Flower farmers meet up

Ruby pic

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

The differences in what’s happening between writing this article and you reading it are huge for us this month. I’m writing a week ahead ‘as such’ and the events I’m talking about will have already happened by the time this goes to print.

There is going to be the first (of many I hope) collective meeting of flower farmers from across the country. I set great store on this because I see it as an indicator of the changes in attitudes to flowers and their provenance.

I’m delighted and a little bit excited to be involved and see it as a brilliant starting point as the foundation for a natural, sustainable and environmental alternative to the chemical flower industry. It’s all thanks to Ruth Fortune who has organised the event.

I’ve been watching trends in the states and the UK for almost ten years now and we are catching up fast.

The provenance of our food is well-established largely due to unethical practices being highlighted through the media but we are now beginning to question the huge environmentally damaging effects and immoral practices in the flower industry.

It’s reassuring for me anyway to see there is now a growing number of flower farmers here on this tiny island of ours.

The changes in our food culture are also very exciting and UCC are having an event around food culture, marrying food with art. This is right up our street and the fun we are having with our edibles. Food is so visual; we eat with our eyes, after all it needs to be appealing. JP McMahon (one of my food hero’s) is speaking at this event so I’m going to have to divide myself in two the fit these events in because they are on the same day!!

We are expanding at a rate of knots and will be concentrating more on our edibles with exciting new developments into the world of cocktails. I won’t say too much about that for now but suffice it to say it’s going to be huge.

Emma our eldest daughter has come on board and the difference in direction, energy and renewed vitality is palpable.

I’m going to leave you with a beautiful simple spring tonic recipe using the Viola tricolor (heartsease) flowers, this beauty packs a real punch, if they are grown organicly they will retain their vitamin qualities and are rich in both A and C and are renowned for the spring cleansing properties that we could all benefit from. A little word of caution, sow your own seed, do not use garden centre plants, as some of these have been treated with a myriad of chemicals including dwarfing agents, not something you want to be eating.

A simple recipe we use here is to harvest about a cup full of flowers and add to four cups of water, bring to the boil and leave to infuse while cooling down. This can be taken in a concentrated version as a spoonful three times a day or alternatively diluted in a cup of spring water and taken first thing in the morning.

Have fun with this one. It’s an easy plant to grow and an enjoyable and nutritious recipe to make and use.

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West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
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19th April, 2017  ·  

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ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
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19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
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13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

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