I've written a piece about the combined effect effect of the wet autumn and the late spring on our honey bees.
Click HERE and it will take you to our website where you can read it!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
...or at least the blog has moved. It just made more sense to have the website and blog together so we have moved over to WordPress. Now when you read our blog, you are also on our website, hopefully it will all make sense. Anyway, click here to check it out and see what you think.
Friday, January 13, 2012
It's January, so as always its time to take advantage of the short Seville orange season and make marmalade.
I'm on batch number two of the 2012 season, but once all the slicing is done there is alot of hanging around in the kitchen while things boil, so today I decided to make some Oat Biscuits.
We use Pat Lalor's "Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oats" for both porridge and flapjacks but just before Christmas we were at an event where the Lalor's were promoting their oats and had made biscuits. They were kindly giving samples and the recipe to all who were interested. They were delicious, so today was the day to make them at home.
Kilbeggan Porridge Oat Biscuits:
3ozs soft brown sugar
30zs plain four
4 ozs Kilbeggan organic porrdige oats
half a teaspoon of bread soda
Mix all the ingredients together. Roll into small balls and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly, and then bake until golden - roughly 15 minutes in the Aga.
Once cooled the biscuits just about get onto a plate before they are devoured by family and friends.
At this stage the marmalade should have reached setting point! So its time to pot up before relaxing with a cup of tea and a Kilbeggan Porridge Oat Biscuit. Yummy!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Leeks are the only thing left in the garden at this time of year.
But once the chores are done it is nice to sit by the fire in the evening and browse through the seed catalogues.
have all sent out their catalogues and somehow it is nicer than browsing on the computer. Pen in hand we mark all the seeds we think we might like, and then cut down our order trying to be realistic about the amount of time and space we have. Never enough of either!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
"When loved ones die, you have to live on their behalf. See things as though with their eyes. Remember how they used to say things, and use those words oneself. Be thankful that you can do things that they cannot, and also feel the sadness of it" Louis de Berniere, Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
Helen's father died at the end of October. He had helped us at every stage of Lough Bishop House's development. From the septic tank to the roof he was there with practical assistance and good humour.
He was diagnosed with cancer in February of this year and asked us if we would plant a tree for him. He particularly wanted a Wellingtonia and after much searching O'Mearas Garden Centre just outside Mullingar managed to source one for us.
We brought the tree home in October.
And in December we finally got around to planting "Graham's Tree". All who come to visit us at Lough Bishop House will now be met at our entrance by a Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron Giganteum). As its name suggests this tree will grow to be very big and I suppose we won't get to see that either.
John McCabe, from McCabe Contracters, was coming to do a little digger work, so we took advantage of the opportunity and got the machine to dig the hole for us. Christopher mixed in a bag of compost to the loosened soil and the job was complete.
In a few hundred years time it will look like this, and will probably be blocking the avenue if not the road!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
It's about fifteen years since this fence was put up, and some of the post have started to rot and break off which means the fence is sagging, and cannot be relied upon to contain livestock. Replacing intermediate post is not a big problem it's just a case of removing staples taking out the old post and banging in a new one either by hand or by machine.
King posts on the other hand, which have to take the strain of the entire fence, are a different story altogether
And it's a king post I'm replacing today, which has rotted off at the base!
It's been in the ground about 15 years which is good going for a tanalised post which is guaranteed for 10.
I used to go to all the trouble of removing every staple and untying all the wire, which is very time consuming and not worth it, so now I just cut the broken post out.
I'm replacing it with a new pressure creosoted king post which should last at least twenty years. If it's good enough for a telegraph pole it's good enough for me!
Mind you they are expensive but they do last, so for any new fence creosoted posts all round are best, but if you want to save money use creostoted kings and tanalised intermediates.
For high tensile fencing the king posts need to be driven in by machine.
To see more photos of this machine action click HERE for a link to an earlier post.
A new section of wire is then joined in using these ingenious joiners from Gripple, and the fence pulled tight.
As good as new and stock proof once again!
I've done 3 articles on fencing and never mentioned.... 'The American'.
An essential tool for fencing, the american fencing pliers is used to remove staples, cut wire, pull wire and if badly stuck can even be used as a hammer.
Basically if you don't have one you can't go fencing! Just what a farmer needs for Christmas, or in our case a wedding present!
Friday, September 30, 2011
Marvelous piece in the Farmers Journal this week entitled 'Where's the beef?' by Imen McDonnell about the quality and taste of Irish beef and how she has come to appreciate the taste and flavour of our grass fed beef.
From our own point of view, for quality and taste the traditional breeds are best whether it be Angus, Hereford, Irish Moiled etc.. We of course would be rather partial to the Irish Moiled, but basically if you want top quality beef buy Irish, buy it from your local butcher and preferably from a butcher who has his own abbatoir. They need our support and our beef needs them!
And speaking of local butchers, we have just come back from Flood’s of Oldcastle where we went to see our Moile bullock which has been hanging in their fridge for the past 3 weeks. It was a great opportunity to see it on the hook and to discuss with Johnny, Declan and Martin Flood the different cuts and options to make the best use of it from our freezer!
If you’re ever in Oldcastle be sure to call in, or alternatively look out for their market stall on Saturdays at Sheridan’s Cheesemongers warehouse in Carnaross.
The four quarters ageing nicely in the fridge, and a good covering of fat too, essential for flavour. I was relieved to see the carcass looking so well as I was worried he wasn’t finished properly, but Declan assures me that it’s looking really good.
Our own organic rare breed beef, butchered locally and into our freezer: a total of 25 miles from ‘field to fork’!
We will be using this Moile beef through our B&B, and may have small amounts for sale but essentially we envisage using most of it here, however we sold 2 bullocks to Clanwood Farm who own and operate The Organic Kitchen, which you may have seen at shows and festivals round the country.As part of their business they also sell their organic beef to specialist shops in the Dublin area: Cavistons, the Organic Supermarket and Thomas’s of Foxrock to name a few. So keep your eye out for Irish Moiled beef in these establishments and better still, create a demand by asking for it!
Some of our Irish Moiled Cattle