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Ballymaloe Garden Fest Blessed by the Sun On Again Tomorrow
The sun came out today and I followed it to the Ballymaloe Garden Festival. It was lunchtime and the question came: Where is the food? In the Big Shed, of course.
No shortage of options here but we stopped at the stall where Frenchman Laurent and his bubbly crew were dishing up the galettes. Mine was packed with Poached Ballycotton Salmon, Homemade White Wine Hollandaise, Chard, Tomatoes and Garden Leaves.
That deliciously satisfied the hunger pains. Well, almost. Just couldn’t resist stopping at the Yum Gelato ice-cream stall and helping myself to a double scoop. Superb, especially the mixed fruit element.
Before we left the shed, we enjoyed a lovely conversation with Julie Calder-Potts of Highbank Orchards in Kilkenny and got lots of tips on using their famous and delicious Orchard Syrup. Julie tells me they’ll have Ireland’s “smallest legal distillery” up and running by October and will produce a limited run of Apple Spirit! Get your orders in.
We then took a stroll around, starting with the Walled Garden where a new garden has been laid out to celebrate fifty years of Ballymaloe. Lots of veg and flowers in this large enclosure including an amazing amount of rhubarb!
Garden stalls galore around the sunny place today, everything from tiny pot plants to trees and including some amazing furniture from Beara, the highlight being the picnic table that folds back into a seat or maybe the seat that folds out into a table!
Lots of talks and demos on as well and they'll do it all again tomorrow. Look out for Caroline Robinson, busy on the Coal Quay every Saturday, who will share her wealth of experience of running a small market garden enterprise, for Johann and Tom Doorley who will concentrate on the uses of edible flowers, and Michael Kelly who will present “A GIY guide to growing your own food”. Many more as well, plus all the stalls again (don't forget the food!) and you can see all the details, including times, here.