Showing posts with label GIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GIY. Show all posts

Monday, August 21, 2017

FEAST in the East. Midleton Festival Expands.

FEAST in the East.
Midleton Festival Expands.
Rory O'Connell
I've been dipping into the FEAST website to see what's in store for visitors to East Cork in early September......

FEAST, the expanded East Cork Food and Drink Festival 2017, is building on a strong foundation laid by the 14 years experience of the Midleton Festival. Events will run from 4th to 10th September with the family favourite, the Street Festival, on Saturday 9th September.
Bayview Terrace

Before the big day on the Saturday, there are quite a few restaurant highlights, beginning at the Bayview Hotel on Monday the 4th, where you are invited to “immerse yourself in the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of our Wild Atlantic Bounty... Be astounded by the creative, conjuring of Ciarán and his team over a Five-Course Tasting Menu... Drink it all in from the cliffside-splendour that is the Bayview at Ballycotton overlooking Ballycotton Bay and Harbour.”

The evening begins at 6pm with drinks on the spectacularly situated terrace, “followed by Ciarán’s imaginative and poetic Five-Course Seafood Celebration Menu and accompanying wines at 6.45pm.”
Demos galore

On the Tuesday, award-winning Chef Kevin Aherne invites you to join him in his SAGE Courtyard for a unique and memorable culinary event. Kevin will conjure up a Feast inspired by bygone eras and serve it in a traditional long table setting. Think roast pig, stuffed game birds, whole fish cooked on an open fire, ales, traditional cider, rounds of cheese, pies and tarts. Guests will dine outside under the heated canopy.
Ferrit & Lee

On the Wednesday, you may enjoy A Taste of East Cork in the Ferrit & Lee Restaurant, Distillery Walk, Midleton. To celebrate FEAST (East Cork Food and Drink Festival), they are hosting an event to showcase some of the fine produce East Cork has to offer. “We will be serving a 5 course tasting menu including two glasses of wine. There are only 40 seats available so booking early is advisable!”

Next up, on the Thursday, is a visit to Ballymaloe. The evening will begin at 7pm with Cocktails in the Walled Garden with Andy Ferreira (2017's World Class Irish Mixologist of the Year 2017 and representing Ireland in the World Class Global Final in Mexico). Andy will be using herbs foraged in the garden at Ballymaloe House. 

Dinner will be served at 8pm in the Long Dining Room in the house and the 3 course 'Seasonal Supper' menu will be written and prepared by Rory O'Connell, Ballymaloe Cookery School co-founder and teacher, author, TV personality and former Head Chef at Ballymaloe House.

On the Friday, why not head to Rostellan for the Chocolate, Cheese & Shellfish at Rostellan Chocolate. “We are showcasing our local food producers featuring Ballinrostig Homestead cheeses and local shellfish supplier Michael Barrett (The Lobsterman). We will be matching their produce with our wines and prosecco and we will also provide our coffees teas and Rostellan Hot Chocolate in our historic Courtyard. The event, which is not ticketed, is from 5pm to 8pm on Friday 8th Sept with live music so come early to avoid disappointment!”
Grow It Yourself (GIY). Advice, demos by the Courthouse in Midleton

And then comes Saturday, the Major Event; all over Midleton town there are events and demos galore:  Cooking Demos; Gin Demo; Grow Your Own Demo  (outside the courthouse);  The Long Table;  the Restaurant Tent. 

The usual Farmers Market will be on and look out for help and info from the folks of GIY. There is a Kids Area with Music Shows and Puppet Shows, Amusements of course. And you’ll also come across a Vintage Fair. A massive day, packed with food and fun.                               

For details on the Saturday and all the events during the week, click on the FEAST website here 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Happy Lot in Blarney. Hydro Farm Allotments

A Happy Lot in Blarney. 
Hydro Farm Allotments
Hot Seat
Okay, so you have your own plot. But you are not alone. You have “neighbours” to the left and right, to the rear and in front. You chat, they chat. You help. They help. They have different levels of experience, different experiences. They are from Crosshaven, from Ballincollig, from Russia, from Latvia, from Nigeria and from the Blarney area of course.

I am talking about the Hydro Farm Allotments where you may “come and join the buzz”. They held an open day last Sunday and hundreds turned up to see the place, to have a bite and a cuppa and to chat.


Save the water. The buckets (right) are used
in German wine industry

It was all very well organised and I had quite a few chats myself as I worked my way around the various plots, all much the same size. The growing of vegetables, including the regular spuds and cabbage, seems to be the main occupation. But no shortage of fruit and flowers either.

Some plots are like your own back garden with colorfully painted sheds, tables and chairs out and little patio areas. Here, the gardeners get the chance to talk, to exchange ideas and plants. And all seem very happy with the experience as most of them have been there for eight, nine, ten years.

A Lovely Plot

And, if you want to learn from the experts, you get that opportunity as well via organised courses. This past Spring for example, the gardeners learned how to make Strawberry and Herb Wheelie bins, how to keep bees, all about composting and recycling. Earlier this month, you could have learned how to design and maintain a herb garden and there was also an opportunity to go foraging.

Everything you need to go gardening is right here. The water is deep well water and there is one shared tap per 4/5 plots. There is an abundant supply of well-rotted manure and mulch on site, free to all ‘Plotters’ for their plots. There is a Tool Shed available to keep your garden tools. Some plotters opt to have Sheds/Poly Tunnels/Glasshouses on their plots where they keep them.

All neat and tidy

There is even a Tea Room and Potting shed.  This is off the Courtyard where there is a fridge to keep milk, sandwiches etc. while in the garden. This is a fun place where people can have a chat or a sandwich or even pot a few plants on a rainy day. The farm even have Free Range Eggs (when available) from their poultry in the fridge.

Hydro Farm allotments are part of a private farm between Blarney and Tower, Co Cork. A hidden piece of paradise that even people living in the area may not be aware about.

Visitors on Open Day
 The allotments are located on a secluded raised site, bounded by trees which form a shelter belt. Security is not a problem as the allotments are only reachable by private roadway and Zwena McCullough  the allotment owner lives on the farm

There is a large all weather car park adjacent to the Plots and Toilets on site for your comfort. The Allotments are open from 1st February to 31st December each year and open all day every day during this time.

Zwena McCullough
Hydro Farm Allotments, Tower, Blarney, Co. Cork.
Tel: 087 2333183 Email: