Now that the kitchen garden at home is well planted, it is relatively straightforward to:

–  keep it watered and fed with comfrey liquid feed

– remove the odd competing slug

– check there are no caterpillar eggs on the broccolli and cabbage

–  keep excess growth cut back, harvest fruit, pick a few flowers (who is a romantic then?)

–  cut the grass and clip the hedge and shape the bay tree.

– hoe so seedling weeds do not smother the vegetables I am cultivating

No big jobs there so I was delighted to get away for the weekend to the ‘Totally Tipp’ festival celebrating local food producers in the grounds of Cloughjordan House, as well as taking part in workshops organised by Cultivate and the Eco-Village next door. ‘Selling surplus fruit and veg from the garden at your local Farmers’ Market’ and ‘The Debate Surrounding the Re – banning of Raw Milk Sales’ were the themes I was asked to address.

Admission was €8 which was good value I feel. To support Cultivate and the Eco – Village, I bought a few tickets for the raffle not expecting to win anything as usual. Lo and behold, didn’t my ticket get pulled out and the biggest hamper of organic veg ever was presented to me and Áine. In fairness, it was all fabulous, but  I was not really in the market for such a windfall. So in memory of the event, I accepted some beetroot and garlic, while Áine chose some kohlrabi and scallions. The main hamper went to the runner up in the raffle. In the end I suspect nearly everyone there went home with some delicacies from the sumptuous hamper. Now aren’t you sorry you were not there!

PS Having intact fresh beetroot is like having two vegetables in one. The leaves are delicious steamed with butter and a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper,  while the roots make another delicious dish boiled, skinned and served hot tossed in Glenisk natural yoghurt with chopped chives.  I look forward to having my own beetroot harvested  in a few weeks time. I hope your garden is going well for you too.


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