The Organic Centre Chronicle Edition 45
3rd March 2016

 Programme of the 20th Annual Potato Day

Our annual celebration of the humble spud on Sunday 13th March 2016 has a  very special feature. Our former head gardener Klaus Laitenberger will speak about “Breeding a new blight resistant potato variety” . The Organic Centre will be one of 4 venues throughout the country to plant various potato varieties and let them cross pollinate.

We will also show you  the best way of growing potatoes, introducing blight resistant varieties and demonstrating making a lazy bed. We will have a great range of organic seed potatoes for sale.

On the day there will be free guided tours through the gardens and polytunnels and we will have a broad selections of our own grafted apple trees for sale, ready to be planted. The Grass Roof Cafe will be serving fabulous potato dishes and the Eco-Shop will be fully stocked with organic  seeds, tools and books.
The event runs from 12 -5pm and admission is free!

 Food adventure tours at The Organic Centre

Our guided tours around the gardens, polytunnels, orchard and hedgerows are not only informative, but  highly entertaining. They bridge the gap from soil to vegetables to healthy food!

Our tour guide Hans Wieland will start with the seed game, bring you to the herb dome for a refreshing drink of homemade lemonade, explain rotation in the kitchen garden with an interactive session, let you forage along the hedgerow before visiting the many polytunnels at The Organice Centre,  to show protected cropping and finishing at the compost display area with a question and answers sessions.

All our tours can be tailored to the needs of the group  - from pupils at primary level to third level students, from garden clubs to community groups, from beginner gardeners to the more experienced growers with very specific interests. Tours last around 90 minutes and the fee is €8 per participant and for our younger audience €5.

For bookings and your own tailored guided tour call us on 071-9854338 or e-mail


New Manager appointed!
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of our general manager Tom O'Rourke on the 2nd of March. Tom has been a member of the hill walking and outdoor scene in Leitrim and the West of Ireland for many years and is delighted to be associated with The Organic Centre on its mission to promote organic horticulture, gardening and sustainable living through training, public information, advocacy (campaigns) and demonstrating best practice. Tom will attend our 20th Potato Day on Sunday 13th March and looks forward to seeing you there.

Which tomato?

Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes and we offer 18 different varieties of organic seeds. Now is the time to start sowing tomatoes on a heated bench. Tomato seeds germinate best at around 20 degrees Celsius. There are 4 types you can choose from:

Small fruit or cherry-type tomatoes such as the ever  popular Gardener's Delight and pear -shaped Yellow Submarine. New this year are orange-coloured Clementine and an exciting new  ivory yellow tangy  Mirabelle Blanche.
In the medium or "normal" size category there is the excellent early cropping Matina, the popular Golden Queen and the exotic striped Tigerella.
Our selection of larger or beefsteak varieties include the heirloom Brandywine - probably the best for flavour. Oxheart is a traditional Italian heart-shaped tomato. In the bush type category  Koralik is probably the most prolific with a very long season and is ideal for growing in a pot or hanging baskey.


Plant an Apple Tree

March is a good time to plant apple trees and we have a wide selection of home grafted potted apple trees for sale from Potato Day (13th March) onwards. Buying fruit trees at The Organic Centre  guarantees buying  a good quality tree and comes with reliable  advice from our experienced staff.

The following is a selection of varieties available:

Cookers: Bramley Seedling, Cavan Wine, Grenadier, Bloody Butcher
Eaters: Frank's Seedling, Blood of the Boyne, Keegans, Yellow Pitcher
Dual: Red Boskoop, Blenheim Orange, Keswick Codlin

Most of the trees are grafted on an MM106 rootstock, a half standard tree growing up to 6m with excellent anchorage. The reason we graft on to that particular rootstock is its suitability for growing  in poor ground.

We also have rootstocks for sale!
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