My Bloom Highlights 2019
I visited Bloom, the Bord Bia garden and food event, in 2018 and thought, what an amazing event, I would really love to bring my workshops here. Fast forward to 2019 and there I was, on the stage in the Kidz Zone.
I was nervous but I was ready. Ready to bring fun, food education to as many children as possible over the 5 days of the festival. But mostly nervous! Luckily, my new best friend, lovely Sue (or Scientific Sue as she is better known) set me straight and helped get me set up before showing me how to use the mic a la Madonna! 10 shows later, hundreds of kids taught, tomatoes squirted and peas popped, the nerves were gone and I didn’t want to give the mic back!
I had a ball! Not only did I get the opportunity to share my interactive, fun, healthy eating workshops with hundreds of kids but I got to do it in the Phoenix Park at the largest garden festival in Ireland!
Here are some of my musings from the 5 day festival and some tips for 2020!
the sheer scale of this event is not to be sniffed at. 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens, over 100 Irish food and drink producers, 25 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best-known chefs and some 100 retailers, all within a 70 acre site. Wear comfortable shoes and come early to fit it all in!
the gardens are, of course, wonderful. I especially liked the Children’s Medical Research Foundation Crumlin Garden and the Trocaire Irish-Guatemalen garden. Top tip for visiting the gardens if you want to get a good look is to get there early or late. Any time in between and all you’ll see is flowers and heads and legs and mobile phones!
the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage with a slew of Ireland’s best chefs cooking their hearts out for the crowds. There was Neven Maguire, JP McMahon, Chef Adrian, Rory O’Connell, Edward Hayden, Catherine Fulvio, Zach from Irish Food Guide and more. And the best thing is that you can get up pretty close and personal with these guys so be armed with your best cooking questions and don’t be shy!
the GIY stage hosted some brilliant panel discussions around sustainability in terms of plastics and food, organic food, bees and lots more. Mick Kelly, founder of GIY, is also behind the Grow Cook Eat hit on RTE. If you’re at all interested in food sustainability, the food chain and growing your own food, this was the place to be. Their very cute displays were also worth a second look!
the Keelings stand just blew my mind. They have a large stand featuring lots of their berries growing in what they called “Keelings Sensory Symphony” tunnel. And they had a place for kids to make seed bombs. And they were giving samples of their berries. And they had growing workshops. Definitely a favourite!
Margaret’s Eggs, did an amazing job at keeping the kids entertained when they were not being mesmerised by yours truly or the lovely Scientific Sue. They hosted all manners of competitions from dance'-offs to egg and spoon races. The crack was mighty and the prizes plentiful!
So I had a blast! I met loads of great people, got to do my food thing with loads of kids and got to hang out in the Phoenix Park for 5 days - what’s not to love! If you’ve never been, put it in your diary for 2020 as a must-do!