The garden at home is bursting with produce right now. The peas and beans, kale and cabbage, chard Swiss and Rainbow are all featuring in the kitchen. Courgettes and pumpkins are in flowers. The raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants often don’t make it as far as the kitchen. The tomatoes are ripening and the sunflowers are reaching for the sky. However, one sunflower succumbed to a slug attack. They chewed all around the base, ‘ring-barking’ the plant so it wilted. It is now unable to take up water and nutrients from the roots. The wasps then feasted on the sweet sap exposed , but ‘it wuz the slugs wot dunnit’. So copper anti-slug tape has been wrapped around the healthy tall sunflower nearby so fingers crossed I have thwarted another sneaky slug attack.

Slugs or no slugs, this weekend was a great time to gather at The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim for the annual Garden Party on Sunday 18th July,  for growers and eaters of home-grown garden produce. Neven Maguire, the legendary chef from Blacklion in nearby Co. Cavan kept a huge audience enthralled by mouth-watering ways of preparing chard, tomatoes and hake. He made pesto making look really easy. I could see tongues (almost) hanging out as he prepared a delicious tiramisu.

Then  famous vegetable gardening author, Joy Larkcom and her husband Don from West Cork did a fascinating presentation on growing salads of the cut and come again varieties, with good handouts and illustrations on PowerPoint.

The team at the Organic Centre, many of whom are volunteers, provided delicious soups and lunches, teas and coffees, cakes and all manner of refreshments for the 500 or so who came for a great day out in dry warm ‘Lovely Leitrim’.

Hans and Gaby Wieland and Andy Hallewell and all the Organic Centre team were thanked by me at the end of the day just before I pulled the raffle tickets for the Castlebaldwin Donkey Sanctuary. The Centre and the Sanctuary raised a few bob and need to raise much more, I have no doubt both people and donkeys went home happy.

The Organic Centre has some great courses coming up and other events. I learned a huge amount there about picking and preparing mushrooms. Check out their website at www.theorganiccentre.ie and go visit them, they need your support.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anna on July 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm


    you’ve nothiing on brocolli. You must have brocolli have you, you have everything else? im a total novice and this is my first year attempting veg, and my garden was a building site at start so im still probably nursing the soil. anyway i have a well composted area and planted a load of veg seeds and watched and waited and weeded for few weeks. i went away for 5 days (which were sunny) and came home and there’s some rather pretty tall yellow flowers with what looks like baby brocolli florets inbetween the flowers! so they must be weeds must they? looked on net to see what brocolli flower looks like but didnt see anything, asked a friend and see that beginners are welcome to this site. thanks


    • Hi Anna,
      Did not grow broccolli before as it takes more space that other smaller brassicas. Have it growing this year however to see how I get on. OK if I had more space. Experimenting is half the fun both growing and eating. If what you have looks like broccolli, eat it like broccolli. Any brassica is edible but some more tender than others.
      Happy growing.


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