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Latest news from Fruit Hill Farm.
  • Rye Bother?

    The terms ‘Rye’ and ‘Ryegrass’ can be confusing. They both refer to plants which belong to the grasses (Poaceae family) and their uses overlap. However, they are not the same species. Rye (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain closely related to wheat and barley. It is grown for grain that produces deep flavourful breads but also as a forage and cover crop. On the other hand, ryegrasses (Lolium spp.) are used primarily as high quality forage and fodder grasses as well as catch crops - perennial ryegrass is what you mostly see when gazing wistfully out over the
  • Flea Beetle and How to Control Them

    Why are there holes in my Rocket? These tiny (and unsightly) holes that have appeared (often suddenly) in the leaves of young Brassica plants are the distinctive damage of the rarely seen Flea Beetle and can be very off-putting to the beginner gardener. WHAT ARE FLEA BEETLES The term Flea Beetle is used to describe a number of different species of beetles of the Chrysomelidae and they are found throughout the World. Flea Beetles are very small (usually 2- 3mm in size), shiny and oval shaped, and they can be dark blue, greenish purple or black in colour. As their name
  • Summer solstice and plants

    June 21st is the longest day of the year here in West Cork and the rest of Ireland.  If there are no clouds then we should get about 17 hours of daylight (woohoo!) with the sun rising at about quarter past five and setting just before ten. In terms of daylight, this day is 8 hours, 22 minutes longer than on December Solstice. This is due to the earth's axis and rotation. Instead of being straight up and down, the earth is actually tilted about 23 degrees. So as the earth rotates on its axis, parts of the world are tilted either closer towards the sun or farther away
  • Helping Bees with Bee Friendly Practices & Plants

    Why are bees so important to us Bees are the world's most important pollinator of food crops, an estimated whopping 1/3 of food is dependent on pollination. Pollination is basically plant reproduction: by transferring pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower the plants seed or fruit can be formed. The transfer of pollen can be done by the wind, birds, bats, mammals and of course insect such as bees - bees are so important because they pollinate on such a massive scale - hence the phrase 'busy bees'. Threats to bees There are quite a
  • Is it cheaper to grow your own organic vegetables?

    We can all agree that growing your own vegetables has many advantages.  Nothing compares to home-grown for taste; growing your own means that your vegetables are very fresh, full of nutrients and taste delicious.  Then there’s the satisfaction – that sense of achievement that comes with picking your first tomato, or better still, when serve your first salad to a group of admiring friends!  Growing your own opens a whole new world to you and your family.  Children learn where vegetables come from and are generally more enthusiastic about trying them.  It creates
  • Competition winner

    We have a winner of our GDPR Competition!  Congratulations to John Kinsella in Cork who is now the proud owner of a Sneeboer Titanium hand tool set. Many thanks to all of you who took the trouble to enter and sign up for our newsletter - your support is really appreciated.
  • Sprouting and Microgreen Seed List

    Fruit Hill Farm Sprouting and Microgreen Seed List.  All organic seeds! Please note that some seeds are best only grown as microgreens and are marked (*suitable for microgreens only) accordingly. Alfalfa  -  Alfalfa is one of the most popular seeds for sprouting. Alfalfa sprouts are crisp, their taste fresh and light - almost like crisp lettuce.  Very delicate sprout. Beetroot  *-  Beetroot seeds grow as a micro-green and add colour and interest to your salads. They have a lovely earthy taste and are quick and easy to grow. Broccoli Calabrese  -  Broccoli
  • Caring for your Knees when gardening

    The knee is the largest joint in the human body. It is a hinge-like joint that is subject to constant pounding, bending, and twisting from everyday activities, as well as the impact of falls and the effects of arthritis. Since the knee supports nearly the entire weight of the body and has high joint mobility, it is one of the most susceptible to injuries. Knee Joint Housemaids/Gardeners Knee is the most common form of knee bursitis and is caused by the inflammation (swelling) of the Prepatellar Bursa which sits in front of the knee cap. Prolonged or repetitive
  • Regenerative Gardening: Looking after the invisible!

    I was fortunate to meet Alex Podolinski in the late 90's at a meeting in Camphill Duffcarrig in Wexford. He is a Biodynamic pioneer and basically the founder of Australian Biodynamic farming as it exists now. He was also one of the first people to recognize that plants have two types of root systems, one for the uptake of water, which supports the transpiration process; and much finer white "hair roots" which are the feeder roots. In artificially fertilized systems the latter are often impaired or even destroyed as most of the nutrients in such a system are supplied in
  • Visit to Livos (What I did for my Holidays)

    We have been stocking the Livos range of non toxic paints and wood treatments for some years now. As far as we know, Livos are the world’s first manufacturer of natural paints. The company was born in 1974 when a group of hippyish scientists and technicians began researching the use of plant compounds (phytochemicals) to create high quality paints and wood treatments which are as safe and clean as possible. Last week I visited the factory in Germany to learn more about some of the products, how they are produced and their ingredients. The word 'factory'

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