ISSA e-zine 24 February 2012
In this edition -
One of the easiest crops you can grow, even in limited space or containers, is mixed salad leaves. I grow salad leaves year-round - outdoors in the warmer months and in the polytunnel in the winter. I know people that only eat salad in the warm summer months, but I think a fresh green salad is perfect in the winter when we are eating a lot of heavy cooked foods and our bodies still need raw, fresh vegetables. The trick with salad leaves is to sow a small amount of seeds every two to three weeks, so you always have new plants coming on to replace the old ones.
Seedy Sunday in Scariff
We will be hosting our annual Seedy Sunday seed and plant swap on Sunday, March 4 from 12 to 4 pm. This year the event will be held at our site in Capparoe, Scariff rather than at the school in Scariff where it was held in past years. There is no charge for this event, and will also include free admission to walk around the seed gardens and orchards at Seed Savers. All are welcome to attend and to bring any surplus seeds and plants that they want to swap and share with other gardeners. Anyone who brings seeds or plants to swap will receive a free coffee/tea and biscuit voucher.
Mark your calendars for our Celebration of Seeds to be held at the West County Hotel in Ennis, County Clare on Saturday March 31 and Sunday April 1. Saturday will feature workshops on gardening with children, easy seed sowing for beginners, setting up seed grower networks, and success with sowing and growing potatoes. Sunday will feature a seed and plant swap with seeds from Irish Seed Savers, Brown Envelope Seeds in Cork, and the Heritage Seed Library in the UK, as well as information stalls from Grow It Yourself Ireland and other gardening organisations. This event is funded by the Irish Environmental Network.
The Department of Food, Agriculture and Marine funds a number of agricultural biodiversity projects in Ireland, including the Irish Seed Savers Association. Last week a conference was held in Galway with presentations from all the groups that are working in this area and covered a wide range of projects including work with native honeybees, seaweed and algae, Kerry ponies, native trees and forestry resources. You can view all of the presentations here:
Work is progressing quickly on the seed bank - the building is now framed with some of the wall panels in place, and the roof will go up in the next few weeks. The bare concrete slab on the south side of the building will be the location of a glass greenhouse for seed drying.
What to do in the garden this week
Homebrewing Advanced - Sunday 26th February Learn how to brew your own beer 'from scratch' using whole malted barley, hops and yeast.
Forest Garden Design - Saturday 3rd March Forest gardening, or agroforestry, is a system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.
Garden Design and Planning - Saturday 10th March Whether you are starting from a green field site or transforming an existing garden, time spent in design and planning will lead to greater success and enjoyment.
Willow Weaving - Sunday 11th March This course is an introduction to using living willow to build fences and garden structures.
Irish Seed Savers Association