Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Community taking root as Broadmeadow garden grows (Fingal Independant)

Thanks to Fingal Independant for this nice article about the community garden !
THE GREEN fingers of Broadmeadow Community gardeners came to fruition when the Community Garden was officially opened last weekend by Mayor of Fingal, Kieran Dennison.

For the past three years the garden, a 'conventional plot rather than an allotment,' has grown with the help of its members tending to the plants, shrubs and fruit trees.

According to Vice-Chairman of the Broadmeadow Community Garden, Patrick O'Keeffe, the concept of the project was 'to bring the community together and promote the community around growing.'

Fingal County Council gave the members the land to use, B&Q sponsored them from the beginning and, back in 2011, they received funding from the council's Integration Funding Scheme.

The garden, which is approximately 30 metres by 50 metres, with 32 five by one metre plots with a central piece containing herbs and vegetables, along with fruit trees, is located in the middle of Broadmeadow Park, near Thornleigh, Aston Brooke and Applewood estates.

'This is our third year of the garden and it's coming along really well with plants growing fast,' said Patrick.

'During the first year we did a lot of building work, making the raised beds and planting trees and the hedge while the second year we finished off the hedge work and community beds,' he explained. 'The hedge is flourishing now and the fruit trees have given us apples and cherries and the herb bed is coming along great.'

He said everyone involved in the garden give their time free of charge and have built up new friendships through the work at the garden.

'People are coming together and getting to know new people which is the concept behind the garden – to promote the community around growing. The young children are helping with the watering of plants and digging which is great to see.'

A number of events have taken place at the garden including an easter egg hunt for youngsters.

He said the main agenda was to have a garden using the natural environment to fit into the surrounding park area.

'The garden isn't quite finished yet and there is still a bit more work to do but everyone involved has enjoyed every minute of working on it,' added Patrick.

He said if more people are interested in becoming members and helping to maintain the garden, there is a possibility of extending it.

'Members pay €20 a year to go towards the maintenance of the garden and they do work on it themselves maintaining their plots and the general area,' said Patrick. 'We are extremely happy with the facility and have enjoyed the plants growing and growing over time.'

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Official opening of the garden

Sathurday 14th September 2013 : official opening of the garden, by the mayor of Fingal

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What going on the the veg plot?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have your wellies polished and trowels at the ready, the planting season is about to begin!

Traditionally St Patricks Day is the day to plant your spuds, as they are meant to be blessed by the holy day.
Well with the horrible weather we have been having blessed is not the word I would use to describe us! Ideally the ground should have warmed up a bit more to plant potatoes as they are very frost sensitive. They are from South America dont forget.

So if im not planting now what can i be doing?

Potatoes need to be chitted to give them the best start. Chitting simply means sprouting them. All you have to so is place them with eyes up (the little dimples in the end of the spud) in an egg carton or modular tray, and put them in a light but not bright place.
Make sure they dont touch and trow away and bad looking ones. Rem one bad apple spoils the crop!

Where to get spuds and what to buy. There are so many out there! You can get potatoes in most garden centres and DIY shops. I bought mine in Rolestown Garden Centre as they are always good quality.

Potatoes can be put into 3 catagories according to planting First earlies, second earlies and main crop. Sounds complicated but its not. When do you what to eat your spuds?
They all go in at the same time but are ready at different times. Then what kind of spuds do you like. Soapy or flowery and what whay will you be cooking them?
Liuckly the shops have mad it easy by telling us how best to cook your spuds.

the main thing is to pick the spuds you like and grow them Im growing Sharpes Express as tasty first early thats good boiled and in salads and Cara a prolific main crop that has good resistance to blight. But its up to you, generally i say go with the ones that are expensive in the shops.

If you just cant resist getting out there and planting something onion sets can be planted now. Red baron and Stutgartter are the ones in planting. Just rem each tiny onion turns into a big onion. Dont do what I did my 1st year and plant over 300 onions. No one can eat that many in a year!! Trust me!

Happy Gardening!!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Rolestown Garden Centre start Saturday morning classes tomorrow the 9th Feb. 2013. The first class is 9.30 - 10.30 am and repeats 11.30 - 12.30 am. See their website for more details:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Here's some timely information
 - compliments of GIY Ireland:


If you haven't already done so, you could still spread some manure or compost on your vegetable and fruit beds and cover them down with black polythene to start warming them up for spring sowing.

Make sure that it's well-rotted manure and be careful not to spread fresh manure in beds which will take root vegetables in the spring.

If you don't have a compost heap, this is a good time of the year to get one started.

Timber pallets are a cheap and easy way to build a heap for all your garden waste.

Consider a compost trench for your legume (peas and beans) bed – bury kitchen waste at a spade's depth and cover with soil.

To-Do List

If you have any root vegetables left in the soil, it's probably a good idea to get them out of there now as January-March are months when you get very heavy frosts and inclement weather – so lift anything that might still be in the soil such as parsnips, carrots and celeriac.

Cover down bare beds with mulch, leaves, compost or polythene.

Rhubarb is typically the first fresh crop of the spring, particularly if you "force" it now by covering it to exclude any light. Put a layer of straw on top of the dormant plants and then cover with an upturned pot. Tender little stems should be ready to eat in March.
January is also a good month to split the rhubarb plants if you want to propagate.

Get organised: start collecting old plastic bottles and containers as cloches and covers, and collect toilet roll inserts to use as pots for sowing.
Order your seeds and seed potatoes.

Sowing Seeds and Planting Out

Don't be tempted to sow seeds too early. Be patient – it won't be long.

Harvesting – what's in season?

January will be a lean month in your first few years of growing and it requires foresight the previous spring or summer to ensure that you have things worth eating at this time of the year. Perpetual spinach, chard, leeks and kale are the most likely candidates, all of which are very good to eat. You may also have winter cabbage, cauliflowers and some Brussels sprouts left in the ground if you didn't eat them all during Christmas.

Depending on how successful your growing/storage regime last year was, you may well still be tucking in to stores of potatoes, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, onions, cauliflower, jerusalem artichokes, winter squash, pumpkins, leeks and red cabbage. It's also possible to have winter salads like land cress, corn salad and mizuna at this time of the year, particularly in a polytunnel or greenhouse.