‘Fresh, Local, Iin Season’

Bord Bia promoted fresh produce at Bord Bia Bloom and the Body & Soul Festival. WORDS: Lorcan Bourke.

Each year at Bord Bia Bloom, an Eat Well Garden features horticultural food crops. This garden is constructed to showcase the very best of Irish-grown, in-season fresh produce.

The Eat Well Garden at Bord Bia Bloom is an annual reminder of the structural beauty and variety of fruit and vegetable crops grown in Ireland. The garden seeks to inspire the public to check out Bord Bia’s online best in season calendar of availability of Irish-grown crops and to base their meal choices around these.

Given the time of the year, strawberries and salad crops are the key fruit and vegetables on consumers’ minds. What the Bord Bia best in season online calendar shows is just how much else is on offer, in this season and every season. New season crops are profiled each month, with a reminder of what’s available from last season’s crops coming from storage.

Each year the Eat Well Garden hosts a series of chef demonstrations and talks about kitchen gardening, to help the public increase their knowledge of fruit, vegetables and potatoes. With a theme this year of organic home gardening, John Hogan, Harold Lawlor, and organic growers Padraig and Una Fahy from Ballinasloe gave gardening talks.

Many chefs and social media influencers were invited to cook up fruit, vegetables and potato recipes from Bord Bia’s two EU-funded millennial promotional campaigns: ‘Life is Better with Fruit and Vegetables’ (www.fruitnveg.ie) and ‘Potatoes: Prepare to be Surprised’ (www.potato.ie).

The public saw a range of seasonal crops, enjoyed cookery demonstrations using fresh local fruit and vegetables and watched practical organic gardening demonstrations. 1,000 participating primary school pupils on the ‘Incredible Edibles’ programme were brought through the garden over the first two days of this year’s show.

The Eat Well Garden was just one part of a two-part horticultural feature in the Food Village in Bord Bia Bloom, with the connected exhibit being the Healthy Plants, Healthy Planet display. This featured, for the first time, the broader communication of the ongoing horticulture work of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Bord Bia. It was organised in close co-operation with the DAFM plant health department.

Two weekends after Bord Bia Bloom, the Bord Bia horticulture team were out promoting fruit and vegetables again at Ireland’s most prominent millennial music festival, Body & Soul, at Ballinlough, Co Westmeath. The team encouraged festival goers to take part in ‘smoothie bike races’ while fresh, local, in-season strawberries were used as the big draw to the colourful EU campaign ‘Life is Better with Fruit and Vegetables’ stand.

For the Bord Bia best-in-season calendar, visit: https://www.bordbia.ie/whats-in-season/best-in-season/calendar.

Lorcan Bourke is a Sector Manager Fresh Produce with Bord Bia. If you have any questions or comments on the content of this feature, contact Lorcan at lorcan.bourke@bordbia.ie.