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Grow it Yourself - Harvest
Author: Michael Kelly
There are some vegetables that you grow yourself and you really wonder whether it's worth the hassle, particularly if there are good commercial alternatives available. But given the fact that most of the tomatoes in our supermarkets are the super-bland, all-year-round Dutch variety and taste of ....well nothing at all, having a good crop of your own tomatoes is really one of the most rewarding things you can do.
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Grow It Yourself - Basil
Author: Michael Kelly
I am doing a lot of transplanting at the moment, which is always a fun activity for a GIYer. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of planting seedlings – bare beds transformed in an instant with neat rows of little plants. I always feel intensely happy after spending some time planting – and now I know that there is actually a scientific reason for this – contact with soil triggers the release of serotonin in our brain according to research.
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Grow It Yourself - Beetroot
Author: Michael Kelly
This month we will be harvesting the first of our new season beetroot - OK, so they will be no bigger than golf balls and will have been grown in the polytunnel, but they will be all the tastier and more tender as a result.
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GIY - Seedlings
Author: Michael Kelly
I’m not too far removed from the point where I was really, really daunted by the idea of growing my own food. I was the least green fingered person in the universe when I started growing my own vegetables about 6 years ago – up to that point my only experience of growing things was with bonsai trees.
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Grow It Yourself
Author: Michael Kelly
One of the most incredible things about children is their innocence – they have (thankfully) almost none of the hang-ups that us adults are burdened with. They approach life with a wide-eyed enthusiasm, devoid of cynicism or skepticism. They bring these same qualities with them when it comes to growing their own food.
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GIY Ireland - Compost
Author: Michael Kelly
The other evening I was going through some notes from a course on soil fertility I attended a few years back with Jim Cronin on his smallholding in Bridgetown, Co Clare. Jim is a rare breed – a wise sage who wears his considerable wisdom lightly. The two greatest materials for returning fertility to soil, he says, are seaweed and homemade compost.
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GIY Seedlings
Author: Michael Kelly
Every year I worry a little about whether I will find enthusiasm for growing my own food again – what if the year turns and I just don’t have any interest any more? I always take a decent break from the veg patch in December – it’s the one month when there’s very little work to do and the garden will forgive you if you don’t show up.
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Spinach
Author: Michael Kelly
I had a bit of a panic last weekend when it occurred to me that I hadn’t sown anywhere near enough spinach or chard when I did my ‘winter sowing’ back in September. I’m a big fan of spinach, particularly in the winter months when there are few other sources of leafy greens in the vegetable patch. I love using tiny little spinach leaves in salads and larger ones in stir-fries, soups and the likes. But problem is, I reckon I only have enough left in the veg patch to see me up to Christmas.
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Chilli Peppers
Author: Michael Kelly
It was World Food Day last month and as I always do with these vast global events, I tried to think about it down at the only level that makes any sense to me – my vegetable patch. One of my main motivations for growing my own food is that supermarkets just don’t provide any real variety when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
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Tomatoes
Author: Michael Kelly
If you allow it to be, the harvest can be a time of incredible celebration, and it is quite right that it should be so. We should be celebrating at this time of the year even though it might be kind of quaint to do so. The joy of the harvest is something that the food chain’s assault on seasonality has deprived us of, for if every vegetable is available all the year round, then of course there is no reason to celebrate the harvest months.
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