Browsing Tag


Community Gardens, Vegetable Garden

Fantastic cloche/mini polytunnel idea

May 18, 2013

Hinged cloche / polytunnel in an allotmentI admit, I’m not an allotment expert. All of my work and teaching has been in private gardens, village halls and community gardens so I was really looking forward to helping a group of teachers, parents and school children in the Kilkenny Allotments and Community Gardens.

Hinged cloche / polytunnel in an allotmentOne of the immediate benefits I observed of allotment growing was being able to pick up tips and ideas from fellow allotmenteers. I absolutely love this structure built by Gerry on our neighbouring plot! The mini polytunnel/cloche was made from recycled bits and pieces, is hinged and once opened kept in place by rope.

Inside Gerry has tomatoes, peppers and an aubergine growing, none of which would grow well (if at all) in the Irish climate outside.

Hinged cloche / mini polytunnelWhen we’ve seen them, the other allotment holders have been friendly and more than happy to share bits and pieces. I can now see why people enjoy spending time on their plots so much, working away on their own but able to have a chat over the fence.

Are you an allotment grower? Why do you enjoy it so much?


Green, Vegetable Garden

International Compost Awareness Week

May 6, 2012

International Compost Awareness Week begins today!

(source unknown)

I only became aware of this on the ICAW Facebook page yesterday when I read that:

“across the United States U.K., Australia, and Canada, composting advocates will be encouraging everyone to use Compost! Those who believe in the Compost Message will be planning events in their community to promote the value of compost. All types of composting events — from “do it yourself” composting in your backyard to large-scale community-wide composting — can be promoted during the week.”

International Compost Awareness Week

Lovely bins courtesy of

We may be a little late to get into the action this year but we could all do our bit by starting a compost heap or encouraging friends and neighbours to begin building one if they’re not currently doing so.

Local council environmental offices can point you in the direction of subsidised compost bins and are always delighted to help groups or communities with talks on composting, or you can make your own out of pallets. I wrote a post about The Stop Food Waste Campaign a while back where we were told we could save up to €1,000 a year by composting our kitchen scraps and not sending them off to the overfull landfill sites.

Compost: From this ……………………………………….to this

Home composting is one of the easiest and cheapest way of providing organic matter to your gardens – you can add anything from uncooked food, hair, newspaper and cardboard to grass clippings, wood ash and non meat-eating animal bedding (hamsters, rabbits etc). The trick is to get the mix right, just like baking a cake. Layering “browns” or carbon ingredients such as straw, newspaper etc with “greens” or nitrogen ingredients like grass, plant matter and vegetable scraps. I wont go on about the detail now however. Over on the articles page on the website there’s a free downloadable pdf HERE explaining the best way to compost.

So what do you reckon – are you composting yet or as it’s International Compost Awareness Week will this be the year you start?



Upcycling Ideas for the Garden

February 10, 2012

7 Upcycling Ideas for the GardenReuse, recycle – do you?

‘Recycled’ doesn’t have to mean packing everything into a bin or bag and sending it off to the local centre. Recycling, or up cycling, is about thinking differently. It’s about coming up with ideas for reusing items that they weren’t originally intended for.

7 Upcycling Ideas for the GardenPallets are a big favourite of ours – from shelves to compost bins, gates to welly boot racks.

7 Upcycling Ideas for the GardenWe also use carrier bags, boots, old milk churns and anything else we can think of for garden containers.

7 Upcycling Ideas for the Garden

Box of crocks – saves buying drainage stones

Old cd’s and computer disks are kept and strung around the veggie patch in spring to act as bird scarers.

7 Upcycling Ideas for the GardenToilet roll inserts and food containers are saved ready for seed planting. My favourite was a dark bottomed sausage container, clear chicken container that fitted together perfectly, making a sweet little propagator but is was accidentally recycled ‘for real’… oops.

Surprisingly, once plants are growing in it, or latches are fixed to it, our junk no longer resembles rubbish at all.

Do you have any favourite ways of re-using your ‘rubbish’?