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  • sarahnoonan12

October //Deireadh Fómhair







Hello Friend,


In this first journal entry I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my journey into the wild and wonderful world of flowers with you.


My love affair with gardening began as a teenager. While other girls were looking a the latest dresses I was the weird kid pouring over seed catalogues for the next tomato variety to try. It was the early days of River Cottage and I can distinctly remember watching Hugh harvesting crisp lettuce and thinking ''I want to do that" . I was lucky that my parents always had a small veg garden and they were very supportive and encouraged me to experiment and cultivate my green fingers.


Fast forward a few years , I choose to study horticulture at UCD. This was before growing was a "cool" thing to do , I got a lot of strange looks when I told people I wanted to be a gardener. There was less flannel shirt and carrhart clad dudes at that time it was more sage old men in The Secret Garden , but I have always believed in following your heart and passion.


I have a great love for food and cooking, so on graduating I went and worked in some of the best farm to fork restaurants including Ballymaloe House, Virginia Park Lodge and Moy House.


A couple of years ago I once again followed my heart , this time for a different reason. I met a Mayo man and I returned home to my roots after a few years galavanting in gardens. Together we began to plot and plan and build a new future together. I decided to combine my love for growing with my creative side and begin a flower farm, to grow and arrange my own flowers. Not able to full abandon my beloved veggies I also started a local veg box scheme and deliver to local restaurants .


My floral designs are inspired by our natural world. And if I'm not in the garden that's exactly where you will find me, exploring the our beautiful country in my yellow VW camper van with my dogs Ruby and Max or hiking the hills or in the sea soaking in all mother nature has to offer .




Notes from the garden


October has dawned. It is time to say goodbye to the summer crops and welcome the winter harvest . The last of the green tomatoes have been picked and jars of green tomato chutney are lined up in the larder like soldiers ready to attack the winter lunches with flavour bombs. The tomato, cucumber, courgette , chilli and French bean plants have been added to the compost pile and replaced with September sown winter salads. Beds of mizuna, mibuna, mustards, rocket and claytonia carpet the polytunnel beds. The colourful stems of rainbow chard are a welcome sight on the grey days.


Outdoors we have been putting the garden to bed, tucking the soil up all nice and cosy under a blanket of mulch and ground cover to protect it from the harsh winter weather. There is still plenty to eat from the garden. As the weather cools our bodies crave hearty meals, full of starch and substance . Our dinner table will be laden with beetroot fritters, Jerusalem artichoke soup, pumpkin gnocchi and kale salads .


Heres the reciepe for beetroot fritters they are a winter staple in our house

Beetroot Fritters

Ingredients

250g beetroot ( 3-4 beetroot)

1 egg

2tbsp flour

150g feta

1 clove garlic crushed

salt and pepper


Grate the beetroot, add the egg and flour . Crumble in the feta and add salt and pepper.

Heat a frying pan with a good glue of oil. Spoon in a heaped tablespoon of mixture and fry for a couple of minutes each side. Serve with a good dollop of natural yogurt and a sprinkle of dukka if you have it. These are great on a flat bread with some salad or as a side to any hearty grain salad.



In the woodland garden I am planting out summer sown biannuals, foxgloves, honesty and red campion. These little plants are small but strong ( a bit like myself!) and have no problem surviving whatever the winter may throw at them to emerge in a riot of colour next May.


The hardy annuals of cornflowers, Ammi, poppies and nigella, sown in September have filled out their plug trays and are now ready to be potted on or planted out in the polytunnel. They will be a welcome early harvest of flowers next year after the dark days of winter.


A final note


My webshop is now LIVE. Have a browse and let me know what you think. I would love your feedback. I hope you spot something you or maybe a loved one would like. Dried flowers are a lovely gift as they last for years to come.


I am hosting a wreath making workshop in the Habit Store , this date is all sold out but we will have another workshop early December, if you would like to be put on the waiting list send me an email or instagram message.




Happy Gardening


Le grá


Sarah



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