Honey, Bees, Buzzzz….

Dear Gardener friends!

This month, it s all about bees and honey!

On 19th August, we had the pleasure to welcome Andrew Cote from the New York Beekeeper Association and his his partner Yuliana for an interview while touring the garden. We talked about the different crops we are growing as well as beneficial plants for bees and other pollinators. Andrew is a great passionate of bees and delivered a very interesting talk for the Ballina Beekeeper Assiociation  the evening before.



The following picture is a game called “Where is the Queen?”

The Apairy at Mount Falcon now has 8 hives which were supplied and are looked after by Jude Walsh from the Ballina Beekeeper Association and Fergal O’Shea. The bees, thanks to their queen and their surrounding, are thriving! Some honey has been harvested and extracted so it won t be long before we see Mount Falcon Honey on the tables for breakfast!



We are delighted to announce, thanks to Ellen Mooney from the Ballina Beekeeper Association that Harold Williams and Barbara Chick from Cardiff, Vale and Valleys Beekeeper will be giving a presentation after a tour of the Gardens on September 10th around 6pm. All garden lovers and beekeepers to-be are welcome!


Here is a frame of capped honey ready to be extracted

Here is a frame of capped honey ready to be extracted

We ll finish with this great video showing how bees and pollinators go crazy for green manure Phacelia around the tunnel in the Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon. Thanks to our 3 interns, Paul, Jason and Paul, who are working full time with me in the Gardens to give it its shape as well as Remy, Gerry and John, who helped me earlier this year. We re now getting ready for Autumn and Winter jobs as well as planning for next and possible workshops related to bees and gardening.


See you next time.
To your fork and Enjoy!
Alex Lavarde, Head Gardener


Chers amis jardiniers,

Ce mois ci, ce sera tout pour les abeilles et le miel!

Le Mardi 19 Aout, nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir Andrew Cote de l’association d’apiculteur de New York accompagne de sa compagne Yuliana pour une interview lors de notre tour des jardins. Nous avons discuter des différentes variétés que nous produisons ainsi que des plantes qui attirent les abeilles et autres pollinisateurs.


La photo qui suit set un jeu: “Ou set la Reine?”

Pour le moment, nous avons 8 ruches dans les Jardins de Mount Falcon qui proviennent d’un apiculteur local. Il s’en occupe avec l’aide d’un collègue. Grace a leur reine et leur environnement, les abeilles ont eu un bel été! La preuve étant que du miel a été récolte et extrait, ce qui veut dire qu’il y aura bientôt le miel de mount Falcon sur les tables pour le petit-dejeuner!


Nous sommes content d’annoncer, avec un grand merci a Ellen Mooney de l’association de Ballina, que Harold Williams et Barbare Chick vont donner une presentation après un tours des jardins le 10 Septembre vers 18 heures. Tous les amours du jardins et les apiculteurs en herbes sont les bienvenus.

Nous finissons par cette belle video qui monte combien les abeilles aiment l’engrais vert Phacelie autours de la serre au Potager de Mount Falcon.

Here is a frame of capped honey ready to be extracted

Ensuite, nous avons une plaque de miel scelle prête a être extraite:

Un grand merci a nos internes Paul, Jason et Paul qui travaillent a temps dans les jardins sans oublier Remy, Gerry et John qui m’ont aider il y a quelques mois!

Nous nous préparons pour les travaux d’Automne et d’Hiver ainsi que pour l’année prochaine et les potentiels petites formations liées aux abeilles et au jardinage que nous allons proposer.



A la prochaine.
A vos fourchettes, et Bon Appetit!
Alex Lavarde, Jardinier.

Posted in The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment

Fishery Report – July 2014

July brought sunshine and high temperatures to the Moy Valley, the river dropped and the water temperature increased. Despite this some fish did leave the tidal waters and make it to the Mount Falcon beats. Fishing conditions were difficult but despite this our guests did manage to catch a respectable 48 salmon on our private water.


Mike Bowsher – 7lb

The first week of month the Lucas Oehslin party (Switzerland), timed their arrival with a small flash flood on the Owenduff, where Lucas succeeded in catching his first salmon on the fly (5lb). A second salmon of 9lb was taken on the fly together with 10 sea-trout before the water dropped. Lucas followed up his fish on the Owenduff with another salmon from Mount Falcon at Connor’s Gap.

Regular visitors Mark Gessink and Paul Van Vert from Holland, took salmon on The Ridge Pool, Mount Falcon and Carramore lake during their stay.
The Moy did have one short lived rise in water level on the 17th of the month, and 8 salmon were taken from the Mount Falcon stretch on the day. The Gerhard Zahn party (Germany) all had salmon (worm/spinner), as did the Schadrack Geno (Germany) party. Victoria Roberts (UK) on her second visit to Mount Falcon had a successful week catching 5 fish (best 6lb), 3 were taken at Mount Falcon while the other 2 were caught on fly on the Ridge Pool, she also lost a fish on fly on Beltra Lake.


Owenduff – 12.5lb on!

At this time there was also a significant (but short lived) rise on the Owenduff and the Bob English party (uk) caught 6 salmon and the same number of sea trout under the guidance of Mount Falcon ghillie Michael O’Kane. The largest fish weighed in at 12.5lb.
On his first visit to the Moy, Mike Bowsher had 5 fish, with his last day being a red letter one when he took 4 salmon including a fresh fish of around 7lb from the Wall Pool. Gary Jerks a regular visitor from UK had 7 fish for his week, while his fishing companion Mike Hornsby had 2.

The Beat Buettler party (Switzerland) here on a fly fishing package all succeeded in catching their first fly caught salmon, the venues being the Moy and Carramore Lake.


Ridge Pool Salmon (Buettler Party)

Good News! At the time of writing (4th August) we have experience our first decent flood in a month, the water has risen by ½ meter, fish are running and before the water coloured to badly we had 4 fish in a short space of time. For more information and to book fishing either at Mount Falcon or on our 3 Rivers Fly Package contact Stuart Price on 0872831776, or fisheries@mountfalcon.com

Posted in Angling at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment

“It’s about wheatgrass”

Dear Gardener Friends,

It’ s been too long since the last post ! Having just completed a very busy period I’m now in a better position to continue this monthly review.

It has been a few weeks since we introduced Wheatgrass Juice at The Spa at Mount Falcon. We’re growing the grass from seeds using Living Green compost ( a certified Organic compost made in Co. Donegal ) in the onsite poly tunnels. Fresh grass is delivered to The Spa each week where the team there juice the blades of grass to produce this elixir of life.

The health benefits of wheat-grass juice include:

~it is a powerful detoxifier
~it contains plenty of extra enzymes that help our own body enzymes to work better.
~it increases the body’s red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure.
~it brings oxygen to the blood due to the chlorophyll it contains. Great for after a workout!
~it promotes youthfulness!

The ideal time to consume the Wheat Grass Juice is shortly after exercising.

For more information on the benefits, you can go on to:


Wheat-grass juice is available at The Spa at Mount Falcon Estate for just €4 a shot.

Meanwhile… In the “Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon”, harvests are plentiful ! We have our Pink Garlic for the year as well as bulbs to plant for autumn and seeds which we will save later on in the year. July is the month where a lot of produce is starting to come up such as yellow and round courgettes, purple French Beans, kale, scallions, colored radishes, colored carrots, beetroots, mini turnips, mini leeks, micro leaves and micro herbs. We also have plenty of edible flowers to garnish dishes designed by Philippe Farineau and his team for The Kitchen Restaurant at Mount Falcon.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon is online too so you can follow me on Twitter @alexlavarde, for updates and pictures of the garden and its produce.

The bee hives are doing great, busy bees are bringing in pollen and nectar and making lots of honey! If everything goes to plan, we should have a good crop of honey and honey combs as well in the coming months !

Any of your comments or any questions you may wish to ask are welcome.

To your fork and enjoy !!!

Alex Lavarde, Head Gardener.

Chers amis jardiniers,

Cela fait trop lontptemps depuis mon dernier bulletin, mais je suis de retour pour une revue mensuelle.
Depuis quelques semaines, nous avons introduit le jus d’herbe de ble au Spa a Mount Falcon. Nous faisons pousser l’herbe a partir de graines de ble dans la serre en utilisant un terreau certifie bio. L’herbe fraiche est livree chaque semaine au Spa ou l’equipe extrait le jus d’herbe pour produire l’elixir de vie.
En effet, le jus d’herbe de ble possede de nombreuses qualites et benefices tel que:
~etre un puissant detoxifiant.
~contenir des enzymes capables d aider nos propres enzymes a etre plus performantes.
~augmenter le nombres de globules rouges et reduire la pression sanguine.
~apporter de l’oxygene au sang du a la chlorophylle qu’il contient. Parfait apres l’exercice physique.
~promouvoir la jeunesse du corps.
Son utilisation est particulierement interessante pour les personnes faisant du fitness ou autres activites.
Il y a de multidudes d’autres benefices pour la sante que ce soit par utilisation interne (jus) ou externe (application cutanee). Pour plus d;informations, allez sur: http://hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass/benefits-of-wheatgrass . Ok c’est en Anglais, mais de nos jours Internet fait quasiment tout pour nous… Dont les traductions.

Pendant ce temps… Au “Potager a Mount Falcon”, les recoltes sont abondantes… Nous avons notre Ail Rose pour l’annee, ainsi qu’assez de cailleux pour notre plantation a l’Automne, sans oublier les graines d’Ail Rose que nous allons recolter plus tard. Juillet est un mois ou les produits du jardin commencent a se faire nombreux, nous trouvons: courgettes jaunes et rondes, haricots (verts) violets, kale, oignion de salade, radis multicolores, bettraves et carottes multicolores, mini navet, mini poireaux, micro salades, differents fleurs et des herbes pour garnir les assiettes confectionnees par Philippe Farineau et son equipe.
Le jardin est sur la toile egalement, vous pouvez me suivre sur Twiter @alexlavarde, pour voir l’evolution du jardin et des produits en photos.

Les ruches se portent tres bien, les abeilles sont tres occupees a recolter le pollen and nectar des environs pour produire le miel. Si tout se passe bien, nous devrions avoir une recolte interessante de miel ainsi ques des rayons de miel purs.

Commentaires et questions sont les bienvenus.

A vos fourchettes et Bon Appetit!

Alex Lavarde, Jardinier

Posted in The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment

Fishery Report – June 2014

The month started with Frenchman Phillip Bonnange landing his first ever salmon on Mount Falcon Estate and adding to this the next day both fish were 5lbs and taken on spinner.
The water rose during the second week and there was some great fishing by our guests on the upper Moy, notably Father and Son team Jimmy and Luke Dietz from the USA, landed 5 salmon in 2 days fishing with Mount Falcon guide John Seery, their best fish was 9lbs, two of which were caught on the fly and 3 on worm. Other successfully anglers were regular visitors Richard Bambridge and his family from Luxemburg they landed 3 fish in two days fishing with Mount Falcon’s ghillie Michael O’Kane.

Irland 2014 027 Irland 2014 046 Irland 2014 056

Water levels were low now and fishing became harder but a first salmon on a Toby for Pierre Blisset from Paris was landed on the 24th June also that week William More from the UK had an 8lbs fish spinning and Jonathan Macready had a fish of 5lbs on worm.

The last few days of the month saw a few more Grilse arriving and George Bingham landed a 4lbs fish on the worm. Lucas Oechslin was back at Mount Falcon with 2 friends who had not caught a salmon before, all of the group landed fish with a total of eight salmon landed, the best a 9lbs fish on the fly. They were fishing our 3 rivers package from the Owenduff; and they also managed 11 Sea Trout, to 3lbs all returned.

We are now hoping for some decent rain for July to bring in the main run of Grilse.
For more information contact our Fishery Manager – Stuart Price. Email fisheries@mountfalcon.com

Posted in Angling at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment

Fishery Report – May 2014


Mount Falcon produced its first fish on 18th May to Shane Maloney fishing Cunningham’s Pool. This was a fresh fish weighing 9.75lb.

We had low angling pressure until the last week of month, and had to wait until the 27th for our next Moy fish. This was a sea-liced salmon weighing 10.25lb taken by Doug Armstrong from the Wall Pool Straight on a flying C. This was followed up by a second fish weighing 9.5lb for the same angler from the same pool on the next day.

Our guests Fishing the 3 Rivers packages on Carramore rose a number of fish to the fly, with John Murray boating a fish of 5lb on the 28th.

Tim Jessop (U.K.) landed a fish on the Owenduff to a small black stoats tail and lost another the same day. Also on the Owenduff, Dutch Angling Journalist Rudy Van Duijnhoven had an 8lb spring fish on fly fishing the upper Rock House Water on May 23rd.

The first of the grilse are now entering the river, we had our first one on the 4th June, and we are hopeful that the main run will arrive shortly.

Father and son team, Jimmy Dietz and son Martin, 14 years of age, from USA that caught an amazing 5 Salmon in 2 days on the Moy, fishing with Mount Falcon ghillie John Seery. The biggest fish went to Martin at 8lds on bubble, fly and worm. Martin certainly has a bright future ahead, fish look out.

For more information contact our Fishery Manager – Stuart Price.

Email fisheries@mountfalcon.com

Posted in Angling at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment

Preparation for new growing season

Dear gardener friends!

Welcome back to “The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon” garden blog!

It is been a while since the last post but I’ve been pretty busy planning and working in the garden. As part of the development of the garden, we decided to introduce bees on the estate. As you should know, bees are an endangered species that need to be protected because they are so useful for food production. They will help us to pollinate crops and will allow us to produce our own Honey. As mindful gardener, we understand the bee cycle so we will make sure bees have enough of their honey to survive winter and we will harvest any surplus.

We need experts to look after bees as I am only a beginner with no live experience with them. This is why I contacted Helen Mooney and Jude Walsh from the Ballina Beekeepers association. Jude will put 5 or 8 hive near the garden in mid-April and will look after them once a week. We should be able to taste the Honey sometime in October. The bees will enjoy the massive diversity of tree around the estate as well as flowers and other crops will be growing this season.

The Ballina Beekeepers association and the Native Irish Honeybee Society (NIHS) teamed up to organise a Queen rearing workshop on June 8th on the grounds of Mount Falcon. For more details and for bookings, go to:


I am also working with Celia Greabner who I met through the Mayo Organic Group. Celia is an experienced organic grower and specialises in bee plants and is based in Straide. She is running Frogswell Nursery. We will focus on plants, perennials mostly, that have early and late flowering to provide food for bees when everything else is still dormant.

The Mayo Organic Group has a monthly meeting in Mayo Abbey, to learn more about this friendly group, go to:


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to drop a line and will get get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy new growing season!!!

To your fork and enjoy!

Alex Lavarde, Gardener.


Chers amis jardiniers!

Bienvenue sur le blog du “Potager de Mount Falcon”.

Cela fait un moment depuis ma derniere entree, mais je fut tres occupe entre plannifier et commencer a travailler dans le jardin. Afin de promouvoir le jardin, nous avons decider d’introduire des abeilles sur la propriete. Comme vous devez le savoir, l’abeilles est une espece en danger qui a besoin d etre proteger car elle est trop importante pour la production de nourriture. Elles vont nous aider a polleniser nos plantes a fruits et vous egalement nous permettre de recolter notre propre miel. Car nous sommes respectueux, nous allons nous assurer que les abeilles ont assez de miel pour survire l’hiver, et nous ne prendrons que l’exces.

Nous avons besoin d’experts pour s’en occuper. C est pour cela que j’ai contacte Helen Mooney et Jude Walsh de l’association d’apiculteur de Ballina. Jude va place 5 ou 8 ruches pres du jardin mi-Avril et va venir une fois par semaine pour verifier que tout est en ordre. Nous devrions etre capable de gouter notre miel en Octobre. Les abeilles vont profiter d’une mmense diversite d’arbres sur la proporiete ainsi que les fleurs et autres fruits que nous allons cultiver cette annee.

L’association d’apiculteurs de Ballina et la Societe d’abeilles natives d’Irelande coordonnent une journee de stage sur l’elevage de reines le 8 Juin dans les jardins de Mount Falcon.

Je travaille egalement avec Celia Greabner, que j’ai rencontrer a travers le Mayo Organic Group. Celia est une productrice bio avec plus de 25 and d’experience qui specialise en plantes pour abeilles et qui est basee a Straide. Elle tient la pepiniere Frogswell. Nous allons nous concentrer sur des plantes, surtout vivaces, qui fleurrissent tot et tard dans l’annee pour permettre aux abeilles de trouver de la nourriture quand tout le reste est encore dormant.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hesitez pas a deposer une ligne et j’y repondrais des que possible.

Joyeuse nouvelle saison!

A vos fourchettes et bon Appetit!

Alex Lavarde, Jardinier

Posted in The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon | 4 Comments

Merry Christmas from “The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon”

Merry christmas wordpress

Here we are, we start feeling the taste of Winter and Christmas with the first snow for most of the country. I hope you have your plants protected from frosty nights.

At “The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon”, we are ready to plant potatoes. Usually, first earlies should be planted but we would rather focus on special varieties. Indeed, we are going to plant “La Ratte”, a very small French potato that can be peeled with the finger and has a wonderful taste. I will do 3 plantings inside in December, January and February and follow with outdoor planting from March until June. This will ensure continuous supply for the “A la Carte” menu. Potatoes have been chitted or sprouted in egg boxes for over 4 weeks in a bright room with their eyes up. (see picture). After planting, fleece will go over the bed to protect the young shoots from frost damage. Earthing up will be managed by adding a mix of soil and compost when shoots will be above ground level.

Mini Leeks and Spring Onions will be sown very shortly; they are very popular and tasty on the plate. Pink Garlic and Onions planted in November are doing very well so far.

You are welcome to leave comments and ideas for future posts. If there is something you would like to discuss, gardening tips or just drop a line about the pretty surroundings around you. Do not hesitate.

I wish you all a very good Christmas with family and a great New Year. I will talk to you again in January with a new exciting growing season coming along!

Until then, To your fork and Enjoy!

Alex Lavarde, Gardener at “The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon”

❅  ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅  ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅  ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅  ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅   ❅

Chers amis Jardiniers!

On y est, nous commençons a gouter a l’hiver et a Noel avec les premiers flocons pour la plupart de l’Irlande. J’espère que vous avez pris la précaution de protéger vos plantes contre les nuits gelées.
Au “Potager de Mount Falcon”, nous sommes prêts a planter des Pommes de Terre. D’habitude, a cette période de l’année, nous devrions planter des Premières Pommes de Terre, mais nous préférons nous concentrer sur des variétés spéciales. En effet, nous allons planter “La Ratte”, cette célèbre patate française qui s épluche avec le pouce et a un très bon gout. Je vais faire 3 semis a intervalle réguliers, en Décembre, en Janvier et Février sous serre et passer dehors a partir de Mars jusqu’a Juin. Cela assurera un apport constant de “Ratte” pour le menu “A la Carte”. Les patates ont été laisses a germer dans des boites d’oeufs avec les yeux vers le haut pour 4 semaines. (voir photo). Apres le semis, une toison va couvrir le lit pour proteger les jeunes pousses contre le gel. Le buttage va se realiser en ajoutant un melange de sol et compost sur les jeunes pousses ayant sortis du sol.

Mini Poireaux et Onions de Salade seront semes tres bientôt; Ils sont populaires et delicieux dans l’assiette. L’Aill Rose et Les Onions plantes en Novembre poussent tres bien pour le moment.

Vous êtes les bienvenus de laisser des commentaires ou des idées pour les futurs blogs. Si vous voulez discuter de quelques choses, des conseils jardinages, ou simplement déposez une ligne sur la belle Nature qui vous entoure. N’hésitez pas.
Je vous souhaite a tous un merveilleux Noel en famille ainsi que de belle fetes de fin d’année. On se revoit en Janvier avec une excitante nouvelle saison de jardinage devant nous!

A vos fourchettes et Bon Appetit!

Alex Lavarde, Jardinier au “Potager de Mount Falcon”

Posted in The Kitchen Garden at Mount Falcon | Leave a comment