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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 enter.

I'm Eve and I live in Lowertown, Schull, Co. Cork with my 4 kids, two dogs, 4 cats, 5 geese, 2 rabbits, 8 chickens and some other stuff.

1. How did your garden start?

I've always had gardens. I had a pet tree when I was 7. But my garden now is just two and a half years old, since I moved to my current house.

2. What's your favourite thing about your garden.?

My favourite thing about my garden is more than one thing - I love how I can lay down in the very middle and because of the windbreak and hedges, no one can see me, and its very private and safe among all the plants. Very daydream inducing. My other favourite thing is gathering my own food from the garden. The children help and it is a beautiful thing to cook and feed the family from our own work. Healthy good food is really important to me.

3. Have you encountered any particular problems in your garden?

Up here in Lowertown, it is very very windy. The first time I put up my little tunnel it went down overnight when the Spring wind came. Thankfully I had dug in the plastic and the entire thing was salvageable. The kids and I put it up in our most sheltered spot and so far so good. I've fenced in the outdoor garden and wind-breaked it all too. Things grow so well now, but the cut off point is 4 feet high, so no outside runner beans.

Another difficulty is slugs! I managed to counter that with running the ducks through the garden in the mornings and evenings, but then we lost the ducks this winter to predators, So am restarting on that solution. It is nice: lots of lovely eggs and less slugs/snails.

My biggest difficulty is time. I'm single parenting 4 kids aged 14 down to 6, and I work 30 hours plus outside the home. I grow to organic principles, so no chemicals which makes weed control a huge issue. I managed buy a couple of the 50m rolls of the ground cover Fruit Hill Farm sells this winter. It has been a game changer.

4. What grows well in your garden?

I grow really basic veg, onions, garlic, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce, potatoes. The soil is heavy stony clay, so I've grown a couple of winter green manure crops (thanks Fruit Hill Farms for the seeds!) and I'm hopeful that this year I can actually get carrots that we can eat. Kale is the winner for the last two years.

5. What is your favourite thing to eat from your garden?.

I love the cucumbers from the tunnel, and I love fresh lettuce from the outdoor garden.

6. What do you get most excited about your garden?

I love growing new things - I planted some oca this year for the first time. It is so pretty with its shamrock like leaves. I'm also growing wasabi. I love the trial and error of seeing how the micro climates work within the plantings and how with a bit of care and love plants flourish. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment.

7.What are your plans for your garden?

More food production! And cut flowers beds, and another tunnel, and a fruit garden... the list is endless, but great fun to plan.

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