I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a
fruitful new year. The weather here in Bundoran is exceptionally mild
and sunny over the last few days.
We have moved to Bundoran in
September after selling Milkwood Farm while we are restoring a cottage
in Rossinver. It will be a new challenge again to start a garden from
We have a few new introductions to our seed range such as the superb
early carrot variety – Rocket F1, an amazing Italian tomato gourmet mix
as well as an oca tuber mix which is fast becoming my favourite
vegetable – both to grow and to eat.
Our seed catalogue is now also available in PDF version which you can print out if you prefer:
Please find below a few articles which I hope may be useful for the new growing year:
A: The most common gardening mistake – sowing or planting too early
This article includes a list of the few crops that can be sown
reasonably early but warns of sowing other crops when conditions are not
right. It includes a valuable table with the minimum, optimum and
maximum germination temperature for a range of crops.
B: Planning your vegetable garden
Now is the time to finally get out of the rain and start planning for
the new season. The enthusiasm for gardening must have waned by now for
even the most committed gardener. I used to worry about it a lot.
What if I don’t like gardening anymore? What else could I do with my
life? And the sad answer was – not much. But luckily, every spring –
just like the birds start to sing again and the first growth in nature
unravels – so does our urge and longing for another growing year with
new promises, trials and experiments and the hope that all our crops
C: Growing Oca
I really think that oca (Oxalis tuberosa) will soon make it to
the common list of vegetables and will be widely available. It’s easy
to grow, has no pests or diseases and really tastes delicious. It’s a
fabulous crop for Irish growing conditions. The tubers are only
produced late in the year until the first frost kills of the leaves. In
many years the first frost will only come as late as December.
We have a mixed selection available for sale now while stocks last.
Charles Darwin – Of Vegetable Moulds and Earthworms 1881
I was so impressed by Matthew Jebbs lecture on World Soil Day at the
Botanic Gardens. It was mainly about our humble earthworms and Charles
Darwin who studied worms all his life. This book is available on the
Darwin Online website – a great read!
Flavahans Organic Oats
Isn’t it great to see a family-owned Irish company doing well and
especially their organic side of their business – Organic Porridge
Oats. They have invested heavily in the organic processing or oats and
it has paid back – they are the largest producer of organic porridge in
Ireland and even in the UK. The demand for their delicious organic
porridge is increasing exponentially so much so that there is a massive
shortage of organic oats produced in Ireland. Being an Irish company
they obviously want to source organic oats from Ireland.
Last month they organised a conference with all stakeholders and farmers
trying to convince farmers to either convert to organic production or
to encourage existing organic growers to produce more oats.
Flavahans is a company that can be trusted. Any organic farmer
supplying oats to Flavahans was highly impressed about their reliability
and fairness. Despite being the market leaders they continued to pay
the farmers a far higher amount than for conventional oats. Have a look
at the article from the Waterford News Waterford News.