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Fruit Hill Farm Blog

  • How Does Your Garden Grow - Featured July Winner

    Congratulations this month go to Eve from Lowertown in Schull, Co.Cork. We love how she deals with the slug problem in a very organic and beneficial way and that her garden is a place for relaxing in whilst also providing food for her large family. Well done Eve, hope you enjoy spending your €50 voucher here at Fruit Hill Farm and that it helps with your future plans for your garden! If you'd like to  win a €50 voucher for Fruit Hill Farm and have your garden featured in the How Does Your Garden Grow section of our website CLICK HERE for full details on how to
  • Seasonal Table July - Courgettes

    Easy to grow and producing a rewarding crop, courgettes are a popular vegetable to grow.  Sow indoors from April in medium sized pots at a minimum temperature 20c. Harden the plants off slowly and plant outside after last frost at a spacing of 30cm x 30cm.  Courgettes like a sunny spot and rich soil so incorporate some compost or well rotted manure into the soil before planting.  Alternatively, you can use a NPK fertilizer such as Greenvale. Keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants, not over them. They need plenty of water, so sink a 15cm pot
  • Carrot Root Fly

      The carrot root fly (Psila rosae), pictured below looking like butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth, is responsible for much grief amongst home gardeners and commercial growers alike. It is partial to dining on a number of vegetables in the Apiaceae, or carrot, family of plants. It can affect parsnip, parsley, celery and celeriac but is most notorious for reducing your carrot crop to an inedible mess. Carrot fly is a small black-bodied fly which lays its eggs beside victim crops. The larvae then hatch out and feed on the roots as they burrow into them. Sometimes
  • Gardens to Visit

    Lovely Knockvicar in Boyle, Co Roscommon. There are some fantastic gardens that are open to the public in Ireland and, if you are planning some trips this Summer, you may want to consider including a visit to some of the gardens listed here - this is by no means a definitive list as there are just so many to choose from, but it does include some of our favourites... Organic Centre The Organic Centre was established in 1995.  It is located on a 19 acres site in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.  The aim of the centre is to provide training and education, information and
  • Thinking Ahead - Fermenting Cucumbers

    If you grow cucumbers then you'll know that it's coming to the time of the year where they can come in a glut...and there's only so many cucumbers that you can eat in one sitting, so it's a great idea to preserve them and have them on hand for future occasions. They are a great addition to sandwiches, salads and they even taste great just by themselves as a quick snack. Fermented v Pickling The fermentation of vegetables is among the oldest and healthiest methods of preserving food. There can be a bit of confusion when it comes to the difference between fermentation
  • Edible Flowers

    Not just a treat for the eye - quite a lot of flowers are edible and can be used in salads and as cake and beverage decorations.  They can also be crystalised and used later on as edible treats.  The following list is not exhaustive but will give you food for thought! Top row - left to right: Apple blossom, Borage, Dianthus, Chives, Cornflower. Bottom row - left to right: Courgette, Dill, Forget-me-not, Lavender, Marigold Apple/ Crab Apple Apple blossoms have a slightly floral taste. Good in a fruit punch. Borage Flowers can be used in salads or in cocktails. 
  • Bolting

    Bolting refers to when a plant rather rudely decides to enter its flowering stage before we would like it to. Essentially, it has come to the conclusion that it is time to produce seed, and energy previously flowing into leaf growth is diverted to this task. As a result, the leafy part of the plant, which we were more than likely planning on eating, is lost to woody, not so tasty, and sometimes more bitter material. Bolting is essentially a survival mechanism which is triggered for a number of reasons. The factors which contribute to a plants susceptibility to
  • June Seasonal Table: Strawberries

    The first fruit to ripen in summer - and the most popular - strawberries are everyone’s favourite. Strawberries are a  member of the rose family and aren't really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. Planting Strawberries Strawberries are best planted in the spring or autumn. They prefer a sunny and sheltered position in fertile, free-draining soil. Improve your soil with lots of organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure prior to
  • How does your Garden Grow - Featured June Winner

    We all absolutely loved Aileen from Antrim's entry for this months How Does your Garden Grow feature - not only is it lovely to see the change and growth in her garden over time, but we all loved her inventive way of trying to keep the rabbits away!! Congratulations Aileen - we hope you enjoy spending your €50 voucher for Fruit Hill Farm and we hope your garden continues to grow and flourish! If you'd like to  win a €50 voucher for Fruit Hill Farm and have your garden featured in the How Does Your Garden Grow section of our website CLICK HERE for full details on
  • Scythes & Scything

    Like many other traditional tools, a scythe can look like a crude instrument when first viewed. However, in the right hands, it can be a very efficient tool giving much return for the energy expended. Indeed, it’s surprising how much area can be cleared or mown in a short time. Rambling through Youtube scything videos you’ll come across a few ‘man versus machine’ style challenges. On the whole, the scythe favours well - albeit with a user in need of a sit down by the end. It competes especially well with strimmers, clearing open ground quicker but struggling

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