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About Rowan Hill

'Rowan Hill', June 2010

‘Rowan Hill’, June 2010

I live with my wife and two boys in ‘Rowan Hill’, midway between the villages of Kilcredan and Ladysbridge, in east County Cork, Republic of  Ireland. The house itself was designed by my wife and I, and built in 2007/08. It’s a timber-framed house with concrete block exterior and plaster finish; highly insulated with solar panels for hot water heating.

We have approximately one acre of garden, some of which we use fruit and vegetable growing. We also have thirteen heirloom variety apple trees planted, along with two heirloom pear trees, and several plum and damson trees.

We keep a variety of chickens (for eggs) and each year since 2010 I hatch and raise some new stock – some of which we keep, some we kill and others we sell.

In July of 2012 we had new arrivals in the form of a colony of honey bees. If the survive the winter, I’ll be posting more about my bee-keeping in 2013.

The fertility of the soil around Rowan Hill was not great at the time we moved in – the site was part of an intensively farmed arable field, before we bought it. As a result, there was little or no nutrients and organic matter left in the soil by the time we first came to cultivate it. We still have a long road ahead of us to bring the soil back to a good level of fertility, but each year sees an improvement.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. solarbeez permalink
    October 23, 2013 5:13 am

    You’re in County Cork? The person that named our town of Bandon, Oregon came from Bandon, Ireland, County Cork. George Bennett not only named our town, but he transplanted gorse. It went ballistic here and is credited for burning the town down in 1936.
    Do you still have gorse there? Do the bees like it? I shot some video of the bees getting nectar, but it looked like a lot of work compared to other flowers.

    • October 23, 2013 8:02 pm

      Yup, we’re in County Cork alright – east Cork, actually, about 30 miles from Bandon. Cool to hear that there’s a Bandon in Oregon too – somewhat warmer and drier than Bandon here, I’d imagine!

      We do indeed have loads of gorse here – many people call it ‘Furze’. Not sure how much use it is to the bees, but it flowers so early that it has to be of help if there’s no other food sources…

      • solarbeez permalink
        October 25, 2013 2:59 am

        Do you suppose you could get a good photo of the gorse/furze? I tried emailing a beekeeping club in County Cork but no one ever got back to me. I’d like to add it to my blog about gorse from Bandon, Ireland. I’ll give you credit of course. This might be the wrong time of year, but I can wait.

      • October 30, 2013 8:34 pm

        I can do that for you, no problem at all – just send me a reminder about February time next year (4 months time) when the gorse is coming into flower around here, and I’ll email you some images.

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