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The Famous West Cork Electric Car!

Last night, I had to make a journey to the Mealagh Valley, east of Bantry, to collect Quentin Gargan’s Electric Citroen Berlinga to bring back to Ummera for Saturday’s Sustainably Slow day. The orignal plan was for someone from 103FM, our local radio station to do a live broadcast from it as it was driven to Bandon. However, last minute changes meant that I had to go and collect it!

And what a great drive back I had; my left leg totally redundant, and a fuel gauge that started at 100% and was at 40% when I got back to Timoleague; top speed wouldn’t break too many records, but then no one passed me!

Did you know that 100 years ago there were more electric cars than petrol driven ones! To see some of the extraordinary story about “Who Killed the Electric Car”, click here.

The forecast for tomorrow isn’t quite what we hoped for, but the morning should be fine; but forecasts are only forecasts!

So tune into 103FM West Cork (103.3FM) today to learn more about Saturday’s Sustainably Slow Day!

[tags]electric car, quentin gargan, mealagh, timoleague, slow food, bantry[/tags]

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Sustainably Slow – Update 3

Haydn Shaugnessy will be bringing some of his images from his new Gallery for Innovative Contemporary Artists at The Pink Elephant in Harbour View, Kilbrittain.

As always at Slow Food events we are indebted to Febvre Wines for their commited support of Slow Food, and once again Monica Murphy of Febvre has come up with some wine for the day!

[tags] Slow Food, Febvre, Pink Elephant[/tags]

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Sustainably Slow – Update 1

Plans are moving well for the Sustainably Slow day at the smokehouse on Saturday July 28th.

Here is a list of people planning to take part – in no particular order!

Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen Cheese, Bill Hogan of The West Cork Natural Cheese Company, Alan & Valerie Kingston of Glenilen Dairy, Paul & Yvonne Johnson of Kinrath Dexter Beef, Marion King with her Sushi, Gidi with his Organic Humous, Thomas Riedmuller of The Hollies, Feidhlim Harty of FH Wetland Systems Ltd, Mike Cotter of Alternative Energy & Cooling, Paddy Rose of Progressive Solar Heating, Peter & Fran Wolstenholme of Courtmacsherry Ceramics, Madeleine McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Di Curtin, leader of the Slow Food West Cork Convivium.

It is hoped that several of the stallholders of the Bandon Farmers Market will come down after their regular Saturday market: The Ballinascarthy Ladies, The Baking Emporium, Anne Bradfield of Taste of Memory and maybe others.

The local sustainability groups from Bandon, Clonakilty and Kinsale will also be there. Information packs with details of grants from Sustainable Energy Ireland will be available.

Even the famous West Cork Electric Car! But more on that later!

Watch this space for more news to come!

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Ummera around the county (and elsewhere!).

Yesterday Dublin, tomorrow the world! Not quite but I will be at the Urru Culinary Store in Mallow, and William will be at the Bandon Farmer’s Market.

On Sunday, Ralph will be manning our stand at the Bandon Show.

On Tuesday, William will be at the Kinsale Farmer’s Market

Next Wednesday, I will be at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London sampling our smoked organic salmon and our new gravadlax.

Sunday week, Ralph will be again manning our stand at the Baltimore Sea Food Festival in West Cork.

You can’t escape us!!

[tags] Urru, Harvey Nichols, Baltimore, Bandon, gravadlax[/tags]

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Ummera at The Butler’s Pantry

This Wednesday and Thursday I am in Dublin taking part in the Butler’s Pantry Artisan Food Week.

We are doing a tasting at their Clontarf shop from 3.30 to 6.30 on Wednesday 16th.

On Thursday 17th I am at their Sandymount shop from 11am to 2pm then onto the Mount Merrion shop from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Anyone in Dublin, do drop in and say hi!

Full addresses of the shops can be found at

[tags]Butler’s Pantry, Artisan Food Week[/tags]

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Bandon Farmer’s Market

One year old this Saturday apparently! Someone bring a birthday cake!!

Ummera is reluctantly having to  move out of its pitches at both Bandon and Kinsale; it is too time consuming for me, and Ralph and Alastair have got full time “proper” jobs now – so no more easy casual staff!

I do say reluctantly because one of the joys of the markets is the meeting of people who enjoy their food, and who are quite happy to tell you what they think of ones own products, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always constructive and helpful. It gives us, the producer, to try out new products, variations and get instant feedback.

But Ummera’s products can now be found in shops in Bandon (Urru and Martin Carey’s) and Kinsale (The Quay Food Shop, Fishy Fishy and Ship to Shore), and hopefully our vacated pitches will be snapped up by newcomers who have fresh exciting products to tempt the public with.

David Peare of the Quay Food Shop  also has a stall at the Kinsale Market and he will be carrying our smoked products; in Bandon we have not finalised anything yet, but I’m sure that we will be tempted up for the special occassion!

We will be there this Saturday……

[tags]bandon market, kinsale market, farmers’ markets, Quay Food Shop, Urru, Martin Carey, Fishy Fishy, Ship to Shore[/tags]

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The PR Machine!

One of the great benefits of being one of the recipients of this year’s Irish Food Writers Guild Awards is the wonderful publicity which follows!

No enthusiastic press releases, no arm twisting, no samples that never get sampled, no bribery (heaven forbid!), none of this is needed to get the food writers to write about you! After all who better to write about the awards and the winners than the food writers themselves!

To receive one of their awards has to be very humbling as we haven’t entered any competition knowingly, we haven’t submitted any samples (with the €100 note attached), we haven’t prepared a ‘special’ show sample.

We have been judged by our critics and found good. That is very satisfying.

Articles and mentions in the Irish Times, Independent, Irish Examiner, Food & Wine, Mooney Live in the last ten days, and no doubt others to come, is a bonus. The trip to Dublin and lunch at L’Ecrivain with food writers and producers was an award enough!

The team here at Ummera, Jonathan, Andrzey and William were delighted to see a photo of themselves in Carla Blake’s page in the Examiner accompanying a well told story. They deserve the credit.

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How time flies….. A brief resume of the last month!

I must get this blogging business automated!

Events happen and I promise myself to get them up online within minutes, then hours, then days  which turn into weeks ……..

The Searson’s Wine Tasting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin was a great event. Fantastic wines and fine food. For some reason the half a dozen food stalls were located in the area where the finest and rarest wines were being tasted, nothing but the best!

We had our first public tasting of our Gravadlax;  the reaction was very positive so it is now available from us! The packaging has now been designed and will be printed before long. Keep watching this space…..

A quick aside – I drove to Dublin from West Cork, leaving here at 5.45 am. I reached the outskirts of Dublin, just pass the new Avoca shop in Rathcoole at 8.00am. It took me 2 hours to get from there to Ballsbridge – and people do that every day of the week…..?

Before leaving Dublin I paid a quick visit to a couple of our outlets, Thomas’s of Foxrock, Thyme Out in Dalkey,  Avoca in Rathcoole and Nolans Butchers in Kilcullen.

Found myself in the village of Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK two weekends ago bearing the tricolour (to encourage the home team at Dublin for that magnificent victory over the auld enemy!). There is a super deli there, Deliz, run by the suitably delightful Liz, and I was tasting our smoked salmon, smoked chicken and dry cured bacon – all of which went down very well. Simon Richardson of GS Foods was grilling the rashers and the aroma filled the shop.

If you are in the South and South West UK and want to find out who stocks our products, either contact me at or Simon at (Tel: 07887 577 047).

On Monday , March 5th, I was  back in Dublin again having received an invitation from the Irish Food Writers Guild to join them for lunch at L’Ecrivain Restaurant!

Couldn’t refuse, could I! The journey would have been worth it just to viist Derry Clarke’s great restaurant, but to make it twice as worthwhile was that our Smoked Silver Eel was to receive one of the four awards given to food companies by the Guild for 2007.

It was a great honour to get the award, even more so as I had no idea how and why we were nominated (I do now!) .

Derry made a memorable Terrine of Smoked Eel, Horseradish, Cauliflower Cream and Beignet as the first course to a splendid meal; it was accompanied by a delicious Chenin Blanc from the Brown Brothers vineyard in Australia. The recipe will be on our Smoked Eel page shortly.

The other award winners this year were Bernadette Butler of the Good 4U Food and Drink Compan, Andrew McGuinness of Meadowsweet Apiaries and Ralph Hasslam of Mossfield Organic Cheese fame.