ISSA e-zine 14 October 2011

In this edition -

  • Apple Weekend...

  • East Clare Food Trail...

  • Focus on Forestry - Free Event...

  • Educational Activities for Schoolchildren...

  • Upcoming Workshops...

  • What To Do In The Garden This Week...

Apple Weekend

Many thanks to all who attended our Apple Weekend at the end of September, and a huge thank you to over 50 volunteers who pitched in to help the event run smoothly.

The cooking demonstrations throughout the day were a big hit, with over 200 people watching Darina Allen's fast-paced demonstration featuring 5 different recipes using apples.

The apple tasting was popular as always, and an interesting and varied range of talks on apple tree pollination, vegetable gardening in medieval Ireland and seed saving were well attended.

Darina Allen Demonstration

Marsh's Field

Apple Juicing

East Clare Food Trail

If you are interested in locally produced and artisan foods, check out the Atlantic Way Feastabia event this weekend.

Food Trails in East and West Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Galway will highlight locally produced foods at farmers markets, restaurants and artisan food producers. The event is free and will feature local foods to sample and buy at various locations. Irish Seed Savers is one of the stops on the East Clare Food Trail on Sunday October 16 from 1 to 4pm, with pizza baked in our outdoor clay oven as well as a few varieties of late apples to taste. No booking is necessary. Go to the Feastabia website for maps of the food trails to see what's on offer this weekend.

Focus on Forestry - Free Event

On Tuesday October 18, Teagasc's Forestry Development Department in conjunction with the Forest Service, Irish Seed Savers and Celt are holding a demonstration on native tree planting to give potential tree owners the opportunity to find out more about planting and managing native trees, hedgerows and orchards. Live demonstrations will showcase best practice on species selection, planting and early management. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about apple orchards. Professionals will be available to discuss any queries about trees and orchards ranging from REPs to commercial plantations.

Shuttle buses will take participants from the GAA Hall in Scariff, Co Clare to all of the demonstration sites. Arrive at the Scariff GAA Hall any time between 11am and 12.30 pm. Please note that buses will depart from the GAA Hall to the demonstration site every twenty minutes between 11am and 12.30 pm and the demonstration will take approximately 2.5 hours. This is an outdoor event so please bring appropriate footwear and raingear. The event is free and all are welcome.

Pollock Apple Tree

Educational Activities and Workshops for Schoolchildren

Irish Seed Savers offers a range of school workshops and field trips as well as holiday activities for children.

Primary School workshops in Autumn include tasting and juicing our organic apples, seedsaving, woodland activities, native tree seed sowing and a minibeast hunt. This year we have also added full-day Ecology workshops for Leaving Cert students, with classroom training and hands-on activities which fulfill the Ecology Leaving Certificate curriculum requirements. Students will have the opportunity to practice a variety of field techniques in ecology. For more information or to book a workshop for your school, go to

Upcoming Workshops

What to do in the garden this week

  • The time to propagate currant and gooseberry bushes is when the foliage has stopped growing and is beginning to turn brown or falling off, now is a good time. Take cuttings from healthy bushes. Select a healthy looking stem of ripened (brown not green wood) and cut a 25cm (10in) length. The cut being made just below a bud. Pull off all the leaves from the stem. Set in a trench about 15cm (6in) deep. Place the cuttings in the trench making sure two buds remain above the soil and that there're four or more buds below. Space the cuttings 20cm (8in) apart. Fill in around the cuttings with soil, being careful not to damage the buds. Gently firm the soil down around the cutting with your foot. Water in well. It is a good idea to mulch around the cuttings with well-rotted compost or cardboard. Leave the cuttings in the ground for a good 9 months, then dig them up with as much of their root ball intact as possible.

  • You can plant spring cabbages, spring flowering bulbs,foxgloves, hardy heathers, wallflowers, forget-me-nots and sweet william; dead-head faded flowers and any un-healthy looking buds. Tall growing roses can be cut back to reduce damage in the winds but leave the main pruning until next March. It's also a good time to plant shrubs and trees.

  • Leaves on the lawn need to be cleared so brush or rake them off and put on a compost heap if you have one once you have turned it first. If you've no compost place the leaves in either a black bin bag (put a few holes in the bag)tie it up and leave until spring when they will all be well rotted or create a leaf tidy by using some chicken or sheep wire to fashion a bin open to the weather, leave it until spring when it can be used as food for your borders, or can be added as carbon for your compost bin mix.

  • If frost is predicted by the weatherman then Begonias can be lifted and potted up and placed on a windowsill or in the greenhouse. By doing this you will have them flowering through winter. If you have frost tender plants in containers place them in a sheltered area. If they are in the ground cover them over with a sheet.

  • There is still time to sow some green manures for a winter cover crop.

Kind regards,
Chrys Gardener
Project Manager

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