Bloom 2010

BloomIf you’re interested in gardening, food – or both! – make tracks to Bord Bia‘s Bloom 2010 festival, which is taking place in Dublin’s Phoenix Park over the June Bank Holiday weekend, from 2 to 7 June. Alongside the show gardens and an expanded artisan farmers’ market, Bord Bia’s Best In Season will be displaying a marquee-ful of fresh produce to highlight the fruit and vegetables in season in Ireland (check out the Best In Season website for some printable calendars to stick up on your fridge), the members of GIY Ireland are growing vegetables for an Edible Garden, and Bloom meets SeptemberFest with a Craft Beer Garden for the ever-growing number of fine beer aficionados.

A cookery stage will feature demonstrations from Darina Allen, Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House, Neven Maguire, Jenny Bristow and fellow blogger extraordinaire Donal Skehan of Good Mood Food.

Should you wish to brush up on some old-school basics there will also be talks and demonstrations on lost and forgotten food skills over the weekend, including butter churning, fish smoking and apple pressing. Plenty to keep everyone in the family occupied! There is more information in the press release below, on the Bloom website, Twitter and Facebook. Tickets, without any of those annoying booking fees, are also available online or by phone (0818 300 260). Discounts will be available for tickets booked in advance and kids go free.

Bloom 2010, Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family event,  will take place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin over the June bank holiday weekend (3rd – 7th June). In addition to the stunning show gardens and an enhanced artisan food offering, ‘Sustainability’, ‘Local Food’ and ‘Grow Your Own’, are central themes to this year’s event, which has attracted over 150,000 visitors since its inaugural staging in 2007. The Bord Bia event promises to have something for all ages from farmers markets and flowers to shopping, children’s entertainment and daily cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s top chefs including Neven Maguire and Darina Allen. GIY Ireland, a network of grow-it-yourselfers, has joined forces with previous Bloom medal winner Fiann Ó Nualláin, to create a totally ‘Edible Garden’ for this year’s show. “The garden is designed as a classic suburban garden to show visitors just how much GIY-ing can be done in that environment and how a productive suburban vegetable patch can also be an attractive garden” commented Michael Kelly, Founder of GIY Ireland. GIY-ers nationwide are currently growing vegetables for the Bloom exhibit. Supporters in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway are busy growing peas for the Edible Garden; red onions will come from Boyle, Co. Roscommon; leeks have been assigned to the Carrick on Suir contingent and the people of Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford have been charged with producing the perfect potatoes! In total growers from 52 locations around Ireland are currently cultivating over 50 different types of vegetable in time for the Bloom harvest. The same group of growers and volunteers will also be involved in the construction of the Edible Garden. Locally grown fresh produce will feature strongly at Bloom 2010. Bord Bia’s “Best in Season” fresh produce marquee will promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables and highlight the nutritional benefits of eating the recommended daily amounts. The feature will include a fabulous display of the full range of fruit and vegetables grown by Irish producers. Helpers will be on hand to provide information on Ireland’s fresh produce industry and to highlight what’s Best in Season when! Also new for 2010, is Bord Bia’s ‘Sustainable Garden‘, which aims to highlight the positive impact consumers can have on the environment by thinking about their purchasing choices. Bord Bia is also currently working with the Carbon Trust to measure the carbon footprint of Bloom and will use the results to plan future events. A series of measures have been put in place to reduce the carbon footprint of this year’s event including waste management controls, monitoring the reuse of materials after the event and increasing the use of public transport to travel to and from Bloom.The Food Market is now firmly established as a key attraction at Bloom and this year’s Food Market will be Bloom’s biggest yet! With over 40 artisan food producers, the market highlights the very best that small artisan producers from around Ireland have to offer. The producers themselves will be on hand to provide tastings and give tips on how to prepare tasty dishes using their products. The market will include a huge variety of foods from handmade chocolates and baked goods to farmhouse cheeses and the finest Irish honey. A ‘Craft Beer Garden‘ will allow Bloom visitors over the age of 18 to enjoy the very best of independent Irish beers, spirits, and liqueurs. This new space will be located near the music stage and the artisan catering offering, a perfect addition to this relaxed picnic area. Each day, Bord Bia will also host four live demonstrations on the Bloom cookery stage. Featured chefs will include award winning chef Neven Maguire; Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School; food blogger and author of “Good Mood Food” Donal Skehan and well known TV chef Jenny Bristow. The dishes prepared by the celebrity chefs will promote quality assured local produce and will be available to order each day in Bistro Bloom.  There will be an particular emphasis on artisan food within ‘The Food Village’, the area incorporating all the outdoor catering options, where food producers will “serve slow food fast”. A new feature for 2010 – Bord Bia will seek to bring food to life through a series of talks and demonstrations on Lost and Forgotten Food Skills, which will take place alongside the Food Market. The purpose of the showcase is to recreate the link for visitors between the food products on sale at the Market and the craft skills used in their creation. The demonstrations will also bring to life ‘forgotten’ food skills from Ireland’s past. Skills on show will include cheese making, butter churning, apple pressing and fish smoking. The demonstrators and talks will be delivered by a mix of current artisan producers and domestic practitioners. Tickets on sale nowTickets are on sale on or by calling 0818 300 260, with significant discounts available in advance of the show. No booking fee applies and children go free. Bloom 2010 will run from Thursday June 3rd – Monday June 7th.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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