Friday, 26 July 2013

Garden club in July 2013

Harrie & Mona sent us a text message a few days before the Sunday to tell us what tools we could bring for the garden club and I'll tell you the sun cream and a hat were mentioned..!

We had such a wonderful hot summer this year in Ireland for which we've been waiting for years. It has brought us better harvests of everything from the garden.

The good weather continued for our garden club in July.
Harrie & Mona are running a big farm. They do everything in organic and self sufficient ways.

Today's work is mainly weeding their vegetables. There is an awful lot of stuff growing here. And surprisingly, most of it is for themselves to eat.

Onions, beetroot, cabbage and broccoli.. all the crops are looking just amazing.

Broccoli is just about to come out.

These are beetroot, the seeds of which they got from our local seed supplier, Irish Seed Savers in Scarriff. They provide old native seeds and fruit and some members of our garden club are involved with this association.

We've been weeding between all the vegetables until we came to these ones. Guess what they are?

There seems to be loads of it...

They're beet. They keep a few working horses for farming, and Harrie and Mona feed them with these.

I guess this is the patch they didn't use for growing anything this year so that they've sown red crimson clover.

They're lovely to look at and they work brilliantly as green manure.

Weeding in such a enormous garden is a hard job to do for two people and that's where the garden club comes in to give a hand.
After almost 3 hours of working outside with the beautiful sunshine, now we need to be fed well!

We had a lot of salad from the garden, organic cheese and beautiful homemade bread. But the highlight for me was Mona's goats cottage cheese with chives on bread. Mmmmm.....

Gochiso-sama deshita!

We don't usually have a garden club in August. Some of us might be away and there is Feakle Festival on... Let's say August is the month to play...! See you in September.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Garden club in June 2013

It was another wet day for our garden club. This time, it wasn't just drizzle and mist but raining properly..! Sure, we're well used to it, so here we go.

We all gathered in a beautiful part of Glendree, Frank & Grainne's place, for the garden club.
Today's work is mostly weeding and tidying the hedges near their vegetable garden.

The wild foxgloves are blooming in their flower patch. There is no reason why you shouldn't grow wild flowers in your garden such as foxgloves, daisies, wild strawberries, montbretia, heather etc.

We were well prepared for the rain this morning (except me, Frank kindly gave me his spare rain coat. Thanks Frank!) so it didn't bother us too much. Frank and Grainne wanted us to weed in their orchard, so that's where we spent a lot of time working.

We got rid of most of the weeds but Grainne wanted to keep some foxgloves and white clover because bees love them. Now, this is a good way of thinking about your garden. Always think of nature, not just what you want yourself. 

Their apple trees are still young, but there is plenty fruit on them. It's great to have your own apples. You can make so many different delicious things with them.

Fruit trees and bushes don't like having weeds or grass around them. There is a plastic sheet being laid and straw on top. Perfect. 

Hawthorn makes a lovely thick hedge and is great to shelter the garden.

Harrie gives a quick shave with the hedge cutter to tidy it up a bit.

We all know machines do a quick job, but we like using more old fasioned tools like this scythe. Fergus is doing a great job on the grass with it.

They have a lot of fruit trees and fruit bushes along the driveway.

I didn't think you could grow a fig tree outside in Ireland. I wonder do they get any fruit? 

Frank looks very happy among the bushes! 

Everything is delayed this year due to the cool spring we had. Even elder flowers came out quite late, we had this garden club at the very end of June but the elder flowers on this tree were not all fully out yet.

Even though we had rain jackets on, after 3 hours outside we were fairly wet below the rain jackets. So when we went in the house for lunch, some women changed into Grainne's clothes. I'm sorry now that I didn't take photos of them wearing all kinds of colourful skirts and pieces of cloth!