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sonairte ecology centre

You might think that this is just some woodstock sort of hippies juncture where waifes hug trees and stare at the sun…. I say wake up and smell the fairtrade recycled gound beans coffee… 😆

they say:

Sonairte continues to provide a beautiful sanctuary to walk, sit or meditate. In March the bare trees along the nature walk show up the beauty and shape of the Nanny estuary. In the garden the daffodils are brightening up the winter shades. More volunteers are starting to come out of hibernation to join in the spring propagation and planting season

I hadn’t been out to sonairte so recently. No particluar reason… I think I just got caught up with life and the ‘stuff’ that goes with… anyhow.

What had happened since I was last out there at the hedge layers association day is I became good friends with one of the volunteers, Natasha, who like many people I know in my life – is doing what she does because she is passionate about it ie. money does not equal motivation. I like this.

I’m not saying give anyone any money. No sir! But where soooo many have jumped on the green eco freak bandwagon… for financial gain, Sonairte survives in my opinion because the journey is continuously borne from like minded people who care.

Natasha tells me that Meath County Council have been great to them – but pretty much they rely upon people visiting [or donating to survive]. Am I asking you to write a big fat cheque… no!! In fact she and the other volunteers are working for free at this moment in time. What I am suggesting is that you pop out… take a look and tell me if I am wrong. All you gotta do is buy a coffe or a plant like you would any where else….? More than fair I say… and you’ll feel all super dooper as well 😆

It is the ultimate place for those who love life, enjoy holding hands, home made everything, the unusual, the creative and most importantly the inspirational.

They run courses there which are really cool [view them here]. I particularly like the one coming up on chickens… something I should have done before I got them, but it’s never too late. I think I might try this one…

KEEPING CHICKENS IN YOUR BACK GARDEN

Time:10am – 4pm

With Fiona Crowe – a producer of Organic Eggs with12 years experience of keeping laying hens and other fancy poultry. Aimed at people who want to keep 3 to 10 chickens for eggs for their own table. Morning in classroom, afternoon, handling and practical experience of hens.

Cost: €75 (Lunch included)

Date: Saturday, April 18th

Whatever you do… do gown down. Have a coffee, do or don’t get durty… enjoy what has to be one of the cheapest and happiest places you may ever visit. And if you do feel like dressing up in your bell bottom pants complete with tee pee in arm… just remember to wear some flowers in your hair…. .

good topsoil

...angels dust!

...angels dust!

If you are buying topsoil – buyer beware – this really is a case of cheaper can often be more tearful than cheerful. Buy from a reputable source and before it is tipped in you’re driveway… jump in and have a rumage around.

The [generally speaking] golden rule for good topsoil is the darker the colour [ie. on a scale of concrete block to peat briquette – the closer it is to brown/ black the better]. The second rule is that it should not be overly clumpy and stick in lumps [too much] to the soles of your shoes when you walk on it [ie. it should be akin to walking on a sandy/ yet soily beach-ish], but colour generally tells so much.

Whilst I admit I do have a funny way of describing things, you can *see* what I’m saying…?

notice the difference in colour?

notice the difference in colour?

Poor soil, means longer labour hours and when the 20 tonne load – approximately 800 wheelbarrows – has to be moved by wheelbarrow and loaded by hand, believe me paying €50-100 euro more for you’re product, is [when you know what you’re getting] well worth it. As a rule of thumb, good soil should cost about €350-400 per load.

That said one can go a stage further and buy a graded mix topsoil or compost which comes in large bags. Expect to pay €150 per tonne approximately. This is a lot more expensive but – depending on the task at hand – it might just be the one for you. Sometimes 20 tonne is just too much and a load delivered – no matter the size – is a load delivered. That said, the pre bagged mix also allows you to calculate exactly where you want it placed and calculate.

In all things soil, remember it can often cost more to get it removed!

Tree leaves may have a bio-cycle


go make a difference - book review peter donegan

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Among the many books in my library I have a little gem called Go make a Difference – over 500 daily ways to save the planet. Whilst the book relates mainly to mainland UK it is still quite a fine journal crammed with useful links and thins that can be so easily done to help our planet.


One genius little junket was to do with a company who sells products made from from recycled tyres! Remarkable Technologies Ltd however have a website which is brilliant and whilst diddling through it over the weekend I found this page/ paper called Tree leaves: A free source of energy, literally falling from the sky where the author Eric Knight believes that ‘A new, renewable energy source, tree leaves, maybe the ideal earth-friendly bio fuel feedstock for the production of ethanol and/ or as a secondary fuel source for power plants.’

That one may not be so relevant to the general populus… but for apartment dwellers and bedsitters to those in country mansions – if you only did one of these per month in your life… As one of the reviews on the back by John Vidal, environment editor with The Guardian says, ‘How many people does it take to change the world? One to buy this book and six billion to act on it’.


free!! allium sativum

Also known as Garlic, these cloves [fresh] from China I bought in Superquinn!! Carbon footprint my tusche. The builders have destroyed my crop so I needed a fresh batch to grow from. I was surprised to discover their origin but these will be planted & not used for cooking.

To grow: Split the cloves. Plant 2″ down & 4″ apart. Plant now and lift at the end of summer when the leaves die off [as you would with most bulbs]. Let them dry and/ or replant. Free garlic!

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