Posts Tagged ‘Irish National Heritage Park’

HERB GARDEN CONNECTS US WITH OUR ANCESTORS – 1st wk in August 2014

Many of the sun loving herbs like rosemary, sage and lavender are thriving at present. Those which originated in shadier woodland like mint may need watering if the soil is very dry.

The good weather these days also brings the diaspora of family visitors to Wexford. Visitors give us all a licence to go to places of interest which are normally regarded as ‘tourist attractions’. The Irish National Heritage Park (www.inhp.com) at Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford on the N11 makes for an good day out at any time. Not having been there in years, we were glad to see a thriving herb garden in the replica Early Christian Monastery (Site 8).

The fact that a plant is even called a herb is an indication that it was useful to our ancestors in many ways which have often been lost in the mists of time. One would need to learn from a renowned herbalist like Seán Boylan, former manager of the mighty Meath football team to get a true sense of the value of herbs. Aside from the culinary uses for herbs which pre-occupy the GIY grower and cook these days, the establishment of a herb garden over the centuries was akin to today’s dependency on hospitals and health insurance. Whilst debates may rage about healthcare, there can be no argument that setting up a herb garden with a few slips of rosemary and sage, a few roots of chives and mint and a few seeds of parsley and lovage etc. will be a whole lost cheaper that any modern

Thriving herb garden with purple sage to the fore beside a 'clochán' (monk's stone beehive hut) at the replica monastic site in The Heritage Park,  Wexford.

Thriving herb garden with purple sage to the fore beside a ‘clochán’ (monk’s stone beehive hut) at the replica monastic site in The Heritage Park, Wexford.

medical insurance.

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TAMWORTH PIGS WORTH SEEING IN WEXFORD – 4th wk in July 2014

Cultivating 3 acres in Tacumshin by hand is a far cry from the management of a small suburban garden we left behind in Balbriggan. After a while, the idea of acquiring a couple of pigs to help with excavation and weeding becomes more and more appealing.

Apart from that, pigs are fascinating to observe. At the Irish National Heritage Park here on the N11 near Wexford town, one can observe not just any pigs, but the old outdoor hardy and quite rare Tamworth pigs. Back in 1812, the Prime Minister

Normally brown, these Tamworth pigs are covered in mud during their summer moult at the Irish National Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig, Wexford.

Normally brown, these Tamworth pigs are covered in mud during their summer moult at the Irish National Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig, Wexford.

Sir Robert Peel in Tamworth, England, interbred his own pigs with an old variety he had studied while in Ireland called the ‘Irish Grazer’. The Tamworth is today considered the variety which most closely resembles the wild boar which was first domesticated as livestock thousands of years ago in Ireland.

The dense bristles of the Tamworth pig give protection from UV light except during moulting season between June and August. During this time, the Tamworth likes to don an all body mud pack both to keep cool and as a sun block. Áine and myself must keep in touch with the Heritage Park (www.inhp.com) just in case they may have a spare couple of piglets to sell in the future!