Connect with us

News

Hotel spearheads eco-tourism project

Published

on

0210927_Culinary_Director_of_Killarney_Plaza__John_OLeary__first_harvest.jpg

By Michelle Crean

A new eco project - Ireland's first hospitality urban farm - has launched in Killarney.

Over the past year, while society has been forced to hit pause, the team at O’Donoghue Ring have been busy behind the scenes - and came up with Killarney Urban Farm, Ireland's first hospitality urban farm, growing salads, herbs and vegetables for bars, restaurants and hotels in Killarney with the objective to curtail food miles.

The ultimate pandemic pivot, Killarney Urban Farm has transformed the space formerly a late night bar to a natural, earthy and innovative space in the heart of the town centre. With cutting-edge research and development, patented technologies, and a leading multidisciplinary team saw a lush and leafy installation complete with exclusive Green Towers, designed to produce high-quality food on a hyper-local level.

First tested by NASA in the 1990s, tower farms are vertical growing systems that feed and water plants through ‘w’ - a technique whereby roots hang suspended in the air while nutrient-rich water is distributed in the form of a fine mist, with the O’Donoghue Ring Collection becoming the first non-residential unit to house the Green Towers in Kerry.

Beehives were also introduced to produce some of the finest honey for the properties in Killarney, from the floral nectar of the neighbouring Killarney National Park.

FROM FARM TO PLATE

“The tower farms will contribute to the group’s sustainability efforts by allowing the culinary team to grow their own produce just steps away from the kitchen, for a truly authentic ‘Farm to Plate’ experience. Not only do these elegant growing systems use 90% less water than traditional farming and produce 30% more plant yield, they also reduce transportation distances, packaging and waste,” Gemma Ring, Director of the O’Donoghue Ring Collection, said.

To celebrate the launch, John O’Leary, Culinary Director of The Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa, part of the O’Donoghue Ring Collection, has created a unique offering that will be launching in November which invites guests on a guided tour to explore the technology that powers the farm, savour a taste of a plethora of fresh organic ingredients along with picking up some exclusive cooking tips and techniques. There will be tastings of dishes and a signature cocktail that encompasses everything the towers represent – hyper-local freshness, sustainability and innovation. The tour is followed by a 4-course sustainable tasting menu at The Tan Yard restaurant featuring ingredients produced by the towers.

The Killarney Plaza is now a certified member of The Green Hospitality Programme Ireland (GHP), has been awarded the Eco-Label and is currently in the process of receiving its 50 Shades Greener certification. As a member, the group has pledged its commitment to minimising social and environmental impact. The O’Donoghue Ring Collection is a proud member of the Killarney Hotels Sustainability Group, a signed charter between 22 local, independent hotels who collectively work together to reduce the environmental impact of the industry’s services and activities.

Other ongoing initiatives led by the group’s internal Green Team include the ambition to create a paperless workplace, the championing of food sustainability by sourcing from local producers with the inclusion of 10km Local Legacy dishes with all food on the dish sourced from within 10km of the restaurant, foraging their own produce and the introduction of e-chargers at the Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa and Killarney Avenue Hotel.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News

Jobs to keep gardeners busy

The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy! Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, […]

Published

on

0211914_GARDENINGA.JPG

The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy!

Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, Phormiums and topiary plants such as Buxus and Bay laurels. Heathers give colour all winter, as do ornamental cabbages. Winter pansies, violas and Batchelor’s buttons are all in stock now, and will provide colour for months, Cyclamen are beautiful – but beware! They do not like getting too wet, so ideally use them in pots and window boxes which do not get too much rain.

Bulbs provide a welcome splash of colour in the early spring, at a time when things are looking grey and grim. Choose from an extensive range – tulips, daffs, crocus, snowdrops – to name but a few. Planting mixtures of different varieties can lead to stunning displays in a pot, for example, plant in layers: tulips at the bottom, then daffs, hyacinth, crocus and anenomes for a long lasting pot of colour. In the garden plant bulbs in informal clusters of uneven numbers to give a natural looking display. Alliums are particularly trendy at the moment, these ornamental onions are available in pinks, white and yellow.

PRUNING

Pruning is one of those jobs which can give immense satisfaction. All old flower heads, the straggly growth of herbaceous plants and branches of unkempt shrubs can go into the compost heap. Pruning equipment can be confusing for the new gardener, so here are a few guidelines: there are two types of secateurs, bypass and anvil. The anvil secateurs is used for dead wood, but the bypass secateurs can be used for live as well as dead wood. The hedge shears are used to prune large shrubs or hedges, but is best for soft or thin growth. Loppers are used to prune trees and thicker branches and have long handles. These also come as anvil or bypass. Some of these are geared, these take the strain and strength needed out of the job, an excellent invention!

As the days get shorter and wetter, moss will start to grow again. Treat paths before they get slippy, with a product such as MossOff. Try to keep fallen leaves off lawns as they contribute to poor growth of grass and strong moss growth. A leafblower makes the job easy – especially a cordless one!

Lawns benefit from a final treatment in the autumn with a product such as an Autumn Lawn Feed and Weed or Viano Recovery from the producers of MO Bacter. These products both treat the roots of the grass, making the plant itself stronger for the winter. They do not cause excessive growth.

Finally, if there are empty beds in your vegetable garden, consider sowing a green manure such as winter rye or red clover. These will prevent weeds from taking over as well as enriching the soil with nitrogen. In the spring they can be cut down and dug into the soil, providing essential organic matter.

Continue Reading

News

Take the stress out of a career change

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve. Other people are prompted […]

Published

on

0211931_shutterstock1016302528A.JPG

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve.

Other people are prompted to change because of ambition to develop professionally, the desire for more meaning or purpose, job security or to earn more money.

Whether career change is forced upon you through organisational restructuring or is an active choice you are making, it can bring a mix of emotions. Among them is the fear and a lack of confidence on how to navigate the change effectively and the feeling of overwhelm associated with not knowing where to start. Conversely, it can be a time of great excitement about the possibility of taking on a new (and maybe very different) role or opportunity. Either way, drawing up a career action plan that breaks down the process into manageable tasks will help to ease any stress associated with career change and save you time and energy in the long run.

UNLOCKING YOUR POTENTIAL

Start by thinking about where you are now and where you would like to be – what are your priorities and non-negotiables and what are the practicalities you need to consider? To dig deeper do a self-assessment audit of your transferable skills and competencies, your career values and character strengths. Journal your career change journey by recording anything interesting you find out about yourself or career areas you are interested in. Some people like the idea of drawing up a career vision board as part of the process. Set clear goals and a specific timeline for yourself. As you gain more clarity, write out what your ideal job specification might look like, this will guide your job search. Explore options to up-skill or retrain if you feel this is helpful or necessary. Do a spring clean of your CV so that it reflects you accurately and favourably. Reach out to people in your network who may be able to assist you as you navigate this transition. Think about possible side projects you could work on to explore different areas before taking a big leap. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, it is an important part of career development. Practice interview skills, you want to be able to perform confidently when they come around. Think about this process as unlocking the potential of your ‘career brand’ so that you and prospective employers have a strong sense of who you are professionally, what you value and what you bring to the workplace. Doing this work will enable you to approach your job search and career change with renewed confidence. It will take some time but it will be worth it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Continue Reading

LOCAL ADS

Last News

Advertisement

Sport

Trending