Picture of the week

50 years ago this month, Taoiseach Jack Lynch opened the Irish Farm Centre, home to the Irish Farmers Journal, the Irish Farmers Association and many other farming organisations. Do you recognise anyone?


The number of years the Arva Show is running

Behind the scenes of the summer shows series

Rural Rhymes

The coat my father wore

It sags from the rafters in the museum of the byre,

like he just shrugged it off in the October of his life.

Spiders have spun big hairnets of webs

on the rags of the map of his once best coat.

Now spark-holed and old like thaw-holes in snow.

And inside his pockets, grass seed and nails.

Whispers of pipe-smoke restore him once more

with his eye to the sky, his soul in the soil.

By Mary Ellen Hayward

From her recent collection, Out of Place.

Chef’s Tip

I love working with melted chocolate, but during warm, humid weeks it can be an unpredictable process.

Melted chocolate splits when water or condensation gets to it while it melts (this is why you should always melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a gently simmering pot of water).

Funnily enough, while water causes melted chocolate to split, it is also how it can be fixed.

If your chocolate is split and looks grainy instead of smooth and creamy, add a small amount (less than a tablespoon) of hot water and whisk well.

The chocolate should return to its glossy, smooth self in no time. This also works for a split hollandaise sauce.

Quote of the week

Life is about learning and you learn every single day. If you’re blessed enough to be able to do different things and volunteer, get a sense of your community, it’s a fantastic thing to know, because community is so important see My Country Living

Growing wild

with Dr Catherine Keena

Teagasc countryside management specialist

Look out for meadowsweet with cream coloured sprays of tiny five to six petalled flowers, clustered on long reddish stems, growing in damp areas.

The darker green leaves have pale undersides with distinctive small leafy bits between each pair of leaflets.

The leaves have a heavy almond-like medicinal aroma whereas the flowers have a strong sweet smell.

Bees are attracted to the scent of the flowers and transfer pollen even though the flowers don’t produce nectar.

Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, used as a disinfectant, painkiller and anti-inflammatory.

Another distinctive plant in the countryside, meadowsweet is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Tweet of the week