Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena

Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Look out for sloes on the blackthorn. Autumn is the time when there is no problem knowing blackthorn from whitethorn as sloes differ completely from haws on the whitethorn. Sloes are distinctive rich dark inky blue fruits and are found in amongst the long sharp thorns on the black stems. Tasting very bitter and tart, they are used to make sloe gin and are eaten by birds. All are welcome to the Hedgerow Week events at 11am in Teagasc Agricultural college Clonakilty P85AX52 on Thursday 7 and in Teagasc Curtins farm in Fermoy P61X727 on Friday 8 September. Blackthorn is found in most hedges, which are part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Letter to the editor

Dear Janine,

I am just writing to say thank you to Irish Country Living for the recent article on my story (“You’re on a rollercoaster and if you get off, you go nowhere”, 6 May edition).

Most people that reached out said it was fabulous of us to share our story and to help other people struggling with fertility.

A lot of people didn’t realise how much we had gone through. They felt that it was amazing for us to share and to encourage other couples to keep going.

I had one lady that bought fabulous clothes last week off me. In her message, she said, “I saw your article in the paper” and that is how she came to order from me.

Kind regards,

Maria Trehy, Mama and Me online kids boutique

Number of the week: 3,000

The number of insects the smallest bat in Ireland can consume in just one night. Biodiversity.

Picture of the week

Picture of the week: Úna Clune sent us this beautiful photo of cows grazing at dawn with Quin Abbey in the background.

Quote of the week

I grew up drinking milk straight from the tank and I knew what it tasted like. Every farmer in Ireland is producing milk that tastes like this.” Catherine Kinsella, cover feature

Consumer Tip

Now is the time to snap up some bargains for next summer in the sales, however it’s worth noting what your consumer rights first.

According to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), it’s a common myth that buying in the sales means compromising your consumer rights, but that’s far from the case. In fact, you have exactly the same rights and protections when buying something at a reduced price as you do at full price under the Consumer Rights Act 2022.

If you ever see a notice that informs you that the shop in question does not accept exchanges or refunds during the sales period, this is against regulations. Also, if there is a fault with the item you buy, you still have the right to a refund within 30 days of the sale. Watch out for businesses saying they can only refund you the new dropped price and not what you paid for it; this is also against your rights.