growing your own fruit, veggies and herbs getting dirty and generally living the good life

plan[t] a herb garden

herb garden layout...

herb garden layout...

a herb is defined as both an aromatic plant that is used for flavouring in cookery & medicine and a seed-bearing plant whose parts above the ground die back a the end of the growing season.

What I have here is parsley [petroselinum crispum], mint [curley], oregano [origanum vulgaris], sorrel [broadleaf], thyme [thymus faustinii], lavender [lavandula munstead], rosemary [rosmarinus officinalis], chives, garlic [allium sativum], blackcurrant [var ‘ben nevis’], redcurrent [var ‘jonkheer van tets], gooseberry [var ‘whitesmith’] and olives [olea europea]; looking quite good against a a hedge of bay leaves [laurus nobilis].

A wise investment for a carbon conscious chap like myself.Thanks Mother Nature for delightful frightful Irish weather I don’t even have to use my harvested rainwater! have a great weekend – and as always enjoy!

slán ags beannacht – peter

going green – is it a waste?

skips...

skips...

I made a conscious decision some time ago that if the earth, landscaping to be precise, was my work then I as best as possible and the donegan landscaping team should work to a little more for the earth. It sounds like a fair deal and it is. It wasn’t that I/we did nothing green from the outset, but more a company strategy of sorts needed to be put into practice to create an ethos that could be improved upon.

When selecting trees out of season we try [it’s not always possible] to use trees from ‘air grown pots’ [like the ones above] as they’re reusable.

The green waste from garden is, naturally, recycled. The large wood heats the office and the softer, smaller wood goes to mulch.

When we buy compost and bark that we cannot generate ourselves it comes from recycled materials – rather than from bogs.

When we do, we also only use mulching mowers – a big carbon saver!

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One would assume it stops there…. ? There is the usual recycling of cloth material, electric appliances, glass, cans and also when shopping giving back all packaging; energy saving bulbs and a very well insulated building; we also located ourselves within a four mile radius of four main suppliers – more than that? the coffee grinds, tea bags and fruit peels etc. go to the green waste heap.

To reduce paper we recycle envelopes; we’re decommissioning our facsimile machine and moving to emailing company documents; waste paper is also turned over & used for note paper and then made into a máche type fire log to heat the office via our wood stove.

We buy Irish products, locally when possible – I know that’s got something to do with carbon footprints somewhere.

Is there more I/ we do? Is there more we can do? Since starting almost eight years ago now we kind of figured through our monthly meetings ourselves to this point – surely we can do a little more?! can we?

save a tree… recycle an envelope

I was looking at ways of making office life a little ‘greener’ recently and one monthly meet suggestion was to recycle our envelopes. A Forais na Gaeilge translation later, being that we are Barr 50 and we [sara] came up with this green – irish sticker.

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At present we heat the office from recycled timber and compressed paper, mulch our coffee grinds and tea bags etc… as much as we can [another blog required I think…]. But is this something more of us should be doing more of ??

Next on the list is decomissioning that darned facsimile machine!

no! i said borax

borax

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I was out with Jane Hall of ecoshop a while ago. A nice day out to Glen of the Downs if your looking for some inspiration. I bartered some of my time for hers and we had a natter and some coffee whilst discussing some projects where intelligent landscaping would benefit. As a thank you for my brain converting thoughts into speek… Jane sent me a big box of borax. I’d read so many greener books and unusual for a man with four sister, a woman in my life was listening!

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral, soluble in water. What can it do? Just about everything cleaning wise the books say. Now I’ve just got to give it the test… If you’re out the farside of Dublin, Janes shop is a shrine to an ethic every Irish man should live by.

Happy Sunday and as always, enjoy!

alternative irish energy and sellafield

sellafield...

sellafield...

According to the Sunday Business Post, September 30th 2007 News Section, Green Party energy minister Eamonn Ryan will address a two-day conference hosted by independent transmission system operator, Eirgrid. The annual conference will address issues facing the national grid, including customers’ experience and the all-island energy market. The conference, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry Demense, will also host a workshop on the development of renewable energy, such as onshore, offshore and ocean technology.

According to Caroline Allen [commercial report SBP] the government wants one third of electricity consumed in Ireland to come from renewable sources by 2020, but describes this as “ambitious and achievable”.

The Sunday Independent decided to run with the story of The four towers of Sellafield that were taken down on Saturday Morning sending a massive cloud of dust over the Irish Sea.

With Lusk, North Dublin and the Hill of Tara fighting for survival against a quick decision making government, one might wonder why I can’t have a wind turbine and why is 2020 is the deadline for this Emerald Isle?