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'Clovisse's vegetables and salads have become the focal point of dishes at Good Things Café. Her produce is so vibrant and fresh they bring our dishes to life. I am always thrilled when she grows something new so we can create a dish from it.'

Carmel Somers - Good Things Café, Durrus


Gubbeen Greens - by Clovisse Ferguson
 

 

I run the market garden at Gubbeen which is roughly an acre in size. It is a completely chemical free garden and the majority of the planting is done bio dynamically.

The garden consists of 4 straight sided polytunnels and the remaining outside area is a fruit field of soft fruit and apple and pear trees, varieties of which have been selected from ISSA (Irish Seed Savers Association) and are old Cork varieties. There is also a large composting area and sufficient outside planting space for vegetables such as onions, leeks, cabbages/kales, cut flowers, salad potatoes and beans.

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There is a strong emphasis on keeping the soil rich and healthy. This is done by using seaweed from the nearby shores, by planting green manures and by using fertilisers from the farm and garden. Companion planting amongst the vegetables and the planting of wild flowers to attract insect life is important to the garden, keeping it naturally balanced and healthy.

I initially bought my seeds from various companies such as the Brown Envelope Seed Company and Moles Seeds but now have banked a large amount of my own saved seeds from preferred varieties and use these as much as possible.

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Nothing is wasted in the garden and there is a strong relationship between the smokehouse, the farm and the garden. The smokehouse uses many of the garden herbs for their meat cures and sausage recipes, and the farm provides manure which is used as fertiliser. Whatever is not composted from garden waste gets shared between the chickens, ducks and pigs. The garden seasonally produces an abundant mix of herbs, salads and vegetables, most of which is sold to the Good Things Café in Durrus. When there is sufficient supply, mixed salad bags and herb bunches are sold at the Gubbeen stand at local Farmer's Markets.

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Cooking and personal use of the garden's produce is a major factor in why I became a grower and our larders are often filled with glorious pickles, chutneys and jams. Our aim is to reflect what we gain from living in an organic (chemical-free) and seasonal environment in our products.



 

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‘This garden is proof of how much food can be produced from a tiny plot of fertile land!’

Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Cork

 

 



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