Time to shake off the cobwebs

snowdrops

Posted on: 17th January, 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.

‘Happy New Year’ – it’s a funny old saying really. When does one end and when does a new one start? Depending on your beliefs you could be saying it a few times a year, for instance ‘Samhain’ marked the end of the old Celtic year. The winter solstice is another, with the mortal wounding of the Holly King and the rise again of the Oak King, Yule being one of the names for this festival, where the burning of the ‘log’ continued for twelve days. Our modern new year fits in nicely with this one. Then we have the Chinese New Year, January 28 for 2017; it changes with the new moon and can be any time from the end of January to the end of February. For me it’s when the snowdrops and crocuses are flowering well and the days are growing longer – there is a real sense of rebirth and while it will still be cold and dreary, the signs are there; birds beginning to make nests and winter visitors are leaving and some are returning. It’s usually closer to February for us here on the farm before we really get to feel it. It’s not a date on a calendar but a sense or feeling that winter is over, time to shake off the cobwebs and really get moving again, I understand the frantic nature of birds building nests – time is ticking. I embrace the energy I receive without fail at that time of year because I know it will invigorate me and propel me forward; it’s like a dog straining at the leash.

I must say thank you to all of you for letting me know you enjoy my ramblings about life here on the farm and thank you for your suggestions regarding content. I’ve taken them on board and will endeavour to address them by going into a little more detail about our cultivation methods and why we select the varieties we do. If there are any other suggestions, please feel free to contact me I’d only be too delighted to hear from you.

With that, for those of you new to my article, we are an organically-run flower farm in West Cork. We cultivate a beautiful range of unusual seasonal flowers for weddings and events but we are also Ireland’s only dedicated edible flower farm. We don’t just use organic guidelines, we practice it as a way of life, in-so-far as we think about what we do and its cause and effect with all jobs that are carried out here, from pruning times to deadheading to digging over beds. Working in harmony with nature in a sustainable manner is deeply important to us. We are thoughtful and mindful of all our actions and respect all the flora and fauna that reside with us.

We are expanding our edible flower business and replanting our new tunnels and reorganising our old ones. It’s a slow job (I think our age is starting to catch up with us) but boy will it be worth it. In my mind’s eye, it’s truly magical, roll on the summer. We are also all about local and local produce. There is such a wealth of talented producers here on our doorstep – from a floral point of view there’s Lydia Busby’s Vintage Cut Flowers in Rosscarbery, Ruth Fortune in Glandore and Hanako in Ballingeary – all offering something a little different but beautiful none-the-less.

I’ve rambled on a bit and said very little about farm life this month but I will have more relevant content next month. For now wishing you all the very best for 2017.

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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  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

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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