Gardening…. It’s Kids Stuff

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You may remember I was asked to do a gardening class at the La Leche League of Ireland annual conference. On Saturday 6th March I travelled to Maynooth Co. Kildare to do just that.

I know I’ll be doing a gardening course soon, but, there are some obvious major differences in the populus breakdown of those attending on March 20th.

Most can drive cars. Legally. On a motorway. At speeds of up to 75km per hour. Some will shave and in general I will assume most have their house not in a tree.The class mates on this occasion where very much the opposite. 😉

If I did have a plan…. it went straight out the window within the first 10 seconds. The general idea was to grow some seeds. To get the hands dirty. To do so inside and to have some fun with gardening in mind.

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In a previous class the children had decorated old glass jars and these were used instead of pots. Compost was felt and softened, hardened and softened again. It was stuffed into jars and emptied. The seeds were opened and compared; the large broad bean seed versus the speckle of dust like lettuce seed. Funnily enough, most of the boys chose the big broad bean while the girls chose chives. So much more practical and logic they decided.

All in all and in just under 2 hours the class was completed. Some asked for extra advice on how to care for theirs… others already knew. My only fault, in hindsight, was the fact that I was an Arsenal fan and that didn’t go down so well with the boys…

The jars were sealed up ready for some to take their seeds on a long journey to their new home. Either or it was gardening and it was great fun. I just hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂

Many thanks to Joan Broe and Jennifer Foxe for being so nice. Really appreciated 🙂

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A Gardening Course …?

update 13th March 2010: One space has become available… pop your name down below, email or text me if your interested 🙂

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Over the last weeks I’ve been researching chatting with some friends about gardening and the usual how to bits of outdoor advice.

From those conversations came the suggestion that I should do a crash course of some format in ‘gardening‘.

I did teach horticulture and courses before. But this class request or what one should get at the end of it is to be slightly different as those urging me to do so are not horticulturalists – moreso they have a window ledge/ balcony or only wish to garden in small amounts and stints.

The outcome…? Either a one day course in gardening at my homestead or a 1.5 hour evening course in Dublin City Centre over a 3/4 week period. The majority in this case decided on a one day workshop.

To tailor make this session to the people and their wants I am proposing the following:

  • a one day crash course from 9.30am – 3.30pm
  • The first day/ date is Saturday March 20th
  • cost of materials only to be covered set at €60 per person
  • you take home what you make on the day
  • lunch will be included
  • to take place in Ballyboughal [it’s near Swords/ North Dublin 😉 ]
  • numbers will be limited to a maximum 8 people only

What we will achieve on the day:

  • gardening basics
  • how to grow your own from seed
  • growing plants on a budget
  • window ledge balcony gardening
  • looking after your plants
  • planting your planters
  • growing in a confined space
  • not enough hours in the day/ the 10 minute gardener
  • herb and salad kitchen gardening

this email just came in and sums it up nicely….

Basically: this is for the [wo]man, parent, adult, child who wants to do a bit of green living but not farming. Enough to have summer salads, fresh herbs, maybe even some fruit – at the same time logic enough that you’ll watch footie/ daytime tv and go out rather than hug trees. You’d like a bit of green, you need a place to start but without getting bamboozled – and let it grow from here….

The idea is simple enough and if numbers run over/ demand is great enough/someone approaches me with a suggestion I’ll do a second class/ consider those options then.

If you would like to do this class – or – have any queries or suggestions

  • pop your name down as a comment below
  • email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • telephone me on [vodafone prefix – and then] 6594688

What do you think …..?

UPDATE:

If numbers fill up for the first group of 8…. assuming there is demand enough – I will do another day course. Put simply I’ll let the names spill over to a second group of 8 and we’ll call it from there. Crawling versus walking and all that cliché stuff 😉

Once again – your course/ class made better by your suggestions…. pop them in comment box below 🙂

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How Do I Know So Much About Breast Feeding …?

peter donegan

I must have the most varied career I have ever known. Definitely in the context of the great outdoors…. Here’s some of what I did for the year 2009. Anyhow….

Last week I got a phone call asking if I would speak at a conference.

J: Hi Peter its Jenny can you talk…?

P: Yeah sure Jen how are you and the garden and all that…?

J: Yeah good. Listen I put your name forward to speak at a conference. It’s for the….

P: Excellent stuff, thanks Jenny, thats great, really appreciated. What is the Leche League anyway…?

J: Well its a group thats been on the go since….. breast feeding….. and you know…. breasts and feeding and breast feeding…..

Fair enough that’s not what she said…. but it was all I could hear.

I admit I am of the male sex. I was born pre 1980. You know. Boys out room – the girls need to talk sort of genre. I still walk on the outside of the road. I didn’t know my Father had a voicebox until I was 32. Back to it…

P: So you want me to speak to all the Mothers about…..

J: Eh Peter no…

P: I mean I could do a sort of

J: Peter…

P: Well the last time I did a talk I did a…

J: Peter! It’s more for the children …of the mothers like 30 – 40 children about 8-12 years of age…

P: Sure… yeah Jen that’d be great….

I had put it to one side. Not ignoring it. Far from it. More I guess I didn’t realise forgot that a small country [in amount] of women are so far better organised than the U.S. Army.  That is a compliment by the way 😉 On Saturday when I got this email in. I rang Jane after and signed my name down.

Hi Peter,
The La Leche League Conference is on this year on Saturday the 6th and Sunday 7th of March in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
La Leche League ( la leche means, The milk) is a voluntary organisation founded in 1956 that is dedicated to providing information and encouragement to breastfeeding mothers. We are a worldwide organisation with over 3,000 groups. Ireland currently has over 100 accredited Leaders and 38 active Groups.
The conference is a family affair and while Moms and Dads attend the various sessions on this years exciting programme the children need to be kept entertained too.
This is where you come in.
I have perused your website with much interest (I love the video of pink boat) and your sheer enthusism for gardening, (and life) is wonderful. I love the story of you growing plants under your bed at 5 years old, you certainly knew what you wanted to do from such an early age and now you are living the dream, you are truly blessed.
We would be absolutely delighted if you could come along and do an hour and a half session with the 7 to 12 year olds on Saturday afternoon.
One of the La Leche League Philosophys is “Good nutrition means eating a well balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible”.
It would be so good for the children to hear your story and then learn how to plant up little containers and grow their own fresh, organic herbs at home on a window ledge.
Hopefully there will be more then just “herb seeds” planted on the day, would’t it be brilliant for the “seed of enthusism” for gardening to take root in the children.
See you then
Joan Broe
As always, I am all organised. And some how or another I can see this making the list of all the things I did for the year 2010 😉 Intersting gig…. looking forward to it.

Masamba Green Recycled Christmas Music…?


Christmas is almost here and packaging as we all well know is a definite by product. With that in mind recycling is a word that should be substituted in its place. This is what Repak have to say on the matter.

As households around the country wrap their presents and stock up with extra food and drink Repak is asking people to keep a green eye on the extra 75,000 tonnes of packaging from biscuit tins and beer bottles, to toy boxes and wrapping paper that could be recycled.

Repak aims to collect and recycle 48% of the Christmas packaging waste generated over the holiday period. It is estimated that a massive 75,000 tonnes of packaging will be generated by Irish householders this Christmas.

To get you in the mood Masamba, a band whose music is created from recycled materials will be playing South King Street In Dublin from 4-5pm tomorrow 22nd December 09. I stopped by the launch of Repaks Green Christmas campaign today to see what you can expect…..

more pictures over at Pix.ie

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Trim 2025 – the carbon [r]evolution begins

Before you read this – read Trim 2025 to go carbon neutral

In what may have seemed, to some, like an almost niaive scenario to percieve… it now seems that young Martin Tighe literally has started what is now the most enviable vision ever to evolve worldwide and this one from a town in Ireland called Trim. Ladies and gentlemen… The carbon revolution has just begun.

In an all star headline act some spoke of the redemption required to change that same old heads of town events, boards and committees…. and whilst the presence of Noel Dempsey may have attracted some – it was the fine and independent minded speaking of David Mc Williams who stole the show.

That was until the music kicked off….

Whether you are 6, 16 or 106 years old… this really was a day for Trim, in its entirety, to stand tall and to be extremely proud. I’m not talking some group of contrary county councillors seeking to prove their worth to the local papers and a bunch of men in suits holding cardboard cheques… This is close on verging Bono country and it is every piece of energy that a green revolution should be.

One last thing before – the last thing…. where the fork where the green party….?

Martin Tighe, stand up sir and take a bow…. The world is watching.


The one thing I took from this…..? anyone, any person all of the doom and gloom merchants, the nay sayers…. you know who you are and if not, everyone knows at least one……. fork you! It can be done. I listened to young Martin. No older that 30 years old – who took on an entire town… and won’t stop there. I listened to Mc Williams…. stuff the government and stuff you if you are sitting on your arse looking for someone to blame. We know what they can’t do…. but you can. And you can. As a btw… I’m almost 10 years in business. I borrowed the tools for my first job. I’ve never been the recipient of any welfare or grants of any format…. and now Martin who doesn’t even live in Trim…..  and you know what he’s right…. I’ll give him the final word….

Many, many special thanks to all the very kind people I met in Trim.

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