Hello everyone and Happy New Year!
I hope you're well rested after the excitement of Christmas and the summer holidays and that you're looking forward, as I am, to the months ahead. I find it's a good time of year to ponder and plan (at least when I'm not trying to rescue the garden from these scorching days) and as well as introducing a delightful collection of guest experts in their respective fields to Glenmore to you once again during 2017, I've come up with a new concept that's close to my heart!
For those of you who have had the opportunity to read the book, you will know how important it was to me to launch the original Kitchen Gardening Days (nine years ago!) at Glenmore. The Kitchen Garden is, to me, the very heart of the garden (in the same way the kitchen is the heart of a home) and ours therefore, is at the very core of my life: my days revolve around its requirements. 'Fork to Fork' and 'Garden to Plate' are no marketing catch-phrases here, but reality on a domestic scale and a way of life that I thoroughly enjoy sharing with those who garden or want to garden and wish to learn more, as well as those who have no intention of gardening but would like to understand how their fruit and veg grow, the cycle of plants, the importance of soil....the absolute seasonality of our region.
With this in mind (and while I'm delighted that Linda Ross will still be taking two important days a year at Glenmore - the Introduction to Kitchen Gardening Autumn/Winter and another Spring/Summer) in between I intend to run the kind of days I feel will be hugely beneficial, to ensure you can access the Kitchen Garden and spend time at Glenmore more regularly....to see the pattern and full cycle of growth, as well as to understand the care and nurture (not to forget stamina!) required to run a Kitchen Garden (using organic principles, of course).
And so I'm delighted to introduce days inTHE KITCHEN GARDEN with MICKEY on the last Saturday of each month (except December & January - though I'm tempted with the latter, I know most will treat that as a long weekend and oh my goodness, it's hot!).
But in general, you will be able to choose either a morning session (morning tea on arrival followed by an intense two hours in the garden with me and a simple garden-inspired lunch, with time to linger longer if you wish) or an afternoon session (lunch on arrival where you will meet the morning participants, followed by an intense two hours in the garden, then afternoon tea). In this way, I hope those who find it difficult to attend days with other myriad commitments may find it easier to participate; whilst it will also enable me to reduce the cost (though I refuse to compromise on the ambience of our original Glenmore days!). You will be spending time in the garden with the head gardener: me! The Kitchen Garden continues to take up a disproportionate amount of my time, receiving daily attention, nurture and planning, and I know how many of you enjoy visiting and hearing the workings of it 'from the horse's mouth' as it were; just as I thoroughly enjoy sharing all the information I can to enable you to learn from all the mistakes I've made and to explain the tips and tricks I've learned (and still do!) along the way.
While I'll continue to 'announce' upcoming events by newsletter, including 'inThe Kitchen Garden with Mickey', the booking details are live now, and Gift Certificates are linked to them, so for those who keep asking - now is your chance! I'm so sorry not to have launched these days before Christmas but I was simply on overload!
With Kim's help in the kitchen, I'm confident the days will run smoothly and am excited about them. I very much hope that you will be too (whether you intend to garden seriously or are just keen to nosy about and enjoy the scenery but I hope also be engaged in a topic that is relevant to us all) and will look forward to seeing as many of you as possible here during the course of the year. You can discover all the details of these regular days at this link and I'll be in touch again very soon about the many special and exciting events and workshops I have planned for the year.
With very best wishes
*I often run private Kitchen Gardening Days.....at the request of various groups. So if you have a collection of friends or colleagues and would like to plan such a day outside the calendar of events, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm also more than happy to have small scale harvest and cooking days......just gather together a group of six!
ps for those long term participants who may be wondering.....nine years is a long time, during which my girls have flown the coup and Linda's babies are growing up (scary). So the tables have turned and we are each at a different stage of life with our commitments - indeed this new concept takes us right back to my original idea! It's only taken 10 plus years!