and spring crops. Last October winter rye and spelt were sown. In April spring wheat and spring oats were sown. Harvesting usually begins in August, starting with spelt then rye followed by oats and finally the wheat. The Workmans have a contractor in for ploughing and do their own sowing and harvesting.
Clover on the Farm
Red clover is sown in a monoculture on the farm. The red clover acts as a valuable break crop as part of the rotation, improving soil structure, fertility, limiting weed invasion and supplying organic matter. The Workmans mulch it 2-3 times during the growing season
White clover has been under sown with the spring oats. The white clover was sown at a rate of 2kg per acre. Andrew is hoping that this will help suppress weeds while also improve soil fertility and soil structure. This will be ploughed back before the next crop is sown
On Farm Milling
About nine years ago, Andrew and Leonie wanted a way that they could add value to their grain themselves. They decided they way to do this was to start processing the grains themselves and that is when they started milling. They also recognised an opening in the market for other organic flours from other grains such as spelt and rye, which they then started to grow. Over time the Workmans sourced all the necessary equipment.
Here is an overview of the on farm processing that takes place:
- After harvesting the grains are cleaned pre drying.
- Grains are then dried.
- The grains are cleaned as many times as is required, depending on weed levels.
- The spelt goes through a further process of being dehulled.
- The grains are then stored in 500-700kg bags.
- Milling takes place according to demand.
- This is followed by packaging, labelling and storage before being dispatched.
Andrew and Leonie are very happy at how they and their farm have evolved in the past eighteen years.
Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and organic organisations invite all farmers and members of the public to see organic farming in practice and to meet and speak with the producers and sector’s experts.
On Wednesday, 11th May at 12pm, come see organic farming in practice at this Organic Cereals and Milling Flour Farm Walk of Andrew & Leonie Workman, Dunany Flour Organic, Drogheda, Co Louth. Eircode: A92 T6CC
Find out about other organic events here
Get more information on organics in the Organics Section of our website here