|Posted by Fiona on January 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM|
“So much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to”
2012 has been just lovely. We have enjoyed good health and a wealth of homegrown food which we happily shared with family and friends throughout the year. That in itself would have been more than enough for me. But thanks to my humble blog, 2012 also bestowed some great opportunities and accolades upon me. The year started with a visit from RTECountrywide’s Damien O’Reilly and when he aired his piece on Hunters Lodge on his Saturday morning show, I thought my website would dissolve such were the hits it received – and that set the tone for an amazing year…
Is there anything nicer than freshly baked bread?
Being nominated in the 2012 Social Media Awards, Blog Awards and Agri-Journalism Awards this year would have been more than enough – being a Finalist in most of them, well that was just surreal (in 2011, I didn’t even know these awards existed!).
The opportunity to do some filming here arose twice this year and sincere thanks to the Ear To The Ground and Buckshee TV film crews for inviting us to take part in your programmes – not only did we have a blast but we made some great friends.
Even the bees got in on the filming action this year
But it wasn’t just RTE radio that came calling – we also featured on KCLR96fm (which resulted in a regular slot for most of 2012), and Ruth also featured on RTE junior radio. Whether it was TV or radio, the theme was the same – how we grow and rear our own food here in the garden at Hunters Lodge. Keeping chickens, rearing pigs, growing vegetables, beekeeping – that’s my day to day life, and I just love it.
The first chick of 2012
But one of my greatest thrills this year was being asked to present the Breakfast Show on CRKC88.7fm and you’ll hear me every Saturday morning 8am-9am. If you’re not in the Kilkenny area, you can find me online. Working with Community Radio Kilkenny City is an absolute privilege – the team welcomed me with open arms and under the guidance of station manager Mark Collins, I am learning a craft I never ever dreamed I would have the opportunity to learn. It’s an absolute dream for me.
Pavlova made with eggs, strawberries & chocolate mint from the garden
I was equally thrilled to be invited to write in Irish Country magazine at the start of 2012 and after a phenomenally successful first year, the magazine will now be bi-monthly in 2013. So the writing and photoshoots at Hunters Lodge will continue with great gusto! Big congratulations to the Irish Farmers Journal for taking a chance on a new magazine during a terrible recession – a positive outlook is a wonderful thing..
A day in the life....
Write ups in local and national papers, and wonderful reviews from companies like Glenisk have made this an extraordinary year for me. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know how much it means to me. And speaking of readers, I would like to thank all my readers, and my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. I love the interaction. I love sharing. I love the simple things in life and it seems that I am not alone in that. I’ve made so many great friends through my blog this year and I look forward to many more in 2013.
Stage 1 of Raspberry Jam - organic raspberries
So what’s the plan for 2013? Well lots more sowing and growing and rearing of course! We have exciting little projects lined up liked building a cold smoker and putting solar panels on the coal shed. Santa brought Eamonn another beehive so we’ll have our first bait hive this year (more on this later). Baking bread, tending the herb welly wall, collecting eggs, making chutney..
Homemade Strawberry Jam
Then there’s the Summer classes here at Hunters Lodge – the enquiries are coming in hot and heavy so I suspect I'm going to be very busy.
There’s one or two more VERY exciting things in the pipeline, but that’s for another day!
I just know this... if my husband and children are happy and healthy and my garden continues to be a source of food in 2013, I'll be one happy girl.
Thank you dear readers for your continued support. I wish you a Happy & Homegrown New Year from the bottom of my heart.