The warm weather over the last few weeks has helped us celebrate the arrival of Spring - and brought the joy of an 'early summer'. Thankfully, the brighter mornings and evenings extend our days, providing time for extra leisure time activities. There are a lot of walkers, joggers and cyclists on our roads - it's wonderful to see.
For those of you who like to have a more relaxed approach to the good weather, the sowing of seeds could be a perfect fit. One project I try to focus on at this time of year is planting some flower and vegetable seeds - in the hope of a bountiful harvest later on. Almost twelve years ago I became a member of the Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA), based in Scarrif, Co Clare, so this is where I get my selection. They're an amazing conservation organisation, and so far, I have tried only a small sample of their seed collection. Looking through their catalogue will have you drooling with excitement.
Organisations like the Irish Seed Savers Association constantly need supporters to help them to continue their collection and protection of some native seeds, plants and trees.
So, to celebrate Earth Day, we thought one of our followers should get the chance to experience the treasures the ISSA offer.
Therefore, we want to celebrate this gentle earth of ours and provide one of you with a yearly membership of this charitable organisation. The prize includes:
- Twice a year you receive a printed newsletter keeping you up-to-date with the results of their work and details of similar international work.
- You receive a comprehensive seed list from which you can order FREE up to five varieties of vegetable seeds and three varieties of seed potatoes (subject to availability)
- You gain FREE access to their heritage gardens and orchards.
- You are entitled to a 10% discount on all Irish Seed Savers Association training courses.
- You are entitled to a discount on their apple trees - their nursery holds samples of over 140 varieties of native apple trees.
- You contribute to the preservation of Irish biodiversity by growing rare varieties of fruit and vegetables. Many people join because they do not want to see the fruit and vegetables from their childhood disappearing
- Free entry to their Open Days
Competition is open to ROI residents only. No cash alternative. Closing date is midnight on 30th April 2015. Entrants must leave a 'three seeds' comment on one or more of the social media accounts to qualify. A winner will be drawn randomly from all qualifying entrants and announced on BirthingMamas media after the closing date. BirthingMamas decision is final. Enjoy the sun!!
This year I also tried a small seed pack from our local discount supermarket, and the kids loved the fact that it had everything except water inside the box - the bags, the seeds, the 'soil' and the name tags.
The four plastic bags were the containers, which you filled with dried & shredded coconut husks that only required water to hydrate them to a soil-type consistency. The kids loved this simple task.
While waiting for the water to soak into the mixture we looked at the different varieties of seeds - the texture, size and colour - wondering, as kids do - why they were so different.
Sowing seeds is a great family activity, no matter what the weather is like. Starting the job indoors and then transferring outside can work with the Irish Spring weather. When the seeds grow over the following weeks there is pure joy in the eyes of the child, and the harvesting as fruit and vegetables grow can bring more smiles (and nutrition). Considering I bought this pack for less than €2, it's money well spent.
So, go try sow the seeds of something you will eat, and then move onto something else the following year. And don't forget to enter our competition!!
Happy Earth Day!!