ISSA e-zine 26 Nov 2010

In this edition -

  • Winter Newsletter and Seed List Posted Soon...

  • Christmas Activities for Children - Sunday December 19, 9:30 to 4:30...

  • Gift Baskets from ISSA...

  • What to do in the garden and orchard this month...

Winter Newsletter and Seed List Posted Soon!

We've had a lot of positive feedback to our new e-zine, but a few ISSA supporters expressed concern that the e-zine is replacing the posted Summer and Winter newsletters. Fear not! Supporters will still receive a paper copy of our newsletter twice a year, packed with articles about what's happening at ISSA and in the greater gardening/seed growing world. The e-zine is just to keep you in touch with what's going on at ISSA throughout the year - this is a busy place with lots happening each month! The Winter newsletter and 2011 Seed List is being printed now and will be posted out in a few weeks.

Christmas Activities for Children - Sunday December 19, 9:30 to 4:30

Want to get your Christmas shopping done while the little ones are kept busy? Drop them off at ISSA for a day of fun and creative activities: Christmas card making, natural decorations, biscuit making, story telling, treasure hunt and more! Suitable for children aged 6 - 10 years. Booking is essential as places are limited, and this popular day always books out! Cost - €20 per child. More details at

Gift Baskets from ISSA

Stuck for gift ideas for that special gardener in your life? We are offering custom baskets filled with an assortment of gardening goodies - chose from one of our themed baskets, or let us know your budget and preferences and we can put a custom order together for you. Baskets will be boxed and posted to the address you supply in time for the Christmas holidays.

  • Gardener's Hamper (Wire Basket): Trowel, secateurs, gardening gloves, garden twine, plant tags, 3 packets of seed €30 + €10 P&P
  • Gardener's Hamper (Wicker Basket): Same as above, but packed in a lovely re-usable wicker basket €40 + €10 P&P
  • Children's Hamper (Wire Basket): Set of 3 children's gardening tools, child-size watering can, sunflower seeds and pot, set of giant chalk, windmill pencil, bottle of apple juice, 2 packets of easy-to-sow seeds €20 + €10 P&P
  • Grafting Hamper (Wire Basket): Grafting/budding knife, grafting wax, grafting tape, grafting manual, organic vegetable growing manual €30 + €10 P&P
  • Music and Book Lovers Hamper (Wicker Basket): Apples In Winter DVD/CD set, Sciol CD, Irish Kitchen Garden calendar, Vegetables for the Irish Garden book €65 + €10 P&P

For more information on the products listed above, or to select the ingredients for your own custom hamper, visit our online shop and click on the links to Gifts, Garden Equipment or Media:

Gardener's Hamper - Wire Basket

Children's Hamper - Wire Basket

Music and Book Lovers Hamper

What to do in the garden and orchard this month

  • ISSA's gardeners have just dug up the Oca tubers, our very last crop of the year to be harvested. Oca is a South American tuber that doesn't suffer from potato blight. They are related to Sorrel and have a distinct lemony taste, and can be used just like potatoes. They stay in the ground until the frost has completely killed back the leaves and flowers, from late October onwards. Store like potatoes in a cool, dry place.

  • It's probably too late to sow a green manure crop for winter at this point, so if you are still harvesting and cleaning up the garden it's best to cover any bare soil with cardboard or heavy plastic. This will help keep the nutrients from leaching out if it's a wet winter, and will also discourage any weed growth throughout the winter and early spring.

  • Another way to cover bare soil is by sheet composting. This involves spreading compostable materials, such as kitchen scraps, straw, wood chips, animal bedding, and dead plant stems from this years garden, over the garden beds. These materials will break down in place, and nutrients will wash down into your garden beds. In the spring any material that is not broken down can be raked up and used to start a new compost pile. We did some sheet composting on some of the beds last winter, and this summer those same beds grew some amazing crops!

Kind regards,
Chrys Gardener
Project Manager

Irish Seed Savers Association
Co. Clare
Tel: +353-61-921866