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As one can gather… I have quite a vast and varied gardening book collection. But recently I have found it quite extremely difficult to buy anything that could be considered original. Even more difficult than that is to find anything at all original and Irish.
I did email hughes and hughes. I also emailed easons. For those outside of Ireland they are probably Irelands biggest retailers of books. I queried who selected the books for the gardening section…. it was some time ago now but I got no answer.
Once again, I was in Waterstones [not the most Irish] book shop on Dawson Street. Yes folks, when I’m not scouring the aisles looking for nouveau paraphernalia I am looking for new reading material. 😉 Waterstones deserve massive applause. They don’t know me. I don’t know them…. but we have more books in common than other book shop in Ireland.
A lot of them are specialist, or coffee table style books – but a higher than others percentage are Irish, written and referenced.
There are two main issues. Or two things I look for when choosing a book. The first is, is the book of any use or is it just a rehash of something that has already existed. Most recently, you will find that has appeared in the ‘organic’ or ‘grow your own’ department. Formerly it was simply called growing fruit and vegetables. But en vogue labelling obviously sells.
The second issue, after I narrow it down to a book I like is, as I can gather, is that most books are published for the UK market. That’s absolutely fine. But when it comes to the reference bit at the back… they are all UK companies. If for example it is to do with recycling…. it makes the book of very little use.
I know there are great books out there. I know there are great independent book stores out there. I am not all wishing to knock here. I am I suppose hoping it may [at the very least] improve the quality of what is for sale on the market at this moment in time. To those who don’t have grandiose garden book collections… it’s very akin, to analogise, to only being able to buy Stock, Aitken and Waterman music.
Whilst I am on the subject, there are always those a little more amazing and unique at their job…. If you do know one of them… go ahead and give them a mention.
If this post makes a difference, a publishing house wishes for me to review their garden books… a book shop wishes to put their message out in response to this – I am more than happy to do so. From this maybe we will all gain…. All you have to do is contact me.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.sonairte.org
I like this book. A little more expensive than my last book review at €44.70 – but well worth it.
I had about three of Johns book in my library up until recently… but very unfortunately they [and a large amount of others] grew legs and decided to go walkies 🙁
To put in context how good John is – he was awarded an MBE for services to horticulture 😯 That’s damn good.
As a result, one ‘may’ think that Johns book would have the pants bored straight off you… but if you look [not even] quite closely you will see that the square root of so many gardens of today are equal to that of John Brookes designs. On the go since before The Beatles made it famous – and he is still in fashion.
The best of the case studies of Johns work are included from Zespol Palace Park [poland], Sprinhill Grove [australia] to Samarés Manor [chanel islands] the list goes on….. and he’s done them all. What is likeable also about this book is that it is coffee table style and beautiful enough for a non-biblical-botanist to browse through…
For myself I like the insight into the mans past and his career. Admirable. Astonishing. Love it.
it is so very true… One may wonder why but it is in fact very necessary.
So that I don’t bore you to absolute tears – I’m gonna break this post up into two/ three parts. But I’ll try and keep it short and to the point. The first will give you a general gist; there’ll be some links to government articles if you wish to delve a little further and then more info after if you really get into the groove 😆
The main objective of the European Community (EC) plant health controls is to prevent the movement of quarantine harmful organisms into and throughout the EC.
Not all plants do require however. And this can make it mildly confusing. A full list of plants that do require passports is available here. And a plant passport should appear on the plants tag as per this example:
So what relevance does this have to you the consumer? The point I make is to be careful. Sometimes a too good to be true offer is simply that. It can also be just as good an absolute bargain. But this is legislation. And although it maybe a plant – the legislation [in this case] is there for very good reason.
For example in cases of fireblight – [fireblight wickipedia] the mandatory action is the burning/ destruction and/ or quarantine of all related stock from a nursey and/ or a particular regio/ a certain radius of all plant material within that vacinity. But one could literally lose an entire stock holding in one very quick swoop. What are the options? If you do suspect or detect a case you should contact your department of agriculture.
Back to the the plant passport… A plant passport in one simple tag therefore should contain the following information
EC plant passport
Indication of EC Member State code
Indication of responsible official body or its distinguishing code
Individual serial or batch number
The distinctive marking ‘ZP’ for the territorial validity of the plant passport, and where appropriate, the name of the protected zone(s) for which the product is qualified
The distinctive marking ‘RP’ in case of replacement of a plant passport and, where appropriate, the code of the originally registered producer or importer
Where appropriate, the name of the country of origin or consignor country, for third country products
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