Sunday, June 27, 2010


Harvested all my Garlic scapes last week and made pesto with them - and froze most, so we'll have garlic scape pesto for some time to come. Harvested some 'All Blue' spuds today from a pot - Yum! And blue all the way through after cooking. Had some broad beans last week - more on the way - and courgettes starting production. Lots of strawberries at the school for the students - redcurrants too, and broad beans. And they had their potato feast last week.

Blackcurrants and redcurrants at home too - where will I find time to harvest them all?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Overwintering onions harvested

These onions have not turned yellow, and still seem to be growing a bit, but I need the space.

Planted 3 types of set last autumn - Electric - a red onion, Snowball, a white one, and Unwins first early - a conventional yellow one. Of the three, the Unwins did the best. Good size and shape. The Snowball is next - they are not so big, but useable. The red electric - very small - and in previous years went to seed. So reckon I should discontinue these.

Now off to plant some beetroot before the rain hits!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Community day and plant sale

Next Saturday, June 19th is the annual Big Day out for Mullingar Educate Together NS. As always there will be a wide variety of food and beverages , lots of kids entertainment, and of course the Green Stand, with loads of plant for sale. Kick off time is 2:30 pm - we had a fabulous day last year - hope it's half as good this year.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Midlands Home and Garden Festival 2010

This weekend I'll be speaking at the Midlands Home and Garden Festival 2010, taking place in Belvedere, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

I'll be speaking on Sunday at 4:00pm - I'll be talking about gardening with kids. Maybe I'll see you there?

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Bloom 2010

Burts Bees garden

Crann Garden

More Burts Bees

School garden with Scarecrow

Great day at Bloom on Thursday. If you haven't been there yet, there's still a day to go - it's definitely worth it.

I arrived on Thursday, at 11:30 - opening time was 11:00am - there where huge queues to get in - lots of people arriving by bus. I made straight for the lost and forgotten skills area, where I heard a great talk by Tommy Osborne about killing pigs and making black pudding. Picked up a good tip for next week, when I hope to get some fresh blood form the pigs Joe is killing - adding a handful of salt to the bucket before the blood goes in will keep it liquid.

Then a quick look round all the gardens , and got ready for my talk at the GIY Ireland show garden (which was deservedly awarded a silver medal).

Show gardens I liked - Fiann O'Nualainn other garden ( he also designed the GIY garden), the Burts Bees garden, and the one with the ducks.

The Crann garden was not so beautiful, but made a great point. they had trees and other plants, planted through a much of cardboard. We did something similar in the school with willow, so I can show the students that we are doing the same as some forward thinking garden designers!

Met Suzie Cahn from Carrig Dulra - she was showing a school garden which she created in 2 weeks - good work Suzie!

Had a picnic lunch, delivered my talk - which was well received, and got a few chuckles in the appropriate places.

Had a great walk around the OPW walled garden - to be honest, this kind of permanent garden wows me much more than show gardens - the plants look a lot more natural. I was dead envious of the corn.

Over the years, Bloom has changed from being all about gardens to being a good balance between gardens and food. This is reflected in the gardens - lots had veg growing, and the artisan produce on sale is fabulous. I stocked up on a good few items - Annaharvey mini cakes, smoked sausages, strawberries, juice, and noticed that the Soul Bakery had very little bread left by 3:30pm. It's great to see such wonderful food being produced, and consumers snapping it up!

There's lots for kids to do - and the craft displays are excellent too. A real smith in operation, with real blacksmiths! I may have to bring the boys back tomorrow!

I took loads of photos, but I was using my iPhone, so they could be better. If you'd like to see some wonderful images, Bord Bia organised a photowalk, and the photos are on pixie. Check them out.

And only noticed the fantastic sculpture at the entrance on my way out ...


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bloom tomorrow

Headed to Bloom tomorrow, with my press pass from Bord Bia (thanks guys) clutched in my sweaty hand. And unexpectedly, this week I got an email from Michael Kelly from GIY Ireland who have a garden at Bloom - they have some talks going on at their garden, and have asked me to speak there.

So at 2:00pm tomorrow, I'll be speaking for 15 mins on gardening with kids. Still have to figure out what to say, but I reckon condensing to 15 mins will be the hard part :-) Hope to see you there!