Posts Tagged ‘McKenna’s Guides’

It has been a difficult few weeks here in Redwood.

As you know Alfie was in hospital for a couple of weeks, followed by more weeks on medication.  Then to compound it all I got struck by some bug…. nothing serious just days of discomfort and total exhaustion.

All of this forced us to think about what we are doing here.  Owing to human illness our ‘production’ has dropped dramatically this year which naturally means no sales.  You can’t sell what you don’t have!

Keeping pigs is not difficult, but it is physical.

While Alfie was in hospital he worried about me out feeding the pigs on my own.  I don’t mind feeding them, it is jsut heavy work carrying meal and water to them.  However, there are other aspects that I just can’t manage on my own…. like loading them onto a trailer!  And, in fact, while I can drive forward with a trailer on the car, do NOT ever ask me to reverse the car with a trailer on.  Co-ordination goes out the window!

So this past couple of weeks, we’ve had to seriously consider whether to continue on with what we are doing.  Can we afford to keep going?  No sales, means a serious drop in income and there are still many mouths to feed.

The decision, after much tossing and turning of sleepless nights, and churning out different ideas and plans, is that we will fight back.

It is going to take time.  We have, we hope, come up with a scheme that will kick into place should illness strike again.

So we are back working on getting pork to people.  Four pigs loaded into the trailer this evening for their final journey tomorrow!

Perky has had her new litter.

The Gloucester Old Spots are growing nicely.

And just when we had made the decision to continue, look what arrived in the post!

McKenna's Guides Best in Ireland 2013

Thank you so so much to John and Sally McKenna – you have no idea how timely this was!  For non-locals John and Sally produce the best guides to food and places to eat and stay in Ireland – don’t travel without their guide.  To have our pork included as a ‘Best in Ireland’, well that is such an honour.

So we’re back, and we’d be delighted to take your orders!

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Last weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend here.  For the past few years we have headed  to Kilkenny on the October Bank holiday to the Savour Kilkenny Festival, but as Alfie was still recuperating this year we did not commit to anything.

However, Saturday last was an absolutely beautiful day.  Glorious sunshine.  One of those absolutely stunning autumnal days.  So there was a quick decision made…. let’s go somewhere!

And the choice was to the Winterage Festival in Lisdoonvarna.  Don’t you just love the name Winterage Festival?

Travelling to Lisdoonvarna was such a trip down memory lane.  Having spent my childhood in Limerick, summer holidays were usually spent in either Clare or Kerry.  And I have memories of sunshine, sand, and seaside trips to Lahinch and Spanish Point…. my Dad was never too keen on Kilkee!

We meandered down all sorts of side roads (Mrs. SatNav was up to her weird tricks again!) and finally arrived in Lisdoonvarna and found the food fair.

What a buzz?

What an amazing display of local producers.  All sorts of amazing pastries and cakes, cheeses, chocolates, smoked salmon, wine…. a huge selection.

Fabiolas Chocolate Cakes

St. Tola Cheese

Fabiolas Patisserie

There were a number of cookery demonstrations by local chefs.

Cookery Demo

We met friend, Sile (@GarraiSile) who was raving about the delicious seaweed macaroons that we had missed at the opening ceremony.  We chatted with Sally from McKenna’s Guides.

We had an impromptu indoor picnic – a delicious tomato tart and tea!

Tomato Tart

An altogether lovely pleasant afternoon. And, of course, we came home laden down with lots of deliciousness 🙂

We choose the scenic route home… down Cork Screw Hill and around by Blackhead which totally lived up to its name clouds gathering to make it look  truly haunting.  Well it was Halloween!

Blackhead, Co. Clare.

Well done to all the organisers.  I do hope this is the first year of many for the Winterage Festival!

There really should be more celebrations of local producers.

Do you have a local festival?

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