So..we have started the workaways here at the busiest time of year in the vegetable seedling business. The big polytunnel is packed to the rim with trays and trays of baby vegetable seedlings ready to be shipped out to customers all over Ireland, the UK and this year for the first time, Germany.. It's a great time of year, suddenly the trays of dark soil which sat for a few weeks in February looking like nothing was really happening have become bubbling delights of greenery of various shaped leaves and shades of freshness. Every year it comes as a surprise that all the seedlings are ready to be shipped and I don't know why, it seems there is so much going on under the soil for a long time then suddenly the growth pops up for the next step in it's journey to become food. The calmness of nothing much happening in the polytunnel is overtaken with life and the earth moving in collaboration with temperature, moisture, bacteria and energy to create amazing things for the species that we are to survive and go on.

Sooo Andrew went out to clear the raised beds in the vegetable garden to make way for new food and in doing so , uncovered a whole batch of carrots hiding underneath the soil all winter. What to do with a big batch of carrots and parsnips?.. soup. Easiest thing. My youngest daughter who has displayed an interest in cooking got to it with a quick how to in making soup. Easter hols and a bit of spare time, so I gave out instructions .. she went and dug up a few leeks and got to chopping a lot of carrots and ginger..

Recipe, a few leeks, a lot of carrots scrubbed not peeled,(if organic), a good whole thumb size bit of ginger chopped finely or grated, pinch of cayenne pepper, salt,pepper.Tin of chickpeas or handful of red lentils.Stock. 

We sauteed the leeks rings in butter very slowly so they didn't burn which they can do easily. You can cook these in ghee or spiced Tallow with tumeric and cumin. Either way don't let the leeks go brown, just nice and soft. Add the ginger, pinch of salt and twist of black pepper and push them around a bit, then add the carrots and saute them for another 5 mins. She then added enough hot water to cover veg plus another inch with a tablespoon of Swiss Marigold Bouillion powder. At this stage you can add a good handful of red lentils or a tin of chickpeas for protein. Put the lid on the pot and gently bring to a bubble. When it is boiling turn the heat down and let simmer until lentils and carrots are cooked. We used a stick blender to get it smooth and left some lumps in, although this last bit may have been unintentional..

We did this everyday with a few different additions, cauliflower, curry paste etc, for our workaway people's lunch who were from Oregon and the UK. They seemed to like them..clean bowls and requests for seconds is always a good sign..

Eating & Growing..

HI and welcome to my first post..I'm a bit late I know but I think I've done very well avoiding this cringe worthy experience. I do follow quite a few blogs which I read from time to time and get some good tips on various things I'm sure I could probably function quite well without. So now I'm in business in more ways than one, I think the best thing is to immerse myself in this whole media stuff. I am very nearly qualified as Nutritional Therapist,(a wha? you say)..all will be revealed later.

At the house here we grow a LOT of vegetable seedlings for my husband's company which sells grow your own stuff online and Andrew (that's him), is a bit of an expert on all things growing out of the ground to eat. So we grow our own too obviously. As we have been doing a lot of that growing thing for the last 8 years, I assumed naively that everyone does it. Since I have been studying in Dublin for the last 3 years, it seems that organic vegetables in the big city are a bit of a prized possession. Organic Vegetables are viewed with misty eyes by people who drive miles to buy from a cute stall at a farmer's market and talk about with their worthy friends. I realise now that I and my very ambivalent children are completely spoiled by the luxury of strolling, sometimes running down to the vegetable garden and grabbing whatever looks ready and scrabbling back into the kitchen to throw it into a receptacle for dinner/lunch. To my shame, I am sometimes, I have to admit, a bit of a food/veggie snob, I have found myself looking down my nose at withered,wrinkly courgettes, darkened with neglect in the supermarket. Then I also feel a bit of shame at not doing enough with my harvest every year. I do put in a slightly valiant effort and pickle a few bits and bobs and ferment excess cucumbers, enough to feel a little smug. Hence this blog. I need a bit of a kick in the ass to make myself move and do more with all these wonderful veggies and If I have to document it, then the pressure is on.

To start us off, we recently had Lee from Wisconsin to stay for 3 weeks as part of the workaway scheme, it's when someone comes to live near or with your family and works for board and lodging and of course top class entertainment. We thought it may be fun to meet people from all over and there is always plenty to do here outside in the garden and poly tunnel. Lee from Wisconsin (full name), picked this lovely flower sprout crop from what I thought was a bit of a dead plant, so heh! presto, we made flower sprout soup with garlic and homemade bone broth..well weren't we both feeling mighty smug?..

So onwards and upwards, hope someone may read this so I'm not just talking to myself but it may get more interesting as we jog along, hopefully..

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