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Stillgarden Social Botanists

Life is hard (and meaningless), but gardening doesn’t have to be. Anyone can be a Social Botanist and here at Stillgarden Distillery our gardening extraordinaires and community of harvesters and foragers will help you bring life into the world! Join Alan on a nihilistic guide to creating beautiful things easily.

STEP 1

Tilling is boring, bad and pointless. There are billions of microbes in the underground soil that support the life above and send necessary minerals to your plants. While tilling the soil might initially bring a surge of oxygen to your garden, when done every year, tilling kills off essential fungal networks and beneficial life forms that help create a fertile environment for your plants. Think of the soil like you would your gut. You need all that grim sounding bacteria to exist within in you for numerous reasons. It goes without saying you would not expose your gut to the elements extend the same courtesy to your soil.

Yeah, but what about weeds Alan, what do we do then!?

STEP 2

Preparation in advance will see that no weeds form within your soon-to-burgeoning garden. While initially that sounds like lots of effort it makes for much less work in the long run. Thoughtful and active avoidance of future effort is the key here. It’s affectionately called the Lasagna System. It is not delicious as the TV dinner staple, but it is indeed clever.

This method of gardening consists of layering different types of organic material to mimic the different horizons of the soil.

Base layer – The first thing you always put on top of the existing soil is a weed barrier (use one of the million Amazon boxes still lying around the house since Christmas). Just lay cardboard, or multiple layers of newspaper, on top of the grass or wherever it is you will soon be calling your “garden bed.”

 

Stillgarden GardeningSecond layer – Here is where you’ll place a layer of sand or rock debris. Gravel from your neighbour’s driveway works too for a fun and free way to spite them for having too many visitors during a pandemic.

Middle layer – This layer always contains some form of compost like manure (NOT from your dog or cat, but properly aged manure) or composted kitchen scraps.

Fourth layer – Cover the manure or compost layer with grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, and coffee   grounds (coffee shops will literally be delighted to give you their spent coffee grounds if you ask nicely).

Top layer – Time to cover the compost so that the flies don’t get to it! Use straw mulch or natural wood chips.

Once all of the layers of your Lasagna garden are in place, weeding is almost non-existent and your plants will be well fertilized without any more effort! Sound like fun? Come grow with us as we kick off this year’s Social Botanist Project.

 

Okay, that’s enough work for now. Go grab a G&T!

Groans and moans have been heard drifting from the Stillgarden community garden this month.

Not from the undead, but from yours truly, as I get the place prepped for winter. We were lucky enough a lot of hedging gifted to us by a member of the Social Botanists group. The hedging, along with the kind offer of some bark chips from a local hall, has the place looking shipshape and weed free. Hooray!

 

 

As it is approaching Samhain, my favourite time of the year. I’ve decorated the garden with all manner of scary editions, hopefully they will keep the crows away from our strawberries. Our Social Gin went on general sale last week, and the staff at the Distillery are extremely proud to have it hit the shelves. Produced in conjunction with our Social Botanist group. Sourcing ingredients directly from the garden, chosen by our Social Botanists, and sampled to create a drink that they, and hopefully you, will enjoy.

Community Sourced Social Gin

When it comes to a scary Garden, it’s a wonder that I even dare venture into it. It’s a potential horror story waiting to happen when the moon is full, what with the amount of lethal poisonous plants, the horrific insects and possible hedge clipper accidents that could befall me. In reality there is very little to be afraid of in our little oasis in Inchicore other than getting a nettle sting.

Here are a few plants that actually are a bit freaky!

‘Bleeding Tooth(Hydnellum peckii)

This beneficial fungus actually “bleeds” bright red juices when it’s young. It grows throughout North America but can be found all over the world.

‘Black Bat Flower’ (Tacca chantrieri)
This nearly pitch-black plant definitely has one of the more chilling appearances. There aren’t many plants that have ears and whiskers, but the bat flower ….does.

‘Doll’s Eyes(Actaea pachypoda)
This eastern North America perennial, also called white baneberry, has berries that look (too much) like “eyes”, or an alien from a 1950s sci-fi movie. Walking through a forest full of these wouldn’t exactly be a welcoming sight on a fall evening.

 Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
The Venus Flytrap is probably the best known insect eating plant in the world. In fact, this carnivorous plant’s features are so unique and distinct, they’ve even starred in some horror movies…and it’s my favourite spooky plant!

So until next time, don’t walk through the old graveyard, don’t go into the attic, and most importantly, prune well to reduce competing branches that may reduce yield and block sunlight.

To find out more about who are Social Botanists are or to become a Stillgarden Social Botanist check out the Instagram Page

Keep rockin

Neal

Will Lynch Stillgarden Distillery

You celebrate the highs together and are there for support during the tough times. Always with the eyes on the prize.

Hi I’m Will, the Sales Manager at Stillgarden Distillery.

Will Lynch Stillgarden Distillery

I’ve worked in the drinks industry for over 17 years and have been lucky enough to have worked in some amazing teams, with Stillgarden being one of the best. From pubs to clubs, music arenas and festivals to cosy cocktail bars, one of the most important things for me has been the people I’ve worked alongside – learning from them and passing on my own experience and knowledge.

I like to think of working in a team kind of like being on a football pitch, another thing I’m super passionate about. You’ve got your manager that’s overseeing the work being done and giving you instructions to help you win; your coaches helping you learn, develop and improve; the captain on the pitch that you can always lean on when things aren’t going to plan and leads the team by example. Everyone in your team working hard to try and keep the ball going forward and trying to hit those goals.

You celebrate the highs together and are there for support during the tough times. Always with the eyes on the prize.

I’ve taken this mindset back into my passion, football. Within the drinks industry I’ve been hard at work setting up an actual team of my own: Bartenders FC. Over the past 2 years with the amazing help of the passionate people around me, we now have clubs in Dublin, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The collective goal being to promote positive physical and mental health for people who work in the drinks industry through football. Supporting each other on and off the pitch.

Bartenders FC Team photo

The bar industry is in itself a very close community and is definitely in a league of its own. At Stillgarden we are another team in this ever-expanding championship, but with the support of our community, we can go on to achieve some great things and maybe take home a medal or two along the way. Always working hard as a team to bring you new and exciting spirits. We’ll be kicking-off soon with Social Gin, but make sure watch this space as we’ve some serious spirit talent coming through the ranks, ready to shine on a global stage.