Posts Tagged ‘homegrown tomatoes’

A couple of weeks back we had Irish guests staying… not often that we have homegrown guests.  However, one of the guests past a comment about the fact that as we grow much of our own food, we don’t really contribute to the local economy!

His comment kind of floored me.  It really stopped me in my tracks.  I suppose without going into a deep analysis of it, I would have considered us to be good at supporting ‘local’.

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Home grown tomatoes

I was prompted to analyse our shopping.

If I’m truthful, no we don’t buy from the nearest local shop.  There are a few reasons – they don’t stock what I’d want to buy food-wise.  I gave up buying newspapers years ago … and they don’t stock my preferred read anyway.  Yes, they do stock nice gift items.  I, however, tend to bake/gift home-made food items.

So here’s how our shopping breaks down:

Meat : we grow pigs and sheep too – so we never, ever buy pork, bacon or lamb. We also raise our own duck meat.  Chicken : we have a certain supply, but do buy free-range on occasion.  Beef which is considered a luxury in this house is bought from a local butcher, who now rings me when he kills and saves the cuts I like  – now, that’s customer service!  We plan to get a few turkeys this year too, just to add to the mix of meat choices.

Fruit and vegetables : again we grow a lot.  We try to eat seasonally, but sometimes you get a glut of vegetables coming at you so fast that you cannot eat another carrot or pea – so we freeze them to have later in the year.  Right now I’m busy preserving all sorts.  When we moved here there was a local vegetable shop, that’s now gone.  Our local country market which was another great resource closed down earlier this year, so we are left with the ‘multiples’ as our only choice.  However, even then I do aim for Irish and /or organic/fairtrade (thinking bananas and exotics).

Eggs : we have our own and if I do need more, I buy from our neighbour.

Fish : there are no local fish shops, so we shop in Barna (Co. Galway) for our fish when we can.  Not quite local to us, but it is a small independent fish shop that does great fresh fish.  We’ve also been known to swap pork for line caught tuna. Nice!

Flour:  we buy organic in 25kg bags from a local bakery.

Cleaning products : we do refills from our local independent Organic Store.  They are also a great spot for nice cheese, chocolate and seasonal vegetables.  (I just don’t get there every week.)

Animal Feed : We buy Tipperary grown grain from our local mill, and organic pig feed from “Robins Glen“.

Butchery : We are lucky to have a neighbour who does the necessary dispatching on hens and ducks.  And, we have two local butchers who take care of our pigs and sheep for us.

Yes, unfortunately, we do buy the staples from the ‘multinationals’…. tea, butter, etc.

So are we contributing to the local economy?  I think so.  We are bringing guests into this part of the country that would not otherwise visit.  We recommend local attractions.  Friday night guests are often encouraged to attend the dance at our local GAA Club.

So, yes, I do believe we are contributing in our own small way to our local community.

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We are so loving our tomato crop at the moment….

dish full of tomatoes

Tomato Harvest

so you can imagine the smile this song brought to my face…. go on listen to it all the way through it is brilliant!  Thanks to John Creedon for introducing me to it, and to Guy Clark for singing it…. it will bring a smile to your face too!

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My apologies, it has been a busy time and I just haven’t had the time to give you an update on how we are doing with the polytunnel.

Well, we’re doing fine.  And as the weather this summer has been so bad, it is probably just as well we have the polytunnel!  Everything that has been planted outside is just so slow and way behind where it would be normally!

Here’s how the polytunnel looks today…

a view of the polytunnel

I’m not sure if it can be ‘too hot’ in the polytunnel – maybe someone can answer that question? The temperature hasn’t been too high lately – it was incredibly hot in there in April when we had those few days of sunshine!

Watering is continuing a pace and we are currently harvesting chard, courgettes, salads and lots of cucumbers and tomatoes.

Swiss Chard with yellow stalks

We had our first corn on the cob last night.  The BEST EVER was the consensus.  Just even look at the colour….

Corn on the Cob

They really did taste every bit as good as they look! 🙂

And we have peppers, chillies and squash coming along nicely too.

Peppers coming along

And then the big surprise at the moment is the avocado that has sprouted!  Now what to do with that?????

Avocado plant

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I was told I was like a ‘proud mammy’ I got so excited about this….

First tomotoes

our first tomatoes in the polytunnel! Yippee!

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