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The [Un]usual Planter

Here, you have that. You might be able to do something with it….

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That’s quite a regular statement I hear actually. Surprised ? I wasn’t. It’s not the most unusual object I’ve ever been handed. I like the odd challenge and this one was a doddle.

Yesterday I filled the container with some pebble. More to weight it down. It also looks really good. I also had a few hand fulls of pebble in my workshop, so it suited. It also saves on compost and in this case I didn’t have enough 😉

Helen had given me some spider plant babies a while ago that had come on really well…. and I had a spot inside where I felt it would look really good.

Total cost. €0.00

Personally, I’d be over the moon if someone gave me that as a gift.

Coriander – Coriandrum

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Some say it is used as an aphrodisiac. Others know it as chinese parsley or the parsley substitute. But whilst it maybe most used in abundance in cooking… it maybe a lesser known fact to some that the seeds are that used to make curry powder.

Amn’t I just a mind full of trivial information. 😯

The Coriandrum [apiaceae/ umbelliferae] are a genus of 2 species of annuals that are quite suceptable to fungal wilt – so a good airy drafty spot in the glasshouse or kitchen window sill is essential.

That said they are one of the easiest herbs I have ever grown – this was very much a case of fill up some pots with compost and drop the seeds on top. Simple as. I sowed these on February 4th so they were actually one of few that made it through the really low [sub zero temeratures] that we had.

Got a spot on your window ledge or balcony…? buy a packet of seeds. Should cost about 3 euro. Fill and old broken mug with some compost. Water first and then scatter about 5 seeds on top. Easy peezy chalky cheezy 😀

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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ewrite…. technology for a gardener #7

The entire list of companies for ‘technology for a gardener’ is/will be here.

guaranteed.

guaranteed.

This is piece #7. This is eWrite

A little over 1 year ago I had huge problems with my website inc. the costs to update them… in hindsight so rediculous, knowing what I know now. The entire point of this session of articles. Note please, I don’t and haven’t used this product – but it gets notoriety because it could have saved me in more ways than financial [see paragraph 4]. The problem I have, moreso have had, is for example when I go to a mechanic and he tell me something like…

yeah the monkey wrench leaked oil all over the half shafts neutrons and the calibrator and crank house is torn to shreds… we’re gonna have to replace the cd player as well…

It was like that for computers 😆 back to it…. ewrite is 100% Irish owned and run, based in Cork, started in 2000 and I know of no other alterative to it. Genius! I emailed Gordon Murray of ewrite for some ‘info I can understand’ of what and how it all works. Here’s what he said…

eWrite started out developing websites and applications for customers. Along the way we developed some software internally to make our day-to-day jobs of updating customers websites a little easier. Now we sell that software, a content management system called eWrite Lite and an email marketing system called eWrite Messenger.

I’m confused here…. slightly… but here’s where it gets good and here’s why I like it

  • Ewrite Lite allows a business to update their website at any time from any computer connected to the net. Its very easy to use and aimed at non technical people.
  • Ewrite Messenger allows you to import or create email newsletters and send it out to hundreds or thousands of email addresses and track the readers.
  • For new users or existing users that forget what they’re doing, we have tutorial videos to show you how to use the software.
  • You can try out a  free demo of the eWrite Lite which allows you to pull in afew pages from your own website to edit.
  • Theres a demo of eWrite Messenger at  which allows you to send out your newsletter to hundreds of dummy email addresses and check that they’ve arrived.

The beauty about all of this is if you are unsure, slightly confused or just a little stuck… you just pick up the phone and ask for Gordon! It was also reviewed by Damien who put a lot of logic on the matter of its advantages and you can browse through eWrites blog here.

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beautiful cork....

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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…. .