My name is David Lindsay and I run and manage Picked Organic market garden just outside Moneyreagh, Belfast. We started back in early 2018 with a bit of a mad idea to start growing veg at scale in a way that benefited the local environment. The project has expanded massively since then, accelerated in part by the pandemic and an ever increasing demand for locally and sustainably grown food.
The market garden is a recent, lockdown project, the field was in grass for years, grazed for sheep
Fruit, Herbs, Vegetables
The market garden is about 1 acre in total, this includes a processing shed, 85 permanent no dig beds and 2 large polytunnels. This isn't large in a traditional sense but we grow bio intensively with an emphasis on faster growing crops like salads, spring onions, baby carrots and tomatoes etc; this allows us to harvest quite a large amount of food on a relatively small area of land.
This has been a bit of a learning experience for Picked and something that has grown organically over the years (excuse the pun!)
We have adopted a bit of a hybrid model when it comes to selling veg as we feel it covers most bases. We have developed a good relationship with some local green grocers who love our mixed leaf bags and baby tomatoes. A couple of restaurants and cafes in Belfast that do magical things with our produce and of course Source Grow who have been immensely helpful in too many ways. We also operate a seasonal veg box scheme which we hope to expand in 2022.
Approach to regeneration and sustainability
We work on building soil health, making some of our own compost, no chemicals.
Vision for 2030
This is always a difficult question to answer and may require a bit more introspection. As it stands, we will look to dial in efficiencies, work out what works and what doesn't and find more customers that love our veg and our approach to growing food in a sustainable way.
We would also like to be able to create enough compost on site and reduce the need for external inputs.
Another thing we are passionate about is inspiring other growers interested in growing food for their local community in a way that's sustainable and healthy.
We know we still have an awful lot to learn and look forward to all the trials and tribulations that lie ahead of us.