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Promoting Local – LoveFresh

Are you a local egg supplier in Ballyboughal ? Maybe a parsley grower in Tubbercurry ? Maybe you are are an ethical traveller and looking to eat the most local produce possible ? What if you did and found a cheese producer in Bandon and simply wanted to tell the whole world about them ?

One of the hardest things, even for me living in farmland county nowhere is finding the most locally sourced produce. The fact that it maybe organic or homegrown is [and so it should be] to your preference, but what if you wanted to globally make a difference ?

Someone it seems just has. What if I told you that via technology local could become international….?

Personally, I really enjoyed listening to Mark Spofforth and the story of Lovefresh

Call it what you may – but once again this is the individual doing something for the greater good and promoting what is local rather than what is greater for a promotional body. It is more than that putting the small guy, the local guy live on the map for the entire world to see and that has to be a good thing.

What do you think….?

Contact Mark and his friends at Lovefresh

  • Lovefresh on the web
  • Via Twitter @lovefreshHQ or Mark @MarkSpoff
  • email: mark@lovefre.sh
  • telpehone: [0044] 0207 617 7183

I like this bit for producers….

Producers – we connect you with your community!

Lovefre.sh bridges the gap between producer and community by providing producers with some simple, social tools. We will soon be rolling out our Producer specific features;

– ‘Claim’ your location and provide contact details and opening times, which are then viewable in the app. As people travel near you, they will be advised of your location and can contact you with a click.

– ‘Blip’ ‘What’s Fresh’ on a daily basis, to anyone who is local to you.

– ‘Menu’ allows you to maintain a simple 10 item list of what’s good, fresh and in stock.

– ‘Profile’ lets producers curate their favourite photo’s, audio and comments about their business. From within the app. A superbly easy way for you to establish a web presence, with a few clicks.

We want to encourage you to interact with your community. Our goal is to make that very easy for you to do.

We hope you’ll get in touch with us so we can get you involved in Lovefre.sh and help your business thrive. Contact us here, or e-mail beta@lovefre.sh so we can set you up as a Producer Beta Tester – which will give you early access to all features, as we roll them out.

Give us a call if you’d like to chat more.

Best,

Mark

The Real Pumpkin Farm…

pumpkin

pumpkins

I had written an article last year on growing pumpkins from seed [check out the comments for ] and it seems many of you are on the hunt for pumpkins…. particularly pumpkin farms.

I did try and I did put the S.O.S out there for you. But there was very little response. If you know of anyone – leave a comment & make them famous 😉 But I did ring Natasha in Sonairte [click here], a place I have visited in Co. Meath [ just past balbriggan] many times. The mother of all gig for kids has to be the pumpkin carving course….. It’s times like this even I wish I had children 😉

Natasha sent me this email:

Pumpkins are such cheerful bumps in the garden aren’t they?  The perfect colour to remind us which season we are in. Growing up in Australia, one of my fav winter dishes was pumpkin soup and you can’t beat roast pumpkin sprinkled with rosemary, thyme and salt.

News just in!! I have been out in the garden just this afternoon, chatting to the gardeners. They tell me that due to the inclement weather this year, our stocks are depleted, and everything has now been harvested! But don’t worry, there are still some left including some big rounded beauties! They are a bit pricier than what you would buy in other shops, not for growing up organic, but because they should keep for several months.

Sonairte’s pumpkins and our other organic produce and plants can be found at the Dublin Food Coop every Saturday, 9.30-4pm. Its an indoor market, Newmarket Square just off the Combe, Dublin 8. Here you will find fantastic organic food products including wines, breads, cheeses, dry goods and good coffee. www.dublinfood.coop. The market has a lovely, friendly atmosphere and you can by lunch and read the papers at your leisure. Alternatively pop into Sonairte itself and visit our ecoshop. We are on the Laytown Road just off Meaths coastline! Only 40 minutes from Dublin, there’s a bus service stopping right outside. Most convenient, especially if you’re carrying a pumpkin! The ecoshop, café and river walk are open 10.30 – 5pm wednesday to sunday

FYI, Sonairte hosts a Pumpkin Carving workshop, for adults and children. Its next Friday 30th Oct, Time: 11 -1pm, Cost: 20€ (1 adult, 1 child,1 pumpkin!).

For anyone who would like to learn more about growing their own veg and fruit, here are the details of other courses.

Thanks Peter for your time. If readers have any organic gardening queries, they can feel free to give us a buzz.

Cheers

Natasha

pumpkin-jack-o-lanten-2

pumpkins...

Other sonairte courses this year:

SOFT FRUIT AND FRUIT TREES IN THE GARDEN

With Kathy Marsh. A complete course on fruit growing for amateurs, covering choosing, planting, pruning and propagating.

Date: November 7th and 8th, 10- 4pm Cost: €120 or €75/ day (incl. lunch)

DRY STONE WALL BUILDING

With Bob Wilson (CELT). Covering basic techniques from foundation to capping. Also corners, steps, stiles, retaining walls and garden features and introduction to the use of lime mortar. Bring strong boots and rainwear .

Date: November 7th and 8th, 10am – 5pm. Cost: €150 (incl. lunch)

GROW IT YOURSELF

Course tutors Kathy Marsh and Geraldine O’Toole. A one day course at an affordable price to get you started on producing tasty, cheap and nutritious organic vegetables in even the smallest garden

Date: Saturday November 14th. Time: 10am – 4pm. Cost: €35.

*Please note that lunch is not provided. Our cafe will be open or you can bring your own and eat it at our garden picnic tables. All our courses can be viewed on our website. For more information and to book: Call 0419827572, e-mail: info@sonairte.org, website: www.sonairte.org

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bord bia invests €1m irish export market

First up a quick peek at the market place.

Here’s the stats:

the irish food market

the irish food market

Ireland’s agri-food sector plays an important role in the Irish economy, accounting for almost 9% of employment and 10% of Irish exports. As much as 65% of manufacturing exports by Irish-owned firms are estimated to consist of food and drink.

The UK is the main destination for Irish food and drink exports, accounting for 45% of the total; 32% go to Continental EU markets with the remaining 23% going to non-EU markets. The Irish food and drink sector has the highest usage of Irish produced inputs across major sectors in the Irish economy with close to three quarters of the sector’s inputs sourced domestically.

Irish food and drink exports fell for the first time in 2008, by 6.5%, to just under €8.2 billion. A further decline is anticipated in 2009 arising from continued sterling pressure, severe difficulties in the global dairy market, and the impact of the economic downturn which is bringing pressure on returns across all sectors. However, there is some prospect for a return to growth in 2010.
It is at this point that I’m a big believer – you dont cull the spending. One increases it.

it has to be worth something...

it has to be worth something...

And this is exactly how they are gonna do so:

A graduate Fellowship Programme aimed at boosting Irish food and drink exports and supporting Irish companies expand their market reach was launched by Bord Bia  [in Dublin today].

25 experienced graduate Fellows will be placed in the international marketplace and will partner with 100 Irish food companies on whose behalf they will undertake 200 key assignments across 33 international markets. The €1 million Marketing Fellowship Programme, will be run in association with the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

On being launched by Minister Brendan Smith TD he commented that:

the programme will play an important role in helping Irish companies to diversify into new markets while seeking to protect existing export business that last year exceeded €8 billion in value

The administration of the programme, for which recruitment is to start immediately, was awarded to the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business following a tender process.

While the graduates will be based full-time in the marketplace, the programme will also incorporate six academic modules at the Smurfit School and marketing assignments will be rigorously assessed. The graduate Fellows will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in International Marketing Practice on completion after twelve months and will then have the option of completing a Masters degree.

The programme will cover all food industry sectors, from prepared consumer foods to meat, dairy, beverages, seafood and horticulture. The markets covered will include the UK, Continental Europe, Russia, Asia and the United States.

worthwhile...?

worthwhile...?

Aidan Cotter Chief Executive of Bord Bia noted that:

The initiative, in particular the completion of some 200 business development assignments, will provide us with the most comprehensive overview ever of commercial market opportunities and Irish supply capabilities.

Bord Bia will integrate the new Fellowship Programme with a range of other market building initiatives planned by the organisation to assist the food industry broaden its export reach.

A new, targeted trade awareness campaign will focus on the European marketplace and coincide with the industry’s largest ever presence at Anuga, the world’s most important food and beverage trade fair, taking place in Germany this autumn. Some 22 Irish food and drink companies, representing sectors from meat and dairy products to seafood and frozen foods, will exhibit across five exhibition halls at the fair, which takes place in Cologne from 10th to 14th October.

Bord Bia has also decided to bring forward Marketplace 2010, to build on the momentum the Fellowship Programme is expected to create. Marketplace, which will now take place in Dublin next February, will bring upwards of 250 food and drink buyers from UK and mainland Europe to meet with Irish suppliers.

In the meantime, funding for its Foresight4Food programme, designed to support companies bring consumer focused innovations to the market is being expanded. In total, Bord Bia is investing more than €1 million in additional market building initiatives that will run in parallel and be integrated with the Marketing Fellowship Programme.

In January, Bord Bia indicated that the task of “Broadening Export Reach” had become a major strategic priority in light of the challenges the industry was encountering in the marketplace as a result of the global economic downturn and currency volatility and the need to seek out new opportunities.

every little helps....?

every little helps....?

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allium ursinum.. eh…? allium triquetrum

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This is wild garlic. It is the ultimate in free food. You’ll find it in most hedgegrows and damp woodlands. Go and grab yourself a little clump… a *little* clump I said! Plant it in and around the base of some hedges, near a ditch or a damp patch.

Around this time it is a simple blanket of white flowers. And so very pretty. You’ll know it because the beautiful waft that will come your direction…. will let you know.

Here’s the low-down so I don’t bore you to absolute botanical tears

  • it’s related to this little beauty, the Allium rosenbachianum 😯
  • it’s also related to supermarket garlic clove, the Allium sativum
  • the difference here is the leaf is used for the flava’.
  • because of that you can crop away to your hearts content, forever!
  • it tastes a lot milder
  • great substitute for garlic & spring onions & you won’t be ‘stinky breath’ 😆

Unknowns to most all of the photos above look the same… maybe? What you have is two brothers than can do the same job. Because for thr purest, there are two types of plant in those 6 images. The wider leafed single flower is the Ramsons or Allium ursinum….. images number 4,5 & 6. While the ‘3 cornenerd leek or the Allium triquetrum is more grass like in leaf and the flowers come in little clusters [rather than in singles] – see images 1,2 & 3.

A little ode to Calvin for reminding me all about this… funny how he managed to do so… 🙂

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