Creating a Traditional Irish Kitchen Garden for Heritage Week
Heritage Week takes place from 18th to 26th August and there are events happening nationwide that promote the heritage of our culture. Here at Springmount Garden Centre we would like to share with you how to create a traditional Irish kitchen garden, samples of which we are also planting on site so do pop along to watch the progress over the coming year.
About the Traditional Irish Kitchen Garden:
In comparison to the lifestyle choice of self sufficiency and sustainability that is proving so popular these days, life back in the 1920's - 1960's was more about survival than an aspiration. However, it is important to keep these traditions alive and useful when merging them with new influences from abroad.
The Traditional Rural Irish Kitchen Garden usually comprised of the following:
Fruit Bushes and Fruit Trees
Poultry - Hens, sometimes Turkeys and / Geese
Often a pig and a cow or two if space allowed
Poultry usually comprises of laying hens although some households would also raise turkeys or geese - a valuable source of income at Christmas. Eggs were a staple and used for baking as well as lunch with excess eggs being used for pancakes. Of course the traditional non meat eating day (Friday) also featured the fried egg - something which many of us still recall - Egg & Chips anyone?
Meals were therefore made based on the availability of ingredients and enhanced with wild foods that were in seasonal supply. Whilst ingredients offered less choice they more than made up for it in taste by all accounts.
Popular recipes of the time included:
Traditional Irish Stew
Apple / Rhubarb Tart
Traditional Brown Bread
Blood Pudding served with Potatoe Cake and (native) apples.