RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 8

Ear to the Ground

At a time when many of us are stuffed full of mince pies, turkey and selection boxes it is worth remembering that not everybody has abundant food at Christmas. Ella spends a day with Crosscare, a charity that has established a new initiative 'From Farm to Fork' liaising with farmers who donate fresh produce to their food bank. Peter Meade is just one of the farmers who donate to Crosscare. "Class Two" potatoes make up 30% of Meade's crop; they are perfectly edible but slightly misshapen and would not sell in a supermarket as a result. Ella helps to prepare a Christmas dinner for some of those going hungry in Dublin and speaks to the Christmas party guests who use the service.

Jamie Oliver is just one of the growing number of people who think Gathabawn Ice Cream is "pukka"! Liam and Anthony Brennan are dairy farmers from Kilkenny who sold their first ice cream in 2006 and now produce more than 30 flavours of ice cream and 20 sorbet flavours. They milk their cows in the morning and within half an hour of pasteurising the milk, they have fresh ice cream in tubs awaiting delivery to some of Dublin's top restaurants, including Jamie's Italian, Trocadero, The Winding Stair and The Westbury Hotel. Helen visits their farm-come-ice cream parlour as they make a limited edition Christmas pudding flavour ice cream.

Jim O'Connor returned to his family's horticulture business in the late 1990s having spent almost ten years living in New York. He convinced his parents to diversify and grow more than salad leaves in their green houses. Jim now grows five acres of the festive red flower Poinsettia, a Christmas tradition that originated in the US and is steadily growing in popularity in Ireland. Darragh Mc Cullough meets Jim on his flower-farm for some seasonal fun to talk about the perennial Christmas favourite.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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