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Showing posts from 2013

Autumn Colour

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The clocks have gone back to 'old time' to herald the beginning of winter, I'm not sure how many countries actually do this. I always liked the idea of long evenings by the fire , curtains closed and I could knit in front of the TV, the eyesight does not lend itself to much knitting anymore but I still enjoy the cosy glow of the fire.
 The children look forward to Halloween, how many of you know that it is a very old pagan festival which had its origins in Ireland long,long ago?!You can read about it here
 The unexpected delivery of a bag of crab apples led me to doing something I had never attempted before, making crab apple jelly! I had read some recipes over the years but the mention of jelly bags, muslin and jam thermometers always put me off. I Googled and came with  simple recipes on the BBC Good Food website.  I used a white pillow case suspended from the ironing board (opened) .The fruit when cooled a little was put into the pillowcase, tied and hung from the iron…

Dublin Community Gardens Harvest Festival Sat 14th Sept

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I received this email recently asking for some exposure on the blog and I must say I am slightly, no ,very envious!I am not aware that we have any Community Gardens here in Cork ( please correct me if I'm wrong) let alone up to 35 which is the figure quoted  here for the greater Dublin area.  I wish them every success with what is looking to be a fantastic day out for families interested in growing their own or becoming part of a group which does.  Dublin Community Growers are hosting their annual Harvest Festival in Wolfe Tone Park, Jervis Street, Dublin 1 on Saturday 14th September from 12 – 5 pm to demonstrate the benefits of organic food. There is free entry into the event which will provide a variety of entertainment including live music from R3Winder and the Prairie Dogs, a pop up garden and children’s activities such as face-painting, flower pot painting and story-telling. The festival is supported by Dublin City Council, who have stated: “For the second year in a row, Dublin Ci…

Autumn is here!

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I cannot believe I have not blogged since 31st July?! Where do the days and weeks go?
Being very busy on all fronts takes up a bit of time but I have been on the plot and I have to say after such a late start we are very happy with our veg from the 'new' allotment. There is no point in back tracking so this is Mondays harvest, courgette,sweetcorn,globe artichokes and tomatoes and a few raspberries also.
The 3 courgette plants had romped away producing to such an extent we were giving them away and had done all we could with them.The plants had grown to ginormous size at this point and then stopped producing.
I cut back all of the huge old leaves, leaving only the newer ones at the top of the plant, fed them with the Comfrey tea and lo and behold they are now producing again at a much slower pace I might add, each plant now has two fruits and some new flowers.

The courgette bed after being stripped, you can see how much they grow in length from the base!

The leeks are being we…

When Rain Stops Play Outdoors

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Between the showers was the title of yesterday's post, not so today its just one unending downpour! I decided I would use the stash of Courgettes while still fresh. I checked the sidebar of the blog, there under labels, courgettes, there are 34 posts?!  I first made Angela's Courgette cake back in 2009, delicious, moist and moreish, but not feeling 'cake like' I decided I would try muffins using the same recipe and they turned out gorgeous! Angela, by the way was our next door neighbour on the Hydro Farm allotments The recipe for Angela's Courgette cake can be found here The muffins will not be iced as the cake so they can then be heated for breakfast. Angela's Courgette Soup was next on the list,it does use 900grms of courgette after all! I have made it to the blending stage without adding the cheese as I am going to freeze it in portions.When defrosted then I can add the cheese, Blue, Stilton or Brie plus the cream for serving.  I also discovered Courgette &a…

Between the Showers

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Today's harvest from the allotment, it was not very colourful until I added the carrots and beetroot from the raised bed.I cut down the Broad beans and stripped the pods which are filling the bag on the left.I just cut the stems leaving the roots to rot down in the ground as legume roots are rich in nitrogen.
There are 7 courgettes! Time to start making soup I think.
The carrots from the covered raised bed are really tasty, these are the Sutton's baby veg which we are using while young and tender, leaving others to mature.
We are coming to the end of our new potatoes, these are old reliable Home Guard, there are more beetroot and 2 nice  size heads of Broccoli. A few weeks ago we didn't think we would have anything much to take home as we started so late but the heatwave helped and dare I say it , those nice soft summer showers!
 The tomatoes in the lean to tunnel are just about OK, not a lot to harvest at all.I have almost stripped all the leaves and branches now as the…

Carewswood Garden Centre and Cafe

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Last Sunday was not beach or lie out kind of weather then I remembered that Carewswood Garden Centre  ( Tripadvisor) were having an Open/Family day. This is an old Garden centre which as far as I know had been closed for a while then I heard a rumour that a young couple  had taken it over! In the teeth of the worst recession in years, in a business which is closing garden centres all over the country, were they mad?
I set off early to find out which is why the centre looks quiet but by the time I left you could not get a parking space in the ample car park! There is a lovely cafe where food cooked/ baked on site is served, veg is grown specifically to use in the restaurant  and to make the range of ready made sauces,jams and cakes to take away which on the day were disappearing quickly by people who had obviously bought there before! David Leahy is the young man in charge of the garden centre and planting and his girl friend Juulika is in charge of the cafe and food side of the oper…

Sunday Sowings

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We have learned over the years its a mistake to sow everything together as you end up with a glut of different veg and if it is a hot summer as this one has been (so far) then you don't want to be cooking every day to use up the veg.
I had some of these seeds which are Sutton's Speedy veg they are ready to harvest in 10 weeks from sowing which would take us to the end of Sept and into Oct therefore  utilising  the ground as much as possible and for those of us paying for allotments that is the bottom line.
The first early spuds, a lovely variety called Premier has just vacated its space so I have followed up with planting out my leeks and also sowed these veg varieties in any spare space.
Baby beets,turnips and carrots.They are picked and used small so are tender and tasty as we can vouch for the carrots which we have been using in another bed already!




 Thinnings of an earlier sowing of the Speedy baby veg and sugar snap peas with the Premier earlies which are a lovely tasty…