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Growing Seeds… Without Compost

I was asked about my thoughts on growing seeds and what compost type one should buy last week.

I have written many times on why I prefer were possible to sow my seeds, in particular when growing my own food stuffs as compost-less as possible. Whilst it is great to see the growing at home movement very much en vogue… I hope the big [logic] picture isn’t left behind.

This video summises my thoughts on the logic of this posts title quite well.

 

The Growing Season Has Officially Started

It may well remain a little chilly for some to brave the great outdoors but weather whether some agree or disagree, it seems the growing season has started in Ireland.

The problems that usually arise, garden wise, are best described with hindsight being that of 50:50 vision, in the context that once one sees the plant in its fullest glory one may wish they had planted some of this or that, that could only be there if planted some months previous.

As I look over my own garden, not entirely in all its glory, its clear to see the trees have all started to produce buds. The new growth on the lime trees in particularly amazing to see. Although not as visible, it is quite qevident on that of the Gleditsia too.

This a clear sign that if you wanted to have a ‘I’d love one of them‘ in your space outside, you really would want to make a call on it and have it done sooner rather than later. This timeline also includes trees that need to be moved.

But it’s not just the trees. It’s in the ‘shrub department’ too. Last week at the nurseries the hellebores were just a wee while away from bursting into flower, while the dwarf Photinia was producing some nice new red growth.

My rhubarb still grows were it was first planted in the darkest and dampest parts of the garden. Sidetracking slightly, it is also one of the few that has never been involved in the Peter Donegan relocation programme. In a slightly brighter part, my sorrel, now 3 or 4 seasons old tells me salad may just be on the cards that little bit earlier than expected.

In the beauty spotting category the Jasmine [jasminum nudiflorum] was looking really great and for good reason it remains one of my favourite climbers. On the flip side the hydrangea’s from my friend Philips garden that I planted about 2 seasons ago are just ripe to burst open.

As if I’d nothing else better to do on a Sunday, when I was at Michael Nugent’s garden on Sunday just gone, Michael was proudly showing off all of the bulbs he had planted in his front garden. And when I say all… I mean all of them. Think in tonnage here.

All grown in pots. In anything that could be even mildly considered definitive of the word container and of every type available to mankind in Ireland.

But it’s not just Mick Snr’s garden. Philip has them growing too and not in pots… just willy nilly planted and left to pop back up year after year. The same way I do it.

Rummaging around my shed I found some left over garden bulbs… don’t ask [?] that some how I forgot to plant. I finished dealing with them on Sunday – but from the garden type bulbs to growing your own food, from bulbs, I was also busy planting garlic and onions from sets.

The funny thing is that once the hammamelis goes out of flower the leaves will appear, the lime trees bright new growth will become hidden with it’s large oval leaves. The bulbs will become more prevalent and produce flowers for the kitchen and my onions will produce food. The red growth that spans the motorways of Ireland will turn to green and an entire new range of whats hot and en vogue will appear for us to admire.

The question is will you be braving the elements so that you can have that little bit of glory in your space outside that for very good reason I call the great outdoors ?

note: *all images taken within the last 7 days

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

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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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

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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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