From The Garden

Feastival will include a total of 25 different vegetables, fruits and other foods all grown, caught or foraged by ourselves. We think we're the best hippies on the block, so we do.

Beautiful Beetroot
Basil: We've tried it outside this year. It's not quite warm enough so the growth is poor and the leaves are pale - but the flavour is very intense and quite aniseedy.

Beetroot: For Feastival we will be using both the root and the leaves of the beetroot - the roots in a beetroot salad and the leaves as a slightly tangy green to stir-fry. The beetroot are grown outside in a section of a drill.

Brilliant Blackberries
Blackberries: Delicious and totally free from a ditch near you (unless you'd prefer to pay €5 for a handful in Tesco). In spite of the all the rain and lack of sun this year (or maybe even because of it) there is a great crop of blackberries to be had.

Broadbeans: The broad beans have a metallic meaty flavour and we will be using them in refried beans. The grow outside and required some staking, and fruit from mid-July until the end of August. So we will be using the last of this year's crop.

Colourful Carrots
Broccoli: We have green, sprouting broccoli at our house in Galway. Caterpillars love it. I hate caterpillars.

Carrots: We grew a selections of different coloured carrots in drills in Clare this year. They are just starting to reach full maturity now so most of what we've picked are thinnings.

Coriander: If you start it off indoors and plant it out in June, it grows well. It goes to seed quite easily in sunny weather- but that hasn't been a big problem this year!

Curvy Courgette
Courgette: We've been growing courgettes for a few years and usually end up with a big glut, so we only have one plant this year. Unfortunately it's got a touch of the "powdery mildew" and we have a smaller crop than we would have liked. 

Chili peppers: For the first time ever we managed to grow a large number of chilies this year. We grew them in a polytunnel and covered the ground with tinfoil to reflect the sun back on the plants
Cumongous Chili peppers
and to keep down weeds. So far we have loads of green peppers, which are relatively mild. We think they may get hotter, and maybe change colour, as they mature.

French Beans: Grown outside with some stake supports, the french beans were badly effected by wind this year. They normally produce a good crop from just a few plants and have a very long fruiting season.

Groovy Garlic
Garlic: Garlic grows readily outside in Ireland. The tradition is to plant on the shortest day of the year, December 21, and picked on the longest day of the year, June 21.  

Grapes: This is our second year with grapes and the plants are still getting established. Grown in the polytunnel with the root planted outside, the hope is that they will produce a lot of fruit in the yer to come. This year we got one bunch of medium sweet fruit.

Hilarious Herbs
Greengages: Greengages are wee green plums. I'd never heard of them until our "cherry blossom" tree started producing fruit and I went investigating! What a nice surprise crop. I have high hopes of making a greengage wine next year. . .

Herbs (The Perennials): Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Chives. Once established they keep going for years, with few needs. 

Klassy Kale
Kale: We love the Kale! We have let last winters plants flower, as we hope to save the seeds from them. It will keep growing right through to spring.

Lettuce: We have the lettuces in a very sunny spot this year, which is not the best idea as it gets quite a sharp flavour. Ah well, you live and learn! By planting more seeds when the first lettuce matured we have had our own for most of the last 12 months- the spring supply was grown in the polytunnel. 
Mellow Melon

Melon: Another first this year. Grown in the greenhouse we got two nice fruit - very sweet with orange fresh.

Parsnips: The parsnips are just reaching maturity now so we will be using out first crop this week!

Peppers: This year we have a good number of sweet peppers, all green so far because we keep eating them. 

Preposterous Peppers
Potatoes: We have three varieties of potatoes, all grown outside in drills. The potatoes were grown in a bit of well rotted dung and were not treated for blight, so we lost a few along the way.  

Rhubarb: Rhubarb grows so fast and needs very little minding- I would definitely recommend it for the new gardener.

Ravenous Rhubarb
Red cabbage: Red cabbage grows outside in drills and is great to eat cooked or raw. It seems to be a little more resistant to insects than other brassica.   

Rocket: Our rocket seems to go to seed if you look sideways at it. So frustrating and peppery delicious.

Spinach: Perpetual spinach is one of our favourites. Produces lots of mild leaves, over a very long season- and sometimes keeps going the following year.

Totally Tomato
Tomatoes: We have three types of cherry tomato -  one red, one yellow and one orange - all grown in a section of the polytunnel. The tomatoes usually come into season in mid July and last until mid September.

Stuff and Things

All pictures by Alíona Hamilton

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