Instagram Inspiration

Wild Paper Studio Next time your scrolling through your Instagram feed, be sure to check out Wild Paper Studio – @wildpaperireland. With something for every occasion, artist and illustrator Linda Schaefer hand makes stationery, crafts and prints inspired by nature. By shopping with Wild Paper Studio, you will not only will you be buying a unique and beautiful product, but also supporting a home-grown business – so a win-win.

Rural Rhymes

Steam engine

She moved slowly towards the village in a cloud of smoke and steam, my children could not believe it, what is this strange machine? They stood and gazed in wonder, a sight they never saw before this machine from days gone by, going slowly past our door. And with it came found memories to those of us that’s older as I stood and watched with my child upon my shoulder. This lovely old steam engine, a survivor from the past she had her days of glory when this world didn’t go so fast. In the days before the combined and the modern silorator she would go from farm to farm with thresher and elevator.

She would travel through the county; steam over hill and vale sharing the roads of Ireland with the Donkey and Clydesdale. A tell-tale plume of smoke, then a yell, she’s on her way that farmyard would buzz on those far off threshing days. They would shovel in the coal and really build up steam and all would work as one, man, thresher and machine. From dawn ’till tusk they gave their all, as one rick got large and the other small. The children laughed and played about, and thirsts were quenched with pint of stout.

Then bank her down for the hours of night and off again at dawns first light. Stoke her up and be on their way, another threshing, another day. The smell of burning coal is in the air, that old machine stands graceful there. With the help of skilful hands she will survive, to serve as a bridge across the gap of time; brought from the past, to be with us here, to give all of us a chance, to view yesteryear.

Chef Janine’s Tip

Hedgerow season is in full swing and I am especially impressed with the amount of rosehips and sloes I have been able to gather this year. I use rosehips for making jellies and syrups. They are easily recognised by their oval shape and bright red or orange colour, and are packed full of vitamin C. Sloes are also easily recognised, being deep purple and smaller and rounder than a damson plum. To make the most of these wild delicacies, I freeze them in ziplock bags (even if I plan on using them the next day). Freezing helps them break down more easily during stewing or steeping; releasing more of those precious juices. Happy harvesting!

Tweet of the Week

Number of the Week

75 – The percentage of the first 500 people surveyed by that actually underpaid tax while on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in 2020.

Photo of the Week

Avid reader: budding farmer Dara Ó Cróinín from Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh enjoying the latest edition of Irish Farmers Journal Jnr in the sunshine last week. \ Christy Cronin

Quote of the Week

From cover star Tracey Jeffrey on her bread-making classes in NI:

I love the humming sound of chats in the kitchen as people talk about bread from their own homes, how it’s made and the traditions around it, it’s fascinating