The Black Rabbit Market is based outside the Links Co-operative at St. Raphael’s Centre, Youghal. The gardening team have been growing vegatables for local restaurants and hotels around the town for the past eight years. Because of passing trade and customers calling for the organic products, demand has led to the opening of a stall every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm.
The Links Co-operative Initiative consists of the gardening team from the St. Raphael’s community working alongside Alexander Wheeler, Horticultural Therapist with St. Raphael’s Centre, Youghal. The name comes from reported sightings of black rabbits over the years in the fields near St. Raphael’s Centre.
The main products are mixed leaves, salad leaves, red and green lettuce, rocket, mustard, various herbs all in a salad bag, spinach, couchettes, butternut squash when available, depending on the season. Such is the demand that more polytunnels may be need to grow the organic products.
The Polytunnels are made of polyethylene and semi-circular in shape. The interior heats up because incoming solar radiation from the sun warms plants, soil, and other things inside the building faster than heat can escape the structure. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. Temperature, humidity and ventilation can be controlled by equipment fixed in the polytunnel.
The links co-op was set up back in 1995 as a worker co-operative and any money thats made from the produce goes straight back into the co-op to buy compost,seed and equipment and servicing lawnmowers etc, the rest goes back to the workers in dividends and are completely self sufficient.