New beginnings

Posted on: 3rd August, 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.

Firstly thank you all for your lovely messages and kind words regarding our little piece on Nationwide, we really appreciate it.

Its funny how you can muddle along with one thing leading to another and you just keep ‘muddling’. Since the programme, I’ve been asked frequently how our journey into growing edibles started. It got me thinking, its good to have defining moments and while ours has, it didn’t seem so at the time. It was just the care and attention to detail that we provide here as part of the service. I’m going to share it with you because it’s a nice story.

Back in 2013 we had a wonderful bride, so into nature and the environment (a perfect fit for us), but she had one concern, her flower girl Sophie aged two put everything into her mouth and while our flowers are grown organically, some of the wedding flowers would be poisonous if consumed, like foxglove and delphinium, which featured in the bouquets.

This got me researching edible flowers and I was amazed and delighted to find I was already growing a huge amount of them I just didn’t know it, so with that the ‘seed was sown’ so to speak. I created my first edible bouquet.

It wasn’t until 2015 that we tentatively began growing commercially but it’s really only been this year that it has taken off with our flowers in the hands of top chefs the length and breath of the country, which is very exciting for us.

My accident has been another defining moment and made me realise I don’t like muddling along, I need to be creating and trying new things. Emma coming on board has been the injection of enthusiasm and creativity I have longed for but didn’t know it; I can’t tell you how much fun we are having and the new developments are astonishing, but more on that later.

While the pain and restricted movement is tiring, I’m grateful for my accident for lots of reasons, but especially for giving me back my perspective and focus.

With beginnings there are also endings, Millie our matriarch hen is finally on her way. I’ve been preparing myself for her passing but I know I’ll be devastated at the same time, 13 years is a lifetime. It won’t be the same without her but we are so lucky and blessed to have had so long with her.

The mad rush is on again to get the must-have biennials sown in this month’s new moon phase; I wouldn’t be without sweet William, Canterbury bells, hesperis and honesty. It always seem a hassle at this time of year to be sowing crops for the following year but come next April when there is so little flowering outside, I am so grateful for that abundance of colourful flowering stems. The new moon phase in August (21) is no different getting ahead with crops like antirrhinum, cornflower ammi, calendula, Californian poppies and Iceland poppies. As always never short of things to do but now I take time to smell the roses too. Enjoy.

Latest News Articles:

Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey
Vital role of Focus in the West Cork community highlighted at Open Morning
Clonakilty Food Company opens new production facility in Clonakilty
Beara student one of three Cork students awarded €20,000 scholarship by Naughton Foundation
International success for Skibb rowers

Join us on Facebook

Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
... See MoreSee Less

26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
... See MoreSee Less

7th September, 2017  ·  

Jump to: