Sunday, August 30, 2015

A trip to the Organic Centre.

We had planned to head for the coast with our friends last Sunday but the weather had different ideas, we had had several good days  without rain so we couldn't really complain. As eventually our friends are hoping to have a smallholding and have a go at this self-sufficiency lark we decided to take a trip up to Rossinver in Co. Leitrim to show them
the 'Organic Centre'. We hadn't been there for four years and then things did not look so good,
this time however it was wonderful, including the lunch that we had there.
It was a good choice for a day out as the weather did turn wet but the centre has eight very large tunnels,
seven of them overflowing with produce, it proves how abundant a good Organic system can be.
The cabbages were so big you couldn't walk down the pathways.
There's a pond in this tunnel frogs reside there and keep the slugs a bay.
the eighth one is a lovely garden tunnel inhabited by bees and frogs. A lovely place to just sit and enjoy the flowers without getting wet.
Lovely looking toms if you like big ones.
 They grow many varieties of tomatoes,
The trusses of tomatoes were huge.
unfortunately very few had labels on them,
Yes, I sampled a couple , they were very sweet.
in fact there were very few labels on anything apart from cabbages and carrots which is a shame as labelling the plants would help people to make a decision on what varieties they would like to grow themselves.
The outside demonstration garden did have the varieties named, the flower gardens didn't.
I want this plant.
I totally fell in love with a superb Crocosmia, and I want one, but no name! Possible 'Spitfire' which is as near as I can find to it, maybe someone will know which one it is.
It is so nice to see how the centre has developed over the years, I taught poultry keeping there in the early days when teaching was done in a wooden shed and the toilet was a composting loo. Now the centre has an eco building complete with a living roof and it looks great.

No trip to Rossinver is complete without a small detour to the nearby waterfalls,
after all the rain they were at their best, although springtime is probably the best time to see them with all the wild flowers that grow along the banks and pathways. The visit was a great way to spend a rainy day.
 We returned home to a 100% home produced Sunday roast, our own chicken, carrots, French beans, new potatoes and of course homemade stuffing with all the herbs from the garden. Who needs supermarkets?
Freddy likes posing.
Finely a couple of photos of Freddy,  brother to Misty, Freddy is now a house cat, he has been grounded after we found him laying sunbathing in our lane,
he doesn't know about cars or neighbours who don't care what they kill in our lane, we have already lost one cat in this no through road, and a couple of pheasants have also met their deaths,  this  in a single track lane that goes nowhere which is why we chose the cottage in the first place. So he is grounded, but doesn't seem to mind too much.


  1. That looks like a great destination for a day out, shame about the labels though. I like to take ideas from places such as this home with me but it's rather hard when you don't know what varieties things are. It's so satisfying to provide your own food for the table, isn't it? All our spuds and veggies are what we've grown ourselves at the moment but we do have to buy the meat. Awww, Freddy is gorgeous, he certainly looks like he enjoys posing for the camera. It's always a worry letting cats out when there's cars around. We used to have a cat who started life as a house cat. There was quite a busy road where we lived before so it was safer for him this way but we did let him out once we moved here.

  2. We chose this cottage as it was in a lane off a lane with no through road and only one other property in it, unfortunately we had not realized that the other property had sold their land to a farmer who thinks it's his own personal race track, so far we have lost two cats, one we know he ran over and he ploughed straight into us with his jeep and trailer writing off our van, he was going to fast to stop once he had seen us.

  3. Wish there was an organic centre near us. We have visited Ryton organic gardens near Coventry.

    I think all the little boreens and no through roads should have speed limits of 15 K PH and the 80 KPH speed limits on the country roads are crazy. Cars are probably a necessary evil in the countryside but the speed limits should be reduced.

    1. I agree Dave the speed limit should be much lower.

  4. We haven't been to the organic centre since 1998! when there were a couple of poly tunnels, a couple of small garden sheds and a willow tunnel! Great to see photos of their tunnels, one day we will get back up there again.

    1. One of those garden sheds was where we did our teaching! The other one was the composting loo, things have certainly changed. it was great to see it looking so good this year as we were quite disheartened when we went four years ago. This year they have had a particularly good bunch trainees, and it certainly showed. We will go up again for the harvest festival, I think it's on the 27th Sept, maybe they will even have the crocosmia that I love for sale.

  5. The only thing any where near you Dave is 'Seed Saver's' in Claire which is worth a trip if you haven't already been there, but what they do is rather different from the Organic Centre.
    I agree with you about the speed limits, but no matter what the limit is people always exceed them, and don't get me started on using Mobile phones whist driving, I'm sure around here it's the law that you must only use your phone while driving and that includes the police!

  6. Sorry im late - I've got such tunnel envy. Such a great example to show the masses that it can be done in such a little space with no bad chemicals involved. That place is amazing and i could spend all day at the waterfalls. Sure was a great day for you all.

    1. It's incredible how much can be produced from a small area especially as the Organic centre was founded on bad Leitrim land, by that I mean land that at best had 4inchs of top soil, underneath is daub, which is a clay like substance and holds all the wet, it is however fertile with a good mineral base but very little organic matter.
      We are looking forward to going up there again at the end of the month.
      Hope you are now feeling better and have got over the flu.

  7. What a fabulous place! Here in Spain Organic is way behind however there are a few places including even Organic restaurants near Santiago. I would love this garden to be transformed into mine. We need to work harder to prepare for next season. You got us all inspired I think! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi, there is also an Organic co-op based in Orense and an organic restaurant in Orense it's self, there is also a café in Palas de Rei, on the left travelling to Santiago. Far more places around in Galicia than around here. we used to have to make a 140k round trip to buy our Organic poultry feed, at least here our local agricultural store can get it in for us. The price is about the same.
      We are now planning and even starting planting for next year.

  8. Another great day out! It was really impressive to see the size and scale of the organic centre. As you said, it would be ideal if they labelled the different varieties, particularly for people like Jason and me, the newbies with a lot to learn! The dinner was absolutely delicious as was all the food that week...take us back! xxx

    1. Hope you found the visit inspiring. You know you are welcome anytime, looking forward to next year already.