On Sunday 13th at 2pm there will be a summer fair at Ogonnelloe GAA pitch organised by the national school parents’ association.
There are great fun races and games planned and there will be a range of stalls including home baking, bring and buy, bbq and of course, the one I am most involved with is the school garden stall.
The children of all classes in the national school have sown and cared for a great variety of flowers, herbs and veg plants all Spring. In particular 3rd and 4th class, with their teacher Shimona Caulfield took on the responsibility of caring for the plants and keeping them weeded and watered and they have done a great job. At the fair we will sell their plants to raise funds for the school – they have a range of flowers (calendula, nasturtiums, cornflowers, rudbeckia) and herbs to offer – so come along and see their work and maybe bring home a pot or two to bring colour to your garden for the summer.
At the moment my internet connection is intermittent, which means that I can’t always access my emails. The problem is being repaired at the moment, so I hope to be back on the air regularly from next week.
I can access email from another location, but if you have any requests it would be a good idea to text or ring me on 087 6187908 to confirm.
Sorry for any inconvenience for the time being… I hope it will be a very temporary situation!
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We are delighted to announce that we are offering a new service from our garden this Spring.
From Friday next, 30th April 2010 we are restarting our veg box service, for collection from our packing room every Friday and Saturday, 12pm – 7pm.
We are also open to customers to call and buy freshly harvested produce from our garden aswell as eggs and herb plants, 12 – 5pm every Friday and Saturday.
If you are interested in ordering a veg box please contact us, or we are looking forward to welcoming new and old customers to buy our produce and see our garden.
Well, after a very hectic season in 2009 we took time over the winter to think through our plans for the smallholding. After much thought, debate and calculation during the cold and dark months we have decided to press ahead with developing the smallholding with the kind support of Clare Local Development Company – leader funding.
So far we have added a new polytunnel which will replace quite a few of the outdoor beds which were difficult to make good use of with such poor summer weather. We are delighted with our new tunnel which gives us lots of room to grow loads more tomatoes, chillis, french beans, corn etc – all crops that depend on having protection and warm growing conditions. It is ready to be harrowed (with the kind help of Jim Cronin again). Jim is coming with the horses this week and we are looking foward to getting started on preparing the ground for this season’s crops.
Other developments on the holding are a woodturning workshop for John and a log cabin alongside the new tunnel that will be used for packing veg boxes and direct sales. So, from May we will be open for customers to call on Friday and Saturday every week – either to collect orders or to buy from the week’s harvest. More on that closer to the time, and we will put signs out with directions for anyone interested in calling.
So, all in all the Spring has sprung for us here – work is well underway, both on the new projects and in the tunnels. We are sowing and starting to plant the new season salads, spinach and herbs and, despite the cold weather all the tunnel crops are looking good.
I will add photos of our new setup when I get a chance – and hope to get back to adding recipes for all our new season produce.
This is a great recipe for a quick lunchtime stir fry. It uses broccoli and kale (or dark-leafed cabbage or spinach) because these are so rich in nutrients. It can easily be adapted to have a Japanese style, if you prefer.
* 100g curly kale (or cabbage, or spinach
* 200g broccoli or calabrese (full heads or sprouting
* 150g mushrooms
* 2 cloves garlic
* 200g firm tofu (optional or halloumi cheese)
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon barley miso paste (optional
* 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Wash the kale and the broccoli. Dry well.
2. Slice the kale roughly and chop the broccoli into medium-sized chunks.
3. Peel & crush the garlic. Wipe any mud off the mushroom and chop it roughly.
4. Heat the oil in a wok until hot. Add the garlic and the mushrooms. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are lightly browned and their juice has evaporated.
5. Chop the tofu into cubes (if using). Add to the pan and cook on a high heat for 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until it starts to brown.
6. Add the broccoli. Stir and cover for 3 minutes.
7. Add the kale. Cover for 2 minutes, until it starts to wilt. Remove the wok from the heat.
8. Mix the sesame seeds with the tamari (or soy sauce) and miso paste, if using. Add to the pan. Mix well. Serve immediately.
Time From Cupboard-To-Table
Notes & Variations on Broccoli & Kale Stir Fry
For even more flavour, you can toast the sesame seeds in a dry wok, before you start cooking. Cook them for 2-3 minutes until some of them start to “pop”. This releases their delicious flavour.
You don’t have to use the Japanese flavourings. Use any stir fry sauce you have to hand.
The tunnels are full of salads, herbs, rocket and spinach – as green as any time during the summer. It is a lovely contrast to the outdoor beds, that are looking a bit cold and empty compared to the height of the growing season. Our winter crops are doing well – leeks, cabbage, kale and cauliflower all growing well, but the summer crops have all finished outdoors at this stage and it is only inside that young leafy plants will do well. Our brussel sprouts are coming along nicely and hopefully will come into their own in December.
We still have work to do outside (surprise, surprise) – the empty beds have been ploughed and need harrowing and manuring for next year. We are hoping to sow green manure, but time is running out now, so it may be that we manure and cover the area in preparation for Spring. I have daily growing respect for all growers who have the skill and energy to keep up with the forces of nature in the garden… weeds never sleep!
It is the pigs that have us feeling a bit lonely this evening though – they went today to the factory and we are missing them around the place. I don’t think I would be a good livestock farmer – I couldn’t look them in the eye for the past few days and spent most of today feeling a bit tearful. It’s not like they were in the living room as pets, but they lived beside the tunnels, and were great company as you worked – you could always hear them snuffling around, particularly if they realised you were there. Don’t get me wrong – we are looking forward to the excellent meat they will give us, it’s just that it does feel a bit empty outside now that they have gone…