The menu: Raise the Dough (March 27-April 7)

Any fundraising initiative supporting the ISPCC and Childline will always have The Menu’s support but one that introduces a spot of baking to the equation is especially commendable. 

The menu: Raise the Dough (March 27-April 7)

Raise the Dough (March 27-April 7) is a fundraiser targeting families, schools and communities whereby individuals or groups are encouraged to fire up the ovens and run baking-related initiatives, including bake sales, coffee mornings and baking competitions.

Register on www.raisethedough.ie to receive tips on running an event and a Boutique Bake product.

Those despairing at the negative impact of much of industrial agriculture on our environment and diet should always find sustenance for both body and soul at Cloughjordan eco-village and The Menu can highly recommend Feeding Ourselves (April 8-9), a ‘conference’ covering soil, diversification, food initiatives and the legendary speakEATsy, a community meal whereby diners bring and share a dish and a story, featuring poetry, music and always stimulating conversation. Past guests have included Ear to the Ground presenter Ella McSweeney, environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth and Mark Boyle, ‘The Moneyless Man’ ( www.cultivate.ie )

GIY in conjunction with Cully & Sully launch Give Peas a Chance, a competition aimed at nurturing entrepreneurship in the food sector amongst Irish secondary school pupils. Students are invited to pair up and avail of free growing kits (including seeds, soil, pots and growing tuition) to produce their own peas and then subsequently develop a pea soup recipe to be produced by Cully & Sully, overseeing the entire ‘farm to fork’ operation themselves. Finalists will undergo a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching process at GIY’s GROW HQ, in Waterford, on May 25th, with prizes including €3,000 food garden for their school, 2 iPads for the winning team of two students and the brand new winning soup recipe will be produced by Cully & Sully and served at the GIY Café ‘GROW HQ’ (

Finalists will undergo a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching process at GIY’s GROW HQ, in Waterford, on May 25th, with prizes including €3,000 food garden for their school, 2 iPads for the winning team of two students and the brand new winning soup recipe will be produced by Cully & Sully and served at the GIY Café ‘GROW HQ’ ( www.cullyandsully.com )

A couple of years ago, The Menu was taken by an old comrade, now relocated to the country, on a brief tour of the very excellent Tracton Arts and Community Centre, at Minane Bridge and has long planned a return. The

The Tracton community market running on the first Sunday of the month (next one, April 2, from 11am-1pm) sounds precisely the impetus needed, not least the offering of fresh wood-fired oven pizza, good coffee, and fine local produce and craftwork, all a voluntary initiative designed to bring together the community to break both ice and bread. www.thetractoncentre.org

While The Menu will never go entirely vegan, he believes very strongly in increasing the plant-based element to the daily diet and eating meat in a more sustainable fashion and in a way that benefits the primary producers first and foremost so is happy to bring news of an online fundraising campaign for Sarah Murphy’s projected vegan Miam Café & Bakery ( www.gofundme.com/miam-cafe-bakery ).

TODAY’S SPECIAL

Keeping in mind both provenance (generally imported) and preservation techniques (washed in chlorine; MAP or modified atmosphere packaging which sees bag filled with carbon dioxide or nitrogen), The Menu has always been highly ‘allergic’ to pre-washed bagged salads available in the supermarkets, generally giving green leaves a wide berth until later in the year. But he is delighted to recommend an organic green salad bag entirely shorn of chemical interference and produced infinitely closer to home, by Colum and Liz O’Regan of Horizon Farm, in Kinsale. These mixed leaves are packed with flavour and nutritional value, green and vibrant, offering

But he is delighted to recommend an organic green salad bag entirely shorn of chemical interference and produced infinitely closer to home, by Colum and Liz O’Regan of Horizon Farm, in Kinsale.

These mixed leaves are packed with flavour and nutritional value, green and vibrant, offering lovely light contrast to winter’s heftier fare. www.facebook.com/horizonfarm

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