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Author Profile : Ian Gomersall (

Ian Gomersall lives in Inishowen and studied Amenity Horticulture. He has experience in working in Horticultural Therapy, running a plant nursery and garden design. He set up -a web site dedicated to organic gardening a few years ago and continues to tinker with the content. There's recently been a forum and classified section added.


Organic gardening with Klaus Laitenberger – part 1

April 22nd, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

FACT: 90% of all organic food is imported into Ireland. I am at Mary and John Reilly’s farm in Fawn, Malin on the tip of the Inishowen Peninsula.  It’s a glorious sunny day and looks like staying that way. Mary told us that there was always a wind here but there’s no sign of it today.   Mary and John run Greenhill Farm and together they grow organic vegetables for sale to the public and supply local shops with fresh, high quality home grown produce ranging from fresh salad crops, root vegetables, greens and of course spuds. Today is the start… Read More »

Digging The Vegetable Garden

Creating your own raised bed in 8 easy steps

April 22nd, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

If you have a wet site or would like to grow plants and vegetables but dislike weeding, then raised beds are for you. They can be built quickly and cheaply without being too sore on your back. The back garden here was a marsh, because of the area was built on rock and the water had nowhere to run to. This meant that there was no soak away for the water. Initially a 1metre soak away and the water just sat in it and didn’t drain away. So we had no choice but to build up the garden. Here is… Read More »


Allotment growing on the telly

April 21st, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

A new television series that will follow a group of rookie gardeners as they learn how to grow their own food on an allotment will be introduced by the Green Party’s Minister for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent tomorrow.. The first episode will be at 8.30pm on RTE1 tomorrow evening (Tue 21 April 2009) Corrigan’s City Farm will follow 24 volunteers as they strive to transform a plot of derelict wasteland in Cork into a lush and fertile smallholding. It will highlight and compliment the Green Parties ‘Get Ireland Growing’ campaign. Get Ireland Growing has been set up to encourage food growing at… Read More »


Shouting and sprouting

April 18th, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

Sprouting seeds   We had a big fight in our garden yesterday.  It was a big one as the twenty friends who were at my lad’s party split into two rival gangs…..It was time for Julie and I to divide and conquer.  Julie sent the shed gang off into the woods and disarmed the trampoline gang of the hazel rods they were using as weapons.  (We need them intact for the beans and peas when they grow.)  I just went around shouting at everyone….. Two of Michael’s friends  had a sleepover and I decide to take the seed sprouter outside to show… Read More »

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Picking nettles

Making nettle soup

April 15th, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

I’m out in the garden, getting some nettles to put into the pot.  The first young shoots are the best, but nettles can be cut regularly from springtime for a regular supply of fresh leaves.  They can get a bit insect infested during the summer though….. If you have never tried the soup, here is the recipe. Don’t worry – they don’t sting when cooked…. NETTLE SOUP Nettles are very nutrient rich and of course – free… Try not to gather them beside a busy road where they will have been contaminated by traffic fumes. Ingredients: All optional-apart from the nettles…… Read More »


Checking out the chickens

April 14th, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

We’re down in Westport with Noeline Haylett getting some advice on how to look after chickens.    Noeline runs the Mayo Animal Welfare Centre and knows a thing about our egg laying friends.  “How long do chickens live?” I ask as we make our way past the barking dogs.  “They usually live up to eight years.” Noeline tells me. Noeline was brought up in the South African bush. She tells us one of her famous stories;   Noeline’s famous story “When I was about four, my job was to hold the chicken while my father chopped the head off.  One day… Read More »

If you plant them, they will come

April 11th, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

I’m staring at a line of bare seed trays in the shed, concentrating hard to make green shoots appear. When I was young I thought I could move objects by psychic forces.  It was the days before TV remote controls and my imagination didn’t stretch much beyond changing the channel from Magpie to Blue Peter. It never happened, but I haven’t given up….. A week ago, Julie and Michael planted tomato, sweetcorn, peas, beans, squash, pumpkins, sweet peas, lupins, nasturtiums and a few sunflower seeds into multi cell trays.  Nothing has appeared, but if I stare long enough…. The post… Read More »

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