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  • Ladybirds in the garden - the benefits they bring and how to identify them

    Ladybirds (or ladybugs if you prefer) tend to be more prominent after a spell of hot weather like we have just had, and we have noticed that we are fortunate enough to have some in our garden. If you are not familiar with Ladybirds larva you may be inclined to think that it is a pest that you should think about getting rid of.  However having ladybirds in your garden is of great benefit to any organic gardener as they help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale insects. How to identify Ladybird Eggs The female ladybird will lay 10-50 eggs on a
  • 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'
  • 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 neonicotinoids work? Neonicotinoids are designed to target the insects nervous system  causing havoc with the
  • 2018 Organic Seed Potato Catalogue

    Potato season is here! View and download the PDF of our 2018 Catalogue of Organic Seed Potatoes  by clicking on the link below. Fruit Hill Farm organic seed potato brochure 2018 We now have an even larger selection of Blight resistant varieties along with some interesting gourmet varieties for those of you that want something a bit different. View the full selection available on our online store   var
  • 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
  • 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
  • Winter Green Manures

    Green manures, also referred to as fertility building crops, are crops used to improve the condition of the soil in some way during times when there would be no other plants in the ground. They are typically dug back into the soil before the following crop to allow it to benefit from the nutrients released. A wide range of plant species can be used as green manures with different ones providing different benefits. To get the best from a green manure crop, its cultivation should be taken as seriously as any other crop and integrated thoughtfully into the crop
  • 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

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