Fermentalist with a fetish for fatty foods. Don't listen to those looneys telling you that fat is bad for you. Love your gut, eat real food. Writer at Irish Examiners on Saturdays and Irish Independent and Sunday Times, Food and Wine Mag and Tourism Ireland
My new column in the Limerick Leader starts this weeks, happy days. It's called Urban Renewal and appears in the Leader 2 section.After much back and forth with the Ed about titles we settled on this as the column will cover what I'm at, growing food crops in my small yard, as well as other sustainability subjects like composting, recycling, keeping chickens, keeping bees and the ongoing work at the Organic College. It has urban in the title as that's where I live, in Limerick city, not county. In the city we have as much opportunity to embrace nature and bring back some old skills, get growing our own food, making more of our own food and supporting small local food producers.
Community gardens are taking off and so too are grow it yourself groups.
Feedback is important to me so please leave comments here as well as suggestions for topics you'd like to see covered.
This is a contribution added by Panelapaí, the singer in this picture. She sings Irish songs at the market and is as much a fixture there as anyone else. She sent me this, I haven't edited it and as English isn't Peneleapaí's first language, though she has gone to the trouble to learn Irish, so it is as is.
tanx Ms Valerie..
i wanted to share it as a link, on my Facebook page, as ... my busking leads to all sorts of further adventures..
and seein your fotos of us all last week was a real joy; here, on one page, was a pictorial, instant transmission
of the many people who form my Saturday "family" .. people have been really supportive from when i started at
an Mhargadh an Bhainne Luimnigh...
when i began takin to singin there last year, it was da result of SW havin cut me off from my Lone Parents' Assistance,
four children and strugglin on my own pushd me to stic mself out there
This year, i feel good, stronger, wiser (i tink!) and am gearing up to competing in da Fleadh..
wich is next weekend, so i will sadly miss the re-location (re-instating?) into the up-graded premises--
but one or two of the traders urged me to get in a word with .. Chris, i believe was his name. the fella in charge
of Milk Market organization, to enquire about buskers... and unfortunately, he stated, as stands, there is NO provision of
buskers in the new set-up. i didn't expec dat for a reply, needless 2say, a million questions went round my cerebrum, but d only 1 i managed to voice was, "...um, WHY?" and he mentiond, "every square inch is accountd for... public liability.. insurance.. i didnt make the rules; but dats d story as stands.. initially"
i heard him. Before goin from a 2-child family to a 4-child one, i was a childcare worker (was da chef of two early childcare groups when i livd in Cork nearly a decade ago; yes, they are a daring bunch, da Rebels!), so when he launchd into 'insurance, p.l., etc..' i switchd off & knew he might b fine but whoevr d conglomerate organism was, that orchestrated d whole exercise, it had its orders .. right. there were about 4 other buskers when i arrived late dis last Sat, and i cudn't help wonderin had they ea approachd temporary head-honcho as well, to learn what their new status might b, com next re-openin Milk Mkt day?
Hence, were i to show up next Sat, i would NOT just make my way inside the great walls
to take a place among the other stallholders which have been like a family to me for the last (nearly full) year now.
Sure, i know, buskers are a fringe minority/community, after all, the upgrade to an Margadh an Bhainne was hardly to take
the buskers into consideration... and god knows, but if my financial situation were a bit more just, i most likely wouldnt be
found singin out on a Saturday .. (i've gone home wid traffic tikits on a few ocassions... yes, "ARRG")
ooh! all dis writing--
sorry, for snowin you under...
perhaps there is a place for an editorial as mine, in the labyrinth of journalistic endeavors... or maybe not.
anyway, dats da story behind da foto.
and thank you again, all da best !!!
Today was the last day that the traders at the Milk Market in Limerick will be selling on the open streets outside since the market began its big refurb last year. It's been a controversial move, putting a roof on it, a good looking one at that. The old cobbles are gone, as is the open air. It's easy to grumble about this when I'm not a market trader and don't have to stand there from dawn after probably not having had any sleep and travelling miles to sell my goods. Next Saturday, June 19th will be the first day of trading under the roof and the market will have new opening hours too. No doubt the day will attract all manner of murmuring and hopefully lots of the loyal customers and great traders that make the Milk Market the thriving hot spot it is.
To mark the change I went walkabout to snap a few producers, traders and head-the-balls.
Wildes Irish Chocolate
Peter and his Goudas
Tobias and his wonderful organic veggies, herbal creams and essential oils
Lovely crepe makers
Teresa Storey and her Green Apron Preserves
Gorgeous Vi and her Sunflower Bakery Bread and cakes
Oliver and his fantastic smoked fish, hand made sausages and pates
In a few short weeks the yard/garden/yarden??? has transformed itself with lots of growth on all the plants. A huge dose of sunshine coupled with a couple of healthy night of rain means a transformation from scrawny to almost lush. I just got my bike back on the road after years of it sitting at home in the garage, I got this bike when I was 13, ages ago and it's still in good nick. That handsome looking wooden box is a composter made for me by a good fried from wood that came from my parents attic, it's about 40 years old, but new again.
The list of what's growing continues to expand; I've got two types of spuds though none are ready yet. There is chard, spinach, peas, runner beans, salads: mizuna, bok choi, tat soi, rocket, kale, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, broccoli, apples, raspberries, herbs, comfrey and nettles to make feeds for plants, shallots, mini carrots and lots of flowers to attract bees.
So far I've had a few salads and some kale and chard for stir fries. It's great to step out into the yard to pick stuff to eat, it's easy and everything seems to taste better.