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Jim Kitchen: Alan is a bee-man, an apiarist. He tends half-a-dozen hives near Minnowburn, where the National Trust has established one of its five allotment sites in Northern Ireland. It’s a wonderful location, sandwiched between Belfast’s River Lagan and the renowned Giant’s Ring but it’s a bit short of wild flowers to feed Alan’s bees with nectar. So the allotmenteers and National Trust volunteers have planted a native hedge of holly, hawthorn and dog rose which will help to address the floral deficit.

08 June 2012 | 135 Comments | Recommended by 15

All human life is here

Jim Kitchen: We've been exhibiting at the Balmoral Show in Belfast over the last three days. The Show is Northern Ireland's annual festival of food and farming; it's when Country comes to Town and Town gets a look at Country. And anybody who is anybody will be here. Outside, in the vast arena, the champion animals are being prepared and paraded, farmers salivate at the latest agricultural technology and the public is entertained by show-jumpers and stunt bikes. The handsome longhorn cattle and Jacob sheep draw admiring comments, piglets and day-old chicks are a hit with the parties of schoolchildren and the heavy horses compete for attention with the antique tractors.

23 May 2012 | 70 Comments | Recommended by 8

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