Pumpkin harvest 2011

With great help from Ryan & Fionn to locate all of our pumpkins we harvested over 60 of various shapes and sizes in October 2011.

Working the lathe

Working the lathe

This little piggie…

Well, this is the pig who made us work – hard!

On the day we collected them we decided to keep them indoors for a few days to get settled. As we had used the shed for this job before we thought we had a good system for them and didn’t fuss too much once they had their water, food & bedding….

It was as we were putting our youngest boys to bed that Fionn (one of them) looked out the window to say that ‘there are the piggies in the garden…’ – uh oh… It turned out that the black & white pig had dug her way out under the shed door (earth floor) and led the others out into the garden and around the field. Now that wouldn’t be too bad when they got to know us and would follow the bucket of food pretty much anywhere. But as it was their first night and they had no attachment to any of us it was pretty much a case of pick your pig and pick your moment to grab.

Well – all in all it took about three hours that night (9pm to midnight) to round them up. Pigs are pretty nifty movers, cleverer than they are usually given credit for and have a natural aversion to being picked up – so once it got dark we had a job on our hands to get them in. They also have a great talent for playing statues in long grass… who knew that?

But with time, patience and the help of Cathal and Oisin we eventually succeeded. Lesson number one – check your exit is escapeproof!

Three (not so little) piggies in their garden

In July 2011 our three latest weaners arrived – two red duroc & a gloucester old spot mix. It was our first time to keep them out in the garden and it was a great experience to see them rooting, playing, chasing each other around and even sunbathing when the weather allowed.

We placed them in a part of the garden that we are now planning to cultivate for green manure & crops next year. They did a fantastic job on rooting up the scraw and starting the process of breaking the turf and manuring the ground in preparation for working the ground for the next crops.

They enjoyed a great variety in their diet – corn stalks, herbs, old salad, spinach, brassica plants, soft pumpkins, acorns gathered in autumn – anything out of the garden, organic pig nuts for balanced nutrients, and anything they rooted up from the ground. All in all they had a good – if short life with us.

As great as it was to have them they were ultimately heading for the freezer, and with the cost of their feed there was no option to keep them as pets. Although I had misgivings, all the boys here were looking forward to sausages and pork crackling with no regrets. I guess if you are going to eat meat, it’s good to know that it’s the best quality possible, and that the animals enjoyed the time that they had here.

The meat turned out to be fantastic quality – enough fat for flavour, but lean from their outdoor lifestyle and full of flavour. We are selling some of the meat, as we had alot of requests from customers – if you are interested the list is on ‘available produce listing’.

RTE Supergarden competition

I was asked by the organisers of the Supergarden competition on RTE to mention that they are now looking for applications for their new series. So here is the relevant info as sent to me:

“RTE’s Super Garden are currently looking for amateur designers, student designers and start-up landscape designers to apply for our 2012 series. We are always on the look out for unique ideas so welcome all kinds of applications.

This is a great opportunity for exposure for the selected designers as well as an opportunity to compete for the winning design to be featured at the Bloom Festival in Dublin.

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about gardening, have creative flair and the ability to deliver their garden design to a deadline/budget.

If you could help us spread the word on this it would be greatly appreciated. It could be a great opportunity for someone you know to take on an exciting challenge. I have attached a flyer that you can email on and also an application form if anyone does express an interest.

I am available to answer any questions that you or any interested parties may have, my contact details are 01-8641444 or email supergarden@vipmg.tv. Closing date for application is first week of February.

Kind regards,

Andy Malone”

The spuds are sown to start the New Year

Well, after a quiet(ish) time in January we have started sowing for the 2012 season. The first major sowing job of the year is the tunnel potatoes – orlas are now in the ground and on their way.

Once the potatoes are sown, it is only a matter of a week or two before the major tray sowing and preparation starts.

Just enough time to get the fruit garden tidied up and manured…

Winter closing

We will be closing for veg orders from Dec 24th until the start of February 2012.

In these weeks we are hoping to complete alot of groundwork, hedge cutting, fencing etc etc etc, that we never get to during the growing season.

Thanks a million for all your much appreciated orders all through 2011. I will update the website and will email our regular customers to let you know our first date for orders in Spring 2012.

Christmas order list 2011

Would you like fresh, naturally grown
veg & produce this Christmas?

Orders available for collection
on Friday 23rd December 2011 – from 12pm

Order form
(return to Elaine by 15th Dec)

Potato –
1.20/kg for 5+ kg
Unwashed carrots 2.00/kg
Unwashed parsnips 4.00/kg
Onion 3.00/kg
Leek 4.50/kg
Brussel sprouts 5.00/kg
Broccoli 4.50/kg *Spain
Cauliflower 2.30
Celery 2.00
Red cabbage 2.00/half
Herbs – sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary 3c/g
Beetroot 3.00/kg
Garlic .80 ea
Lemon .60 ea *Spain
Apples – elstar 3.50/kg *Holland
Streaky rashers 3.50 *from our pigs
Pork sausage
(85% Shoulder pork) 4.00 * from our pigs
Wholemeal soda bread 2.00 ea *from our kitchen
Irish Whiskey Mince pies 1.25 ea *from our kitchen
beetroot,apple & caraway chutney 3.00/jar*from our kitchen
spiced courgette & tomato chutney 3.00/jar*from our kitchen
blackcurrant jam 3.00/jar*from our kitchen
blackcurrant, orange & brandy preserve 3.50/jar * our kitchen
Orange & ginger marmalade 3.00/jar *from our kitchen
Whiskey orange marmalade 3.50/jar *from our kitchen
Tipperary apple jelly 3.00/jar
Tipperary strawberry jam 3.00/jar
Tipperary apple juice 3.00/bottle
Tipperary cider vinegar 2.50/bottle

Good & Green gift vouchers & boxes

Our Good & Green produce gift vouchers are available for Christmas that would make a tasty start to the New Year.

If you’re after something more adventurous, an experience gift voucher might be right up your street.

Gift boxes can also be made to order with gift presentation – including garden produce, chutneys, jams & homebaking. Orders needed by Dec 15th. Ask Elaine for info – 087 6187908.

Christmas ideas – woodcraft & gifts

John has a lovely new range of hardwood chopping boards and natural edged woodturning available now.

A selection of his work is on display in Quay Arts Centre in Ballina and we also have a range here on display in our cabin. There is a variety of hardwood chopping boards from small cheese and baguette boards up to large cutting boards, all in elm, oak & beech. Woodturned pieces include lamps, bud vases, salt & pepper sets, candleholders and decorative bottlestoppers. Prices start from under 10 euro – all are unique gifts.

For special orders contact John on 087 2273299