Sweet New Beginnings

2 Apr 2019 | 0 comments

This spring, mead-making is coming to Trill Farm.

I am Thomas O’Hagan, a mead maker and beekeeper who started making mead due to the scarcity of decent real mead at home in Ireland. If I wanted some good quality sweet refreshment, I was going to have to make it myself.

I’m excited to join Trill Farm and become part of this wonderful community, helping people to live a lifestyle more in touch with nature and the gifts it provides.

At Trill, I will be sustainably producing fine authentic meads, working with the best efforts of our noble honey bees. I want to teach people the somewhat forgotten art of mead making, to encourage this wonderful tradition back into our kitchens.

Come the summer, keep an eye out for mead making days and Trill Farm’s Kilnasaggart Mead, a pyment mead made in the style of a refreshing white wine, using raw honey mixed with grapes to produce a clean mead with delicate honey flavours. It is named after an early mead- making monastery in the valley where I developed the recipe.

So currently, O’Hagan’s Meadery at Trill is a maze of plumbing, planning and organising but we do have a little wild yeast honey ferment on the go for mead students to taste later in the year.

Thomas launched O’Hagan’s Meadery in 2017, and won three stars for his mead in the 2018 Great Taste Awards. ohagansmeadery.com 

Springing Forth

2 Apr 2019 | 0 comments

Spring - and life is visibly burgeoning forth into buds, bursting out in blossom and gamboling gleefully in fields in the form of lambs.

The first leaves of ransoms are stretching up through the leaf litter on the woodland floor, enticing foragers and culinary types alike out into the springtime larder. The stark, winter branches and brambles of Blackthorn are disappearing behind clouds of exuberant white petals which beckon forth the bees. 

Bumbles, unseemingly fuzzy fliers, tirelessly travel from one rosemary flower to the next before heading off noisly to some neighbouring patch. 

Soon day and night will meet in equal measure for that brief window of time we call equinox. It is a time for spring cleanses; tonics made from early nettle and cleavers, wild garlic and glee. A great sense of breathing out arises - but don't get swept off your feet!! - this is a fabulous time of year to find some stillness and be present to the wonders that are unfolding before us. 

Choose a spot out in it all, sit down in it often, open all your senses, and invite some wonder in. Spring is, after all, a festive unfolding of life in all its myriad manifestations. 

Jonathan Code is a gardener, teacher, researcher and author, and Director of the Crossfields Institute International. He teaches our new plant-based retreat and the Art of Soap Making courses here at Trill Farm. 

Recipes for Spring Health

2 Apr 2019 | 0 comments

As delicious as it might be, foraged wild garlic soup isn’t the only thing we can make from spring’s rich pickings. From nettles and cleavers to violets and dandelions, spring’s herbs can cleanse more than just our gut.

Here, three of our friends and course tutors offer up spring recipes for nibbles, tonics and cleansers. 

BUCKWHEAT & NETTLE CRACKERS

200g raw buckwheat groats, soaked for 1 hour, rinsed and sprouted for 1 day
1 large handful of nettle tops
75g ground linseed
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped

Plunge the nettle tops into boiling water for 30 seconds. Strain over a large jug to reserve the hot water. Refresh in cold water and drain.
Process the buckwheat and nettles in a food processor until well mixed, adding enough of the reserved nettle water to make a mixture that easily drops off a spoon. Drink the rest of the nettle water as a tea, if you like.
Place the buckwheat and nettle mixture in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Line dehydrator trays with baking parchment.
Spread the mixture onto the trays to a thickness of approximately 3-4 mm. Dehydrate at 140 ̊F (60 ̊C) for about 2 hours, then score into squares of a size that takes your fancy. Dehydrate for a further 2 hours before flipping over. Dehydrate until completely dry.
When they are dry and crisp, remove, cool and store in an airtight jar.

No dehydrator? Try using your oven instead if it has a setting of 75 ̊C or less.

Daphne Lambert is an award winning chef, author and founding member and CEO of food education charity, the Green Cuisine Trust. She is an expert in the field of health and nutrition and runs our seasonal Living Nutrition retreats, unfolding the relationship between land, food, health and vitality.

Categories