Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena

Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Look out for mint – a positive indicator in ACRES, meaning higher scores for fields rewarded with higher payments. Mint is arguably the easiest plant to identify, with or without flowers, due to the distinctive familiar mint scent when the plant is crushed between your fingers. Water mint grows in wet areas; often partially submerged, and spreads by rhizomes or underground stems. Lilac flowerheads are now in bloom on top of the terminal stem with some whorls in the axils of the upper leaves. The stiff, square stems and oval, serrated, pointed leaves are hairy and can be reddish in colour. Water mint is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Letter to the editor

Hello Janine,

I love Irish Country Living magazine, and I often speak to others of the unique and interesting

features therein. It was indeed lovely to see Katherine O’Leary speak so eloquently of our dear friend and neighbour, Jimmy Murray RIP.

Jimmy was one of a kind; the type of neighbour you would need when your cow was in the drain and your rich relation in America was neither helpful nor useful.

Jimmy will be missed the country over for his trustworthy business dealings, not always about profit. His quick wit and charm, his neighbourly deeds, his understanding and support of those less fortunate. Most of all, he was the backbone to his community and his outstanding family.

Thank you, Katherine, and may you have a positive journey through illness. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Regards Harry and Ann Murray (no relation)

Picture of the week

This double rainbow sighting made the perfect photo opportunity for Keith Massey as he walked the fields in Co Laois / Keith Massey

Chef’s tip

I’ve been eyeing the crabapple trees up our lane and it is looking like we will have a good harvest this year. I love making apple jelly and I remember the absolute delight I felt the first time I made it properly and it came out looking completely clear with a perfect little wobble. Sourdough toast with butter and apple jelly is one of my favourite breakfasts, but you can use apple jelly in a variety of ways. Slow cooking a shoulder of pork? Throw in some caramelised onion and a big dollop of apple jelly to bring out the natural sweetness of the meat. Making a cheese board? Apple jelly is an amazing accompaniment to sharp cheddars or most semi-soft Irish cheeses. I love warming apple jelly on the stove and brushing it over the tops of tarts. If you have some crabapples on your land, this might be the year to try making apple jelly – you won’t regret it.

The number of the week: 3

Gold Cups won by Sizing John when he was a racehorse.

Now, how will he do in the show ring at the Dublin Horse Show?

Online pic of the week

Female-led and family owned. Meet the women behind the luxury candle brand

One Fifty