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  • What are certified seed potatoes?

    Cerified seed potatoes are seed that has been certified for purity and freedom from disease by the Dept of Agriculture.  Each seed crop is inspected to confirm the identity of the variety, to ensure that it meets the minimum level of varietal purity and that it meets certain plant health and pest infection standards. The Irish Department of Agriculture where the first official body in Europe to establish a Seed Potato Certification Scheme in 1918. This ensured variety purity and disease and virus freedom.  You should only buy seed potatoes that are
  • Helping Winter Wildlife

    Winter can be tough for the wild things- but it is not too hard for us to help. Helping birds: Help birds in winter by placing fat blocks in wire cages. Balls in plastic nets are not recommended as birds can get caught in them.  The empty nets also end up as litter as they are often forgotten or dislodged by the weather. You can put out finely chopped bacon rind and grated cheese for small birds such as wrens. Thrushes and blackbirds favour fruit. Scatter over-ripe apples, raisins and song-bird mixes on the ground for them. Do not leave out large quantities of food
  • December Seasonal Table - Brussel Sprouts

    There are two types of people in the world – those that like sprouts and those that see sprouts as the vegetable that spoils Christmas.  This is probably all down to cooking so perhaps I should have started by saying there are two types of cooks in the world – those that respect the sprout and those that boil it so long it transforms into a little fart bomb! Why do sprout plants look so odd? After the construction of the second wall of Brussels in the fourteenth century, market gardening developed outside the wall. Vegetable growing took off so much so that space
  • Sprouting and Microgreens

    If you want fresh leaves  and sprouts for salads and sandwiches all year round then look no further than your own kitchen.  Sprouts and microgreens are easy to grow and will provide you with fresh nourishment even in the depths of winter. Sprouts Sprouts are quite simply the tender shoots of germinating seeds. (Not to be confused with Brussel sprouts, that popular Christmas favourite beloved by small children).  They are packed with protein, vitamins, enzymes and minerals. They are very easy to grow and can provide a valuable addition to any diet. Lovely in salads,
  • Guide to Growing Early Potatoes and Chitting

    Early earlies are a treat to be savoured – and to get them on your plate in April/May you need to make a start now in December/January. Early potatoes have a short growing season – that is they will reach maturity within 10-12 weeks of planting depending on the severity of the weather.  Colleen, Casablanca, Sharpe’s Express or Red Duke of York are all reliable, tasty early varieties. Orla and British Queens (although officially these are second early varieties) can also be planted now for an early crop. Chitting potatoes Chitting is basically another word for
  • Look What's New

    In the past while we have been scouring the globe to bring you new products for environment friendly living and growing.  We can reveal that new to the extensive emporium of delights that is Fruit Hill Farm we have – Sprouting and Microgreens Supplies Looking good on the windowsill! Three tier terracotta sprouter. We have a whole new section dedicated to the growing of these tasty and  nutritious little wonders.  Can be grown on the kitchen windowsill for healthy, fresh food every day.  We have an extensive range of organic seeds for you to sprout as well!
  • Cleaning and Sharpening Pruning Tools

    After investing in a high quality pruning tool or secateurs, it is worth taking a little time to keep them in good working order. Cleaning your pruners to avoid the build up of debris between the moving parts will definitely extend their life and usability. It is also important to sterilise your pruners if dealing with plants or trees where the carry-over of infection is a concern. Regular sharpening is also essential as dull blades tend to tear the plant tissue and make jagged cuts. Cleaning and Disinfecting Pruners  Clean - Before sterilising pruners, they should
  • All About Turnips and Swedes

    The History of the Turnip & Swede Turnips are a cruciferous vegetable (member of the mustard family). Turnips thrive in cool climates. The turnip that we know is thought to have descended from the Wild Turnip which is native to Central Asia, the Mediterranean and the Near East. The turnip was a well-established crop in Roman times. Fast forward to Viscount Charles Townshend of Raynham - Turnip Townsend - No, this man did not have a turnip shaped head! He was often known as Turnip Townshend because of his strong interest in farming turnips. He promoted the Norfolk
  • Introduction to Pruning

      The country’s trees have taking quiet a bashing this year and many of us are still clearing up damaged and felled trees. We can make the best of it by stocking up the woodshed and plan some winter pruning while we’re at it. With some exceptions, most trees are pruned in winter anyways. This is largely because deciduous plants go dormant in the winter and so less stress is received by the plant. There are other reasons for winter pruning. All the energy of the plant has been drawn in to its roots in the winter. This means the plant will have a large
  • Digging - Best Practice and Tools for the Job

      It is great to see the recent burst of interest and research into no-dig farming methods as a means to preserve and promote the health of our soils. However, it is unlikely we will be downing tools anytime soon in our gardens as mechanically working the soil is by far the quickest way to convert a patch of unused land into a fertile and workable medium for vegetable plants. By cultivating the soil, we can quickly create an ideal loose friable structure by breaking up compaction and a directly adding organic matter such as compost and manure. This provides

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