GIY - The Colder Months

As always Mick Kelly and the gang at GIY have been busy hatching new plans and, as well as all the usual valuable advice to help us get the most from out veg patches, they have loads of news including...

Very excitingly, in order to build on the success of GROW HQ and expand the food production and education, they are creating a GIY Farm that will, with GROW HQ, form a broader GIY education campus in the southeast. “GIY Farm will be a model of a sustainable food system and a mixture of food production, education, enterprise and tourism underpinned by a regenerative agriculture and organic approach. The approach will be to work with nature; creating a balanced and biodiverse system. The farm will be on 50 acres near GROW HQ and we aim to get it up and running early next year. To fund the initial capital and operational costs, we are issuing up to €400,000 in community bonds (loan notes) in €10,000 denominations with a 5 year investment and 5% per annum return.” If you or your company are interested in investing in this brilliant project please contact GIY directly for further information – and GIY also have some great ideas for “corporate gifts with purpose”; if that would be of interest to your company, email

On a more accessible scale, Mick’s latest book The GIY Diaries out now and this month-by-month grower’s guide with recipes will be a pleasure for keen gardeners to get for themselves, or as a gift. Available online (rrp €26.99), it can be ordered from several major bookstores including Dubray Books and will be in local book shops too.

And, as always, GIY has some delicious seasonal recipes to make the most of the harvest – and this one is perfect for the colder months.

This recipe, from Katie Sanderson of White Mausau, is a firm favourite with GIYers. Peanut rayu is a sweet salty condiment inspired by the chilli sauces Katie grew up eating in Asia and it’s available nationwide in about 150 stores, and beyond (check website for more info).
Katie describes this as “a great big family salad perfect for sharing – you can cook the wedges ahead of time the morning of, or night before, a party. The peanut rayu is great used at the end as in this recipe, but can also be thrown on pumpkin or other vegetables before you roast, it all gets charred and it’s delicious. Try to find crème fraiche with a high fat content - the French ones are finger licking good!"
• Pumpkin cut into wedges skin on (easy to take off once on your plate)
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• One jar of peanut rayu
• Creme fraiche (or coconut yoghurt for a vegan alternative)
• Spring onion chopped into thin discs
• Coriander, pickle

Step 1 - Cook
Preheat the oven to 190*C. Take the seeds out of the pumpkin and cut into wedges with the skin on. Place them in a bowl and season with salt pepper and oil.
Place in a hot oven making sure to not overcrowd the tray, give lots of space so it can roast properly. Cook for 35 min or until browned, maybe slightly blackened at the corners, and a knife goes through the flesh.
Let cool slightly.

Step 2 - Serve
Place on a big serving dish, rustic style. Add some dollops of crème fraiche add some spoonfuls of Peanut Rayu and then finish with some Maldon sea salt (or similar), cracked black pepper and some sprinkles of spring onion and pickled coriander.

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