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  • Late early potatoes...it is not too late to plant early potatoes!

    Many of you have delayed planting potatoes due to the cold weather, but fear not, it's not too late to plant early potatoes - you'll just have a later crop of early potatoes! There seems to be a misconception out there that early potatoes have to be planted early and late potatoes later. The "early" and "late" actually refers to the time when they are going to be ready for harvest.  An early variety matures much faster (and will be earlier)  than a late variety (which takes longer to grow and will be later). Early varieties are Vitabella, Casablanca, Colleen,
  • The Dangers Neonicotinoid Insecticides hold for our bees and other wildlife

    Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine (The name literally means “new nicotine-like insecticides) Neonicotinoids – first introduced in the mid-1990s – are the fastest growing and most heavily used class of insecticide, and account for roughly 25% of the global agrochemical market. They have become increasingly popular as insects (especially aphids) have developed resistance to other insecticides. How do neoinicotinoids work? Neoinicotinoids are designed to target the insects nervous system  causing havoc with
  • The Hungry Gap - What it is and How to fill it

    The Hungry Gap is the in-between-seasons period after winter vegetables but before the availability of early spring crops - normally April to June. Of course we can now go to the shop and buy whatever our hearts desire but in the past this would have been a time of want and hardship. The hungry gap reminds us of the seasonality of fruit and veg. While no-body should go hungry, I think we should all stand back and question the logic of strawberries at Christmas or peas in April. How to fill the Hungry Gap Careful planning and storing, in theory, means that you will
  • Boxty

    Bacstaí  or boxty is a quick and easy Irish potato pancake.  Also called grated cakes or farls. To make these you willl need - 50g plain flour 4 large potatoes, peeled and grated onto a tea towel and the liquid squeezed out 1 egg, beaten Salt and pepper Oil for frying How to: Put grated squeezed potatoes, flour,  egg, salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix well, until all ingredients are blended together. Use as soon as mixture is mixed, do not allow to stand as the mixture can discolour. Heat a little oil on a frying pan, when hot drop spoonfuls of mixture onto
  • Planting & Growing 'Flavor' Softneck Garlic in Spring

    Flavor Softneck garlic is a an organic Garlic for Spring planting. Flavor Garlic has lovely ivory/pink cloves of fine flavour.  Can be used green in salads or left to mature for cooking.  Wonderful roasted whole in olive oil with new potatoes and rosemary. Choosing a Site and soil for your garlic Choose an open, sunny site and well-drained soil. High humidity around the foliage and wet soils make the crop more prone to disease. Prior to planting, improve the soil’s structure, moisture retention and nutrient levels by incorporating organic matter. Apply about two
  • 10 Most Popular Flower & Vegetable Seeds for Growers

    Our Most Popular Flower & Vegetable Seeds Sold here at Fruit Hill Farm We were surprised at some of these, but the results are in and our most popular seeds sold in 2017 are as follows....drum roll please! Top 10 Flower seeds Calendula - not surprising that this is no.1 as it is easy to grow and suits most soils. It has a wonderful vibrant colour, attracts bees and hover-flies AND it's flowers are edible. A noble winner indeed! Wild Italian Sweet Pea comes in a close second. This is a lovely strong scented flower with lilac and purple flowers. Sweet Pea comes in
  • Fruit Hill Farms Orange Tree

    Supporting Farming and Farmers through Crowdfarming There has been an outbreak of irony at Fruit Hill Farm – we have become proud owners of a fruit tree! To be precise an Orange tree.  Our tree is growing on a family farm in Bétera, just north of Valencia in Spain – and most deliciously – we have just received our first crop! How does all this work?  Well it’s all down to a concept called crowdfarming. Crowdfarming is similar to crowdfunding. It centres around the concept of remote farmers who purchase plots of farmland or trees then are shipped the crop
  • Blight Resistant Potatoes

    Of the many pests and disease effecting potato crops, late-blight remains the most destructive by far. Traditionally, blight has been kept at bay by chemical control. Teagasc estimate that around €5 million is spent on fungicides annually to prevent blight in Ireland alone. This is dished out over 15-20 applications per season – a worrying amount. Unfortunately, this historical dependence on fungicides meant that a narrow range of potato varieties with little or no blight resistance could be grown successfully. As a result, not much effort was made to breed
  • Guide to Growing Potatoes for Beginners - 6 Tips for Success

    What could be nicer than digging your own early potatoes out of the home garden? Potatoes are a relatively easy crop to grow, but here are 6 top tips to increase the chance of success. Chit before planting to give the plants a head start when planting. To chit/sprout leave the seed potatoes in trays with their eyes up in a light cool, frost free room. (Read more about chitting potatoes HERE) Fertilize soil well to achieve a good yield and quality. Potatoes need enough Nitrogen to produce good stalks and leaves, Phosphorus for good root growth and Potash for yield,
  • January Seasonable table - Parsnips

    Parsnips are a very reliable winter root vegetable.  They have a distinct nutty flavour and sweetness and are very versatile in the kitchen.  In Roman times they were believed to be an aphrodisiac and they were often used as a source of sugar before cane and beet sugars were available.  Parsnips are a member of the cow parsley family along with carrot, dill, fennel and parsley.  Treat as carrots in your rotation. How to Grow Parsnips Sow parsnips from February to May.  On light soils Tender and True are a very good variety whilst White Gem would be better for

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