Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer 2010

June Drought

6 weeks in Ireland without rain = drought. Dry lakebeds in the Burren, watering restrictions, and the painful sight of sunburnt Irish skin.

Daisies were the only Burren wildflowers that enjoyed the drought. The orchids and other wildflower of June were mostly absent this year.

Irish Seed Savers - June

Entrance to our shop with plants lined up for sale.

This used to be my office, but the doors on the right face the carpark so visitors were always trying to come in this way. Plus this room was larger than I needed, so we turned it into a garden shop.

My new office

The last Friday of every month is Pizza-and-Music night at Seed Savers, with home made pizza baked in an outdoor clay oven and local musicians. It's good crack and we raise a little extra money for Seed Savers.

The flower and veg seed gardens

Weeder geese in the orchard

Grafted trees ready for sale

Willow sculpture

Our gardens in June

Bill did some nice stone paving jobs for landscaping clients.

A garden we planted last year for someone.

July - Soft Fruits Bonanza

The climate in Ireland is ideal for 'soft fruits' - raspberries, currants and jostaberries. These are black currants. We planted little plants a few summers ago, and now they are large bushes and were covered in fruits this year. We ate a lot and froze the rest for future use in pancakes, crumble and jam.

Red currants

Jostaberries - a cross between gooseberries and currants

Plus red and yellow raspberries (upper right)

Irish Seed Savers - July

Seed gardens

Ripening apples

Polytunnel crops

More seed gardens

Seed Savers is growing quinoa for the first time this year - it's a South American grain but it thrives in Ireland's climate.

The volunteers helped put in a small pond.

Cabbage grown for seed

Wheat ready to harvest. This wheat will be used for an upcoming event called 'Grow Your Own Bread' - participants will see wheat harvested, threshed, ground into flour, and made into bread that's cooked in our outdoor clay oven.

The cob house and gardens

Festival of World Cultures

We went to a cool festival in Dunlaoghaire ('Dunleary'), just south of Dublin. Great performances from all around the world, held at a number of stages along the waterfront.

One of the groups at the festival, a mix of Irish and Eastern European musicians.

The pier at Dunlaoghaire.

Looking back at the town from the pier.

Some great festival do's.

August - My American Cousins

My Uncle Jimmy brought 3 of my 4 American cousins to visit. From left to right: Jimmy, Tara, Michael, Tara's husband Don, and Kerry. It was Jimmy's 70th birthday, and bringing his kids to Ireland was on his 'bucket list' (things to do before you kick the bucket). I think they went to every pub in Ennis

We had a good time hanging out with them the week they were here. Unfortunately it was a particularly gloomy week and I think they saw about 5 minutes of sunshine. One of the cool things we did was go to the medieval banquet at Bunratty. It starts with a mead reception and singers in the great hall, then proceeds to the banquet hall where the meal is eaten without forks.

We visited my Aunt Patsy in Limerick, and a few of our Irish cousins were there as well. In the back, Seamus, Liz, and Liz's son Kim. Patsy is sitting next to Jimmy.

Jimmy and Patsy.

Our Garden - August

Lots of beautiful butterflies this year

A giant white cabbage out of our garden.