Category: Grow

6

A few blueberries: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin

My Clonmel Cousin has been getting into the gardening gifts lately – and I’ve been the lucky recipient, getting a cheerful pink petunia and fuschia pot for my birthday and a Christmas present of a hazel tree with a pair of blueberry bushes. We had tried blueberries in the garden previously but they’re big fans of acidic soil and I don’t think we added enough peat moss into the spot where we planted them. This time round, when I was planting the bushes, I landed plenty of peat moss into the hole – with good results.

17

Blackcurrant Almond Cake

When we bought the cottage, I was delighted to discover a threesome of blackcurrant bushes out in the back garden. I missed the first few years’ worth of harvest but this year managed to get enough to make this deliciously moist Blackcurrant Almond Cake.

2

Playing gooseberry

Seventeen gooseberries does not a summer make but it’s just about enough for a Gooseberry Yoghurt Fool.

0

How does your garden grow…organically?

Wet garlic

Last summer, when we had the Mallow Farmers’ Market running outside Urru, we saw a lot of Patrick Frankel, a local organic vegetable grower. When he started coming to the market he had just started producing vegetables on his family farm near Doneraile and customers were delighted with the early fruit of his labours: spring onions, yellow and green courgettes, an assortment of tomatoes, new potatoes, peas and, my favourite, mangetout. I bumped into him a few times at the Killavullen Farmers’ Market, always making sure to stock up on the mangetout – great shredded and tossed raw into salads or briefly steamed and served as a side – but hadn’t seen him around for a while so I was delighted to see that the North Cork Organic Group had organised a farm visit.

2

Ravishing radishes

Freshly picked radishes

We were slow off the mark this year with our planting but now – finally – we have some produce from our garden. The salad seedlings that the Husband set in large pots (they are easy targets for the slugs and whitefly if planted out in the garden) are taking off so we now get to have more than just the one leaf per meal.

Busy days at the cottage 8

Busy days at the cottage

My latest baking project – one that even takes longer than the three-day Sourdough Bread-making event! – is almost completed. All going well, the Husband and I hope to welcome a small new inhabitant to the cottage early next month, to join our family of two humans, three hens and one cat (yes, we’re back to one again – sadly the road by the cottage claimed Large, our big tom cat earlier this week).

2

Eggs for St Patrick’s Day

Hens

It’s looking like summer has already arrived in North Cork and the hens, although their numbers were reduced to three of the original four after a run in with a fox during the winter, are thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. No matter what weather we’ve had, they’ve still managed to produce a steady source (especially after I found their secret stash!) of dark yellow-yoked eggs for baking and cooking, as well as being entertaining company in the garden.

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Gardening at the Glebe

The raised gardens at Glebe Gardens, Baltimore

After a relaxing, sunny weekend in Baltimore we’ve returned home with headfuls of ideas, lots of notes, a handful of mail order catalogues and lots of inspiration for our garden in 2009. Jean Perry, who owns the five acres and house at Glebe Gardens with her artist husband Peter, was our teacher for the two day course. They run a popular café on site, producing most of the organic vegetables, fruit and herbs that they use there from the raised beds and polytunnels in the gardens.