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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Newsletters » Blog article: Croan Cottages Summer 2016

Croan Cottages Summer 2016

Croan Cottages
Holiday Homes in Kilkenny, Ireland
Summer Newsletter 2016
Croan Cottages Summer 2016
The flowering of the cherry blossom is the most wonderful sight and a sure sign that Summer is on its way. Beautiful and fragrant but sadly shortlived, we’ve enjoyed almost four weeks of their pretty blossoms and delicate scent. Over the past few days, though they’ve begun to disappear in the warm breeze.
The first blossoms are also appearing on the apples, plums and pears in the orchard.
We’re crossing our fingers that the last of the late frosts have gone and that we’ll have another bumper crop this coming Autumn.
A Taste of River Cottage at Croan Cottages
We were delighted to welcome Steven Lamb and Gill Meller from Channel 4’s River Cottage TV show to teach our first ‘Taste of River Cottage’ residential cookery course.
We spent three days cooking, eating and laughing together with 16 students from all over the country in an informal but very informative environment. Steven and Gill brought a wealth of expertise, skill and good humour to a wide ranging course in which students learned about nose-to-tail cooking, fish cookery, foraging, sausage making, and bread making.
Each day we were joined by some local artisan producers who came to share their stories and amazing produce, including Highbank Orchards, The Little Mill Flour company and Costelloes Brewery. Katy McGuinness from the Sunday Times joined us as a participant and wrote about her experience here:

A Taste of River Cottage at Croan Cottages

We enjoyed the Taste of River Cottage course so much that we’ve already scheduled the next course. Steven and his River Cottage colleague Tim Maddams will be joining us on Friday September 24th. Bookings have been coming in quickly but there are some places still available at: croancottages.com/Taste-of-River-Cottage-Ireland.htm
River Cottage Course in Ireland
Cookery School in Kilkenny

Our courses have been such a great success that we received the high accolade of being named 8th best Cookery School in Ireland in the Irish Independent’s recent rankings.

Garden News
It’s also the time of year when all of the dull but necessary preparation work in the garden has finished and the planting has begun. The cold and wet Spring delayed planting while we impatiently waited for the soil to warm up. We’ve made a start on this year’s vegetable bed, with potatoes, onions, carrots, beetroot, onions, leeks, celeriac and a new root vegetable called Hamburg Parsley which we’re growing as an experiment. Fodder beet for next Winter and Phaecelia as both green manure and to provide nectar for the bees are also in.
The greenhouse continues to provide greens for salads and tender herbs, and we’ve grown the biggest lemon we’ve ever seen. We’ve also managed to grow limes for the first time. The rate of growth on the vines never fails to amaze us. Each tendril puts on more than a foot each week!
The figs are budding up, so we’re already looking forward to fresh grapes and figs in the warm Summer months. We’ve also been experimenting with microgreens for the first time and were delighted with the results, not least because they added variety to Winter salads when it can be difficult to find interesting, homegrown ingredients.
New Arrivals at Croan
It’s also the time of year when we welcome our new offspring to the farm.
Both of our ewes each had twin lambs and we’ve some new piglets: Oxford Sandy and Black and a Hampshires.
We have new chicks and Penelope, our peahen, is on the lookout for a nesting spot.
Piglets at Croan Cottages
We’re also looking forward to all of the great festivals in the South East over the Summer months. From the Cat Laughs International comedy festival over the June Bank holiday weekend, to the Leinster Fleadh Cheoil Festival of Traditional Music in early July, and the internationally renowned Kilkenny Arts Festival in August, along with many other local festivals, there’s so much to enjoy for all the family.
Though we’re booking up fast, we still have some availability over the Summer, so visit our website and choose your preferred break. We look forward to seeing you.
Croan Cottages on Facebook
We really enjoy using our Facebook page to post regular news, updates, photos and recipes from Croan. If you are on Facebook, check out http://www.facebook.com/Croan.Cottages and be sure to ‘like’ our page to keep up to date with all that’s happening at Croan.
We’ll also use Facebook to post details of some of the amazing festivals and events taking place in Kilkenny over the Summer months.
Discounts for newsletter subscribers
As always we offer a 10% discount on all bookings for readers of our newsletters.
Simply use the code ‘sum2016’ when making a booking on our website to receive the discount.
Niamh and Francis

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