Slow Food Tipperary Blas an Fhomhair – Nenagh’s Community Harvest Street Lunch

On Sunday, 18 September, Blas an Fhomhair makes a welcome return to Kenyon Street, Nenagh.  In keeping with the tradition, our guest chef this year again is Hugo Arnold, well known food writer, chef and consultant.

Blas an Fhomhair is a celebration of local organic foods during National Organic Week.  Speaking about this event, Peter Ward of Country Choice said that he was delighted to provide a platform to the great exponents of organic food in the area.  He stated that the quantity and taste of the food speaks for itself.

This year’s programme features the lamb of Michael Seymour, the pork of J.P Crowe, the root veg of Philip Draper and the leaves and tomatoes of Dermot O’Mara of Sunny Meadows in Portumna.  The featured cheese is Mossfield from the Haslam farm in Birr.

This year there is a meet and greet the producer.  All of our producer farmers will be on hand to dispense information and advice freely on organic farming and cultivation from gardens to large scale.  Guests can speak directly with the many local organic producers as well as tasting the featured local organic foods.

Michael Seymour of Nenagh’s Farmers Market and TJ Crowe will be available to advise on livestock farming and also will be in a position to introduce members of the public to direct purchasing of full or half animals from their farms.  Philip Draper and Dermot O’Mara will be in a position to discuss soil preparation for the autumn and winter crops. Dermot O’Mara has 50 kilos of “St. Pierre” sweet local tomatoes specially planted for the occasion.  Ralph Haslam will offer advice on local cheese making using organic and unpasteurised milk.  Con Traas of The Apple Farm will do a sampling and advise guests on making your own cider using local apples.

All of the food will be cooked by local restaurants with the team from The Pantry Cafe leading the way with their by now legendary organic vegetable selection.  Ann Burns and the Gernan family will coordinate all of the salad starters.  Ann will be on hand to dispense advice on salad dressings and also using wild autumn foods such as wild marjoram, mint and sorrel for the salads.  The Abbey Court Hotel will feature the local organic roasted root veg with honey and butter.  Joyce Soden of The Derg Inn will offer organic breads on the day.  Larkins of Garrykennedy and Cloughjordan Cooking School will supply breads and both Nenagh Farmers Market and Nenagh Country Market will supply desserts.  The Cloughjordan Community Farm will conduct a meet and greet and chat about community supported agriculture.  The guests will have an opportunity to join the Cloughjordan Community Farm scheme and obtain a weekly bounty basket of organic products produced on the farm.

This year’s guest of honour, Mayor Virgina O’Dowd, along with archaeologist Caimin O’Brien will lead a cycle to local historic sites including Tyone Abbey and Ballinaclough Church and Manor.  Caimin is a font of knowledge on the medieval foods of the region.  He will bring the colourful medieval life of our community to light with an informative and enlightening discussion.  Caimin will give an insight into the Celtic foods of the O’Kennedy lords and he will chronicle the changes brought about by the Anglo Norman De Marisco family in agriculture and crop husbandry in the region.  After the visit to the church and manor of Ballinaclough, Caimin will lead a visit to Ti Eoin Abbey, the Augustinian Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, then back to Nenagh for the dinner at 3:00.  The cycle will be for all ages and will leave Teach an Leinn at 1:00 for Ballinaclough graveyard at 1:30.

The Nenagh Ormond Brass Band are our guests again this year.  Last year they entertained guests all afternoon.

The event is all weather with a rain plan in place.  The price is an accessible €18 adult and €40 for 2 adults and 2 children under 12.  Tickets are available at Country Choice, Nadur and The Pantry.

The key message of this year’s event for the 400 patrons is just how accessible, affordable and nutritious local organic food is.  The event will put the person who produces the food to the fore.  Guests can avail of an advice and information facility to find out about both the socio and economic benefits using local organic foods in a daily diet.  The event is a wonderful opportunity in which to educate young patrons about the life of the local organic food producers.

This year’s sponsors are Shannon Development, Bord Bia, Nenagh Chamber of Commerce, The Ormond Hotel, The Pantry Cafe, Brocka on the Water, The Derg Inn, Country Choice and Larkins Garrykennedy.  The event promoter is Slow Food Tipperary.

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