Sustainable growing – doing things a bit differently

We are always looking for new ways of growing ingredients in a more sustainable way. 

For ten months of the year a corner of the polytunnel in Mary’s Organic Garden is dedicated to growing micro-greens.  We have shelves of salad sprouts, pea shoots, micro-herbs such as basil, coriander and dill, and mustard sprouts growing away in our own organic compost in reusable plastic trays.

This year, we are trialing a new hemp tray which will not only reduce our use of plastic (albeit, reusable), but also reduce the amount of compost and water we use as part of the growing process.  Made from 100% natural hemp fibre, these trays, or mats, create a biodegradable soilless growing environment with high water retention…perfect for growing micro-greens!

We use organic seeds to grow our micro-greens, sourced from a trusted supplier.  We soak them prior to sprinkling them evenly over the hemp mat, which has also been pre-soaked.  After spending the first 1 – 3 days in darkness, we bring the hemp mats out into the sunshine, ensuring that they are regularly watered.  One to two weeks later (depending on the type of crop), we are able to harvest the micro-greens which are used for dishes in Timmy Macs Bistro and Fieldings of Adare, as well as for weddings and private dining, and as garnishes in Dick’s Bar.

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