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Margaret's Blog






leek potato pie



• 3 leeks, cut into chunks

• small knob butter

• pinch dried rosemary or thyme

• 450g potatoes (1 very large baking potato is perfect), chopped into thick slices

• 140g melting cheese , such as cheddar, cut into small chunks

• 500g pack shortcrust pastry

• 1 egg, beaten


Put the leeks, butter and herbs in a pan, cover and cook over a low heat for about 20 mins until very soft, stirring occasionally. While the leeks are cooking, put the potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 mins until just cooked. Drain the potatoes and stir into the cooked leeks. Leave to cool, stir in the cheese and season with plenty of pepper and salt if you want. The filling can now be chilled for use the following day, if you like.

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Divide the pastry in two and roll one of the pieces to the size of a dinner plate. Transfer this to a baking sheet and roll the remaining pastry and any trimmings to a round about 5cm bigger than the first. Pile the filling into the middle of the round on the baking sheet, leaving a 4cm border. Brush the border with the beaten egg, then drape over the larger piece of pastry. Trim the edges to neaten, then press the sides together with your thumb. Brush the tart all over with egg. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden. Leave to rest for 10 mins before cutting into wedges and serving with beans or greens.

Seafood chowder


serves 4-6



• 1 onion diced
• 2 sticks of celery diced
• 2 medium carrots diced
• Half cup of Donegal rapeseed oil
• 200g seafood mix, cod, salmon, calamari
• 1 cup of fresh stock
• 1 cup of flour
• 1 cup of chopped mixed herbs, dill, basil, chives
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 clove of minced garlic
• 2 slices of a couple of days old bread



heat half of the oil in a heavy based pot, add onion, celery, carrots and sauté until tender. Then turn the heat down and sauté, adding flour and stirring continuously.

In a separate pot, warm the milk, and add to the veg pot a little at a time, stirring continuously to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the milk and fish stock and slowly bring to the boil. Cube the cod, salmon, lice the calamari in small rings and add all to the pot. Add 3/4 of the chopped herbs, stir and remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. In a pestal and mortar, mix the garlic, remaining herbs and oil and spread the paste every over the bread, bake in the oven at 150°C for 10 minutes until crisp. Check to see the fish in the chowder is cooked through and serv in bowls with the hot crouté on top.



Serves 4.



• 300g best quality mince
• 3 chopped scallions
• 1tbs of chopped chives
• 1 tbs of wholegrain mustard
• 1 free range egg
• Salt and pepper
• 1tbs of Worcester sauce 



Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and make 4 individual patties. In a large frying pan, heat a little oil until hot and then add the burgers, frying for a few minutes and then flipping the burgers. Fry for another minutre then transfer to a hot oven at 180°C for 5 mins, ensuring that the burgers are cooked throughout.

Serve in a freshly baked bap with a nice organic salad, relish and home cooked chips.

mung beans


I'm one of the most popular beans in the whole wide world, even more popular than baked beans! I'm so easy to grow and lots of fun too! Are you going to grow me? If you are, then listen to these great tips from our Slug Club teachers Emma and Meig.

To grow me, you really don't need much. All you need is a glass jar with a lid, and a grown up to punch holes in the lid. If you don't have a lid, don't worry, I'll be happy with a cloth over me.

When you take me home, soak me overnight, then drain me off and put me in a coffee jar. Get a grown-up to make holes in the cover of the jar. Leave me in a cool place, i don't like too much sunshine! Wash me through two times a day for 3 or 4 days. Yummy! I'm ready to eat! :)

painted snake_gourd


Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives!


Even from a very young age. Children love to mess around in the soil. It's natural at that age that they feel connected to nature and it makes them happy. But unfortunately, most parents can't appreciate the goodness of being connected to nature, and so the child gets pulled to television screens, Nintendos, junk food and all that goes with growing up in Ireland today.... kids' parties in overcrowded and noisy activities arenas etc!


In other countries, especially France and Canada, children are hiked off to enjoy more outdoor activities, woodland walks, hiking, camping and general family activities out in the midst of nature. Save our children from 'nature deficit disorder' – gardening is the best education of all!

Better health comes from being out in the fresh air, and appreciation of wildlife, quality family time and environmental awareness all lead to a better future.



Weekend project for the kids!


Snake Gourds – these are a strange gourd that are really exciting to grow as they have fruit that look like slippery snakes! When the fruits are dried you can paint them with spots, stars, stripes or whatever you like to make them really look like slithering serpents! Snake gourds are available in small seed packets. Get out there and watch them grow!

Heather Garden Girls
Garden Girls - an exciting new variety of Heather

Ten Good Reasons to Plant Heather


1. So easy to grow

2. Can be planted almost anywhere

3. Strong long lasting resistant plants

4. Long life span

5. All year round colour

6. A huge range of colours from flowers to foliage

7. Superb ground cover

8. Range of height 3 – 24 inches

9. Low maintenance

10. Suitable for containers



Give your garden that 'wow' factor with all year round colour and low maintenance, with our busy lives many of us don’t have the time to spend evenings and weekends looking after our gardens.
The beauty of heathers is that once planted you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of your work, with little after care, giving you more pleasure year after year!


Garden Girls (Calluna Vulgaris) (pictured above) are a fantastic range of heathers that are bud blooming. Bud-blooming heathers are prized for their interesting colors and textures and long bloom time. They will slowly form a dense mat that is forbidding to most weeds. Requires good drainage and prefers soil that is rich in organic matter. All cultivars should be trimmed back in the spring.


Margaret's Top Tip for Heathers:


In their natural habitat, Heathers grow on mountainsides and hills and can tolerate very exposed conditions. Usually, on the sides of mountains, heathers will have a nearby supply of water running to them, and more importantly, running away from them. While heathers love moisture, they hate to be too wet, so once you realise this you will have great success with these plants. The golden rule is adequate moisture but not too much.




Mon-Sat 9am - 6pm

Sun 10am - 6pm

Bank Holidays 9am - 6pm

Restaurant open til 5:30pm


Dripsey, Co. Cork.
Tel: +353(0)21 7334286

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Inspirational Gardens

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