Posts Tagged ‘edible’

Ireland’s First Mushroom Festival.

In Foraging., Off the beaten track. on September 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

Weatherwise yesterday was a horrible day, however that did’nt put us off attending Ireland’s 1st Mushroom Festival at Killegar Estate, near Carrigallen, Co Leitrim. This event was,  part of the Save Killegar Campaign which the current owner Sue, Lady Kilbracken, organised as a way of raising awareness and hopefully some funds to save this beautiful old house. Completed in 1813, Killegar is in dire need of reburfishment. Sue and her son Sean live in just a couple of downstairs rooms. The rest of the house is not habitable.

A good crowd turned out for the event which was well organised. We went in groups with knowledgeable Mycologists through the grounds of the estate. We walked about 3 miles and found a range of fungi, edible and poisonous. Ireland has about 2,500 different Mushrooms. A fact I found amazing as we tend to concertrate our focus on 3 or 4 varieties. Can’t remember the name of the ones above but they were edible. However about 20% of the population have a severe allergic reaction to them so they are no longer on the edible list. Apparently they are popular in Italy.

 This bracket fungus on a Beech tree drew many people’s attention. It is unfortunately inedible and is a sign that the tree has started to die.

This person had an innovative way of carrying their bounty! Like it!

There were many other attractions too. This man was giving rides on his Donkey and cart. There were also food stalls, craft  demonstrations, art exhibition plus lectures and information stalls.

At the end of the day all the Mushrooms were identified by the experts and displayed. About 70 varieties were found. A great day out despite the weather!

If you wish to find out more info about Killegar or the Save Killegar Campaign go to . Sue, Lady Kilbracken describes Killegar as “a jewel in the heart of Leitrim”. You won’t find many disagreeing with her. Hopefully in the coming years Killegar will be restored to its former glory.

Garden Musings on June 1st.

In Gardening, sustainable living on June 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Broom is in flower at the moment. This is the native variety, Cytisus scoparius. It grows plentifully by the river where I often take the dogs for their wash. I brought this plant as a self sown seedling 2 years ago to see how it would do. It was about 6 inches high at that time. It is now about 5 feet. Think I will have a few more on the next river visit. Broom is used in homeopathy to treat irregular heart rhythms. It does not have any herbal uses as all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Honeysuckle has also started to flower. This is the wild one which grows in the area. The flowers emit a gorgeous scent. Also called Woodbine it grows easily from cuttings. The plant does well in sun or shade although it produces more flowers when in a sunny spot. Red berries appear after the flowers, these are highly poisonous.

In the polytunnel the Grape has produced lots of flowers. The variety is Black Hamburg. This is a good variety for a polytunnel as it will ripen without extra heat. There is lots of vigorous growth at the moment. I usually prune a few times during the Summer cutting back to 2 leaves beyond the truss. Last year we pressed the grapes and froze the juice, it was great to have our own Grape juice in the heart of Winter. Might try making wine this year.

Calendula officinalis or Pot Marigold as it is commonly called is a very useful plant. The leaves are edible and look so lovely sprinkled on a salad. It also has medicinal use as it has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. The flowers can also be made into an infusion to help digestion , promote bile production in the liver and for use as a mouthwash for gums especially useful after tooth extraction.