Picnic Times: break talks on Keogh’s farm

August 21, 2015 - Picnic Time



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TOM KEOGH: Back when we were kids, a plantation felt an awful lot smaller. It would be only my father pushing a mix and there competence be one other man on a tiny tractor. We’d all lay around together and only suffer a picnic. And you’d have a time to do it. Dad could stop a mix for an hour and lay down with us. The smells entrance from a mix and wheat were only amazing. When we smell a margin of wheat, that brings me true behind to when we was substantially about 6 years old.

My mam would make all a sandwiches and stuff. She used to move all a kids to a field. We’d accommodate Dad during lunchtime and we’d all lay down and have a picnic. They were always balmy memories. We use to squash out a straw and make roughly a sweeping out of a straw, chuck a plates down and take a sandwiches out. There was always tea.

We stopped flourishing wheat about 5 years ago. We also grew barley. The small conduct of a barley itches your skin, since wheat is like a carpet. You can lay down on wheat straw.

The special thing in a cruise would be mam’s brownish-red bread. There’d substantially be ham and cheese sandwiches. We unequivocally didn’t have any crisps behind then. And tea and coffee in flasks.

From a unequivocally immature age we helped out on a farm. We were pushing tractors here and slicing cauliflowers from about 7 or 8 years old. Dad used to get us out of bed during 6am and we’d go to a cauliflower fields and expostulate a tractors so a guys could bucket a uninformed cauliflowers on to a trailers. You’d substantially be pushing about one mile an hour.

As shortly as we were on holiday we were on a farm. And even after school, if a plantation was bustling we were true behind into it. Homework was mostly finished unequivocally late in a evenings.

Size-wise a plantation wasn’t too most opposite behind then, though we weren’t using as many potatoes by a business as we are now. At that theatre we didn’t understanding with any retailers, we only granted a few internal shops, so it was a most smaller scale.

The indiscriminate markets in Dublin city are still a biggest customer. We’re marketplace gardeners. That’s what my family have finished on my mother’s side and my father’s side. My good grandad did it on a equine and cart. Whatever we grew on a plantation was installed on to a equine and transport (nowadays it’s a truck) and you’re into Dublin city for about 4am. It’s failing off, unfortunately. That Corporation fruit marketplace is due to tighten shortly. It’s being redeveloped. we consider it’s going to be a unequivocally good place, though a lot of a traders are comparison so it won’t be so most relocating as timid for them.

In my time on a farm, we’ve grown sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers. And in that time, all of those crops, detached from potatoes, have left since imports came in that were cheaper than what we could furnish in Ireland.

Cabbage and cauliflower all come in from a UK and France now. Broccoli isn’t constructed in Ireland any more. Tomatoes are most gone. North Co Dublin, generally over to Rush, used to be awash with glasshouses flourishing tomatoes. You won’t get an Irish cucumber now. Unfortunately, imports damaged all that. we have memories of my father returning home from a marketplace with a truckload of cauliflowers since somebody had brought a truckload from France that morning. All a cauliflowers had to be dumped.

The potato has survived since a Irish taste is toned to a unequivocally floury potato and we’re singular in that sense. That’s saved a industry: a fact that companies outward Ireland don’t grow a kind of potatoes Irish people like. We’re 3½ years on a go with a crisps now, and we occupy 25 people. We’ll be adult to 30 by a finish of a year.

We have only damaged into a Chinese market. So yes, it’s implausible to consider that we have left from sitting down on a bed of straw carrying a cruise to offered crisps to China. It’s a prolonged jump.






  • Baby potatoes (2 per person)
  • Small bunches of rosemary and thyme
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • Flatleaf parsley
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • A splash of sea salt



Cut baby potatoes in half lengthways. Roast potatoes during 200 degrees for about 25 minutes, with olive oil, chopped rosemary, thyme and a whole garlic cloves. Once cooked, shower some balsamic vinegar on a potatoes and concede to cool. Once a potatoes have cooled down, clout some of a parsley and shower opposite a potatoes. Mash a cloves of garlic with a flare when they’ve cooled and stir into a yoghurt with a small salt. Put this in a apart pot and offer it as a drop or stir it into a potato salad.




Life’s a picnic, or so they say, and so it seemed to us in that misty Versailles summer of 1989. We were all in a salad days; my now father and we had given adult dual permanent, pensionable jobs in Ireland to find journey in Paris (much to a fear of a families).

The French venerate eating à l’éxterieur and le pique-nique is an art form. Any guest we had (and there were many) was treated to a oppulance of a cruise where sleet could generally be ignored and a booze was inexpensive and delicious.

Thus my regulation for a good cruise was born: a rug; bottle of red; a uninformed baguette; a fry duck from a charcuterie, oozing a stately smell; patisserie that didn’t season or squash; whatever fruit was best during a marketplace that day; and a dollop of good company. We stayed there all day and into a night. There were fantastic fireworks since it was a anniversary of a French revolution. La vie was indeed belle.

Anne Burke Glasnevin, Dublin

source ⦿ http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/picnic-times-crunch-talks-on-keogh-s-farm-1.2317419

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