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GIY June
Author: Michael Kelly
Like most GIYers I did a little rain dance with the arrival of rain after nearly a month of drought conditions. What a fickle bunch we are! Don’t get me wrong, I’d much prefer a little heatwave to our more standard climate, but the daily watering outside was somewhat of a chore. I suppose that beautiful warm sunshine by day followed by a decent shower of rain at night would be the ideal weather pattern for this time of the year. That’s not much to ask is it?
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Michael Kelly
Author: Michael Kelly
It’s a nice surprise to discover that what you have considered a real nuisance in the veg patch, could in fact turn out to be a blessing. I’ve been plagued with chickweed for well over a year now in the small polytunnel.
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Michael Kelly
Author: Michael Kelly
It is fair to say that it has been a long and thoroughly miserable winter, with almost 6 months of grim weather at this stage. The impact has been minimal enough for the home-grower but we should of course spare a thought for the people who make a living from food production, particularly commercial growers and farmers.
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GIY Eat Together
Author: Michael Kelly
There’s a great scene from Michael Moore’s 2015 documentary Where to Invade Next that focuses on school dinners. He visits a small rural town in France and goes to the ‘best place to eat in town’ – the local school’s cafeteria. In France, they consider school lunch to be part of the teaching day.
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Winter Veg
Author: Michael Kelly
As we move towards sowing time, my inner critic is active again, goading me to get started on work in the veg patch. Every time I look out the window at the veg patch, or visit it to grab a leek or some parsnips for the dinner, it starts up its never-ending critical commentary.
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Apples from Ardkeen
Author: Michael Kelly
I am a massive fan of apples and the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” lessons of youth have stayed with me all my life. I’ve often thought it strange however, that such a traditional saying must surely have originated at a time when it would have been difficult to follow the advice and eat an apple each day all year round.
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Raised Bed
Author: Michael Kelly
Over the last few years I’ve noticed a definite snootiness about using raised beds for growing food, which I find ridiculous. It’s almost like if you are not out there double digging your soil and breaking your back to suffer for your vegetables then it’s considered cheating. Personally I am all for the occasional cheat if it helps me to grow better veggies or helps me to grow them with less time and effort expended.
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GIY Pears
Author: Michael Kelly
I was about 5 hours in to my monster 8-hour ‘pickle-athon’ and up to my neck in diced fruit, veg and vinegar syrups. I had just peeled, cored and chopped 2kg of pears (I didn’t count how many pears that is, but it’s a lot), and a pan of boiling, sugary stickiness had just overflowed on the stove. The kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it. I was tired, cranky, sweaty and hungry (ironic, given that I was surrounded by mounds of food).
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Strawberries
Author: Michael Kelly
I've discovered as I get older that I am person that loves to square things away, and that applies equally with food-growing where I am constantly looking for things that simplify what can be a pretty complicated life-skill.
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Author: Michael Kelly
On one level, food growing is quite simple – you sow a seed, a plant grows, you eat it. But of course it’s the bits in between those major milestones where things can get complicated. Sometimes it doesn’t get complicated at all and everything flows beautifully. I smile, zen-like, and feel mighty happy with my abilities – but even then I can’t shake the uneasy feeling that I have no idea why it went so well this time.
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