Maria Flynn at Ballymakenny Farm in Ireland is one remarkable lady – and so are the marvelous heritage and specialty potato varieties that she grows at the Farm and are marketed to high end restaurants in Ireland. Beautifully coloured creations, filled with the best nutritional value that only potatoes can offer. Where else to find these but in Ireland?
From humble beginnings just a few years back, the heritage and specialty potatoes grown at Ballymakenny Farm are today some of the most sought after potatoes by chefs working in Irish restaurants. And this all because of Maria’s undeterred efforts to create a ‘Happy place’ to go to on the farm while it was trying to get through what seemed to be a downward spiral. Her “go-to place” were the heritage potatoes that are now becoming so famous. And it is paying off day by day…
Talking with passion about the various coloured varieties that are produced on Ballymakenny Farm, Maria was recently quoted as saying: ““Our flagship product, Violetta, will always hold a special place in my heart. It is a lovely, colourful, great tasting potato. The seed is sourced from Skea Potatoes in Scotland. The colour is in the seed and is produced by a naturally occuring anto cyananin, the same one that naturally occurs in beetroot. And because of the natural purple of the Violetta, it is high in antioxidants.”
Maria also grows Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Frivole, Long Stem Broccoli and Sweet Stem Cauliflower. For Maria, the chefs in Ireland’s food industry influence what she will grow: “We try to grow produce that chefs would otherwise have to import.”
While Maria could imagine “100 different things to do with my life”, she loves what she does at Ballymakenny Farm, saying: “The fact is that we are farmers and we need to have a sustainable business and adapt to what I see as the changing landscape for farming in Ireland. Creating and driving forward a new business in our late 40’s was never the plan, but it became the necessity. The joy in it all is the utter pleasure the chefs are taking in what we grow, that keeps me going.”
Maria won two prestigious awards this year because of her outstanding efforts: The W&A Women and Agriculture Award 2018 and the Eurotoques Award.
For more information about Ballymakenny Farm and to stay up-to-date with all their latest news, you can visit them on Twitter – @BallymakennyF. Maria can be reached on Mariaflynn70@gmail.com. More information and pictures about the story and the varieties grown at Ballymakenny can be found in this article.
It is a real pleasure to present to our readers just a few photos below that depict the marvelous heritage and specialty potato varieties produced at Ballymakenny Farm. We hope our readers appreciate these as much as we do here at Potato News Today! (Btw – if you were to refresh/reload this page, the display will show up with a different collage of the pictures)