Tuesday 21 November 2017

Enjoying home-grown food makes you extremely proud

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Where do you GIY?

We have about an acre near Inagh in Co Clare.

Why do you GIY?

The food we eat and the way it has been produced impact hugely on our health. Enjoying a full plate of home-grown food together with friends and family makes you so very proud of your achievements in the garden.

What do you grow?

It is so important to grow what you really like and what you will eat. We grow several varieties of potatoes every year, also some tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, lettuce, pumpkins, beetroot, cucumbers, courgettes, onions and herbs.

What's your favourite veg to eat/grow?

My dad doesn't like onions, so I grew up without the pleasure of onions. . . which may be the reason why they simply have to go into everything now.

My current favourite is 'potato onions' -- a variety from Irish Seed Savers -- which grow like a shallot but store like an onion.

What's your least favourite veg to eat/grow?

Aubergines, fennel and coriander -- never liked them and never will.

I can't say anything about growing them as a result, but I am wishing everyone who does like them the very best of luck with them.

What's your favourite GIYing moment each year?

Digging for spuds is definitely a favourite. Out in the garden, I am happy to do nearly every job.

It's easier and more fun of course when there are at least two of us and even more so when family and friends come to join in.

What's your most useful gardening tool?

The fork. It's such a handy tool to break up, loosen, lift and turn over the soil and apply manure.

It also connects us with the old days. Real work is being done when the fork comes out.

What do you know now about GIYing that you didn't know last year?

Growing your own food, one can learn every day. Yesterday I saw a beetle that was new to me and found out that he was a relative to the vine weevil.

They seem to be at their worst in the larvae stage and are therefore very hard to control.

My finest hour in the veg patch was when . . .

We had wonderful, bright orange pumpkins in the tunnel last year. While a small variety, they were so tasty and really gave the tunnel a new shine last autumn.

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