The 2017 Oxford Real Farming Conference took place in early January and is a forum for discussing and developing approaches to agriculture and food that are based on ecological principles rather than the dictates of neoliberal economics. The opening plenary, touching on the topics of food democracy, politics and public health among others, was given by Olivier de Schutter and is well worth a listen. Although his focus in the talk is the UK, many of the points remain valid in the Irish context.
Here’s an interesting interview with Frederick Kirschenmann. Kirschenmann has been a leading figure in the US over the last several decades in the area of sustainable, organic farming. The interview ranges over a number of topics including the depletion of resources (particularly Phosphorus), biodynamic agriculture, bioregionalism and the emerging new economy.
Listen to the episode here: http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2017/1703/
What are your thoughts on social media?
While having some misgivings and not wishing to add to the general crisis of attention brought on by the constant stream of information overload, we will be making some posts on Facebook in 2017. If you would like to be kept up to date with news of upcoming courses or other events and happenings here at An Gáirdín, please follow our page, and hopefully see you soon – in person.
We’re delighted to be participating in the network of locations screening the premiere of the new documentary An Enquiry into a New Story for Humanity on Saturday evening, April 30. The film will be screened at 7pm and followed by a live stream of a post-film discussion from the Findhorn Foundation. All are welcome.
You can read an introduction to the film here.
The 3rd to the 9th of March is national tree week. It’s a good reminder to us all to pay more attention to the trees around us and maybe take the opportunity to plant some trees that can be enjoyed by future generations. We’d suggest that you go for native trees as they’re adapted to our Irish climate and provide a timely source of habitat, shelter, shade and food as the seasons progress through the year.
This week at An Gáirdín we are planting a native hedge of holly, juniper and native privet. The old hedge went the way of many others during the hard frosts of the last few years. Our native varieties will be better suited to surviving bitter winter months, and will also provide a habitat for birds and mammals that a laurel hedge would not. We’ll also be planting sessile oak, alder buckthorn, purging buckthorn, wild/bird cherry and downy and silver birch.
Have a look at the Tree Council of Ireland’s resource-rich website here, especially recommended given the week that’s in it: http://www.treecouncil.ie/
On Saturday February 27 a band of merry conservation volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Galway (CVG) hooked up with An Gairdin to help tidy up the dedication grove.
It was a beautiful still sunny morning. The work involved was perfect to keep the workers happy and warm.
A variety of native trees were gradually unveiled under the sun by some expert and gentle raking and stomping. Alder, mountain ash, oak and holly trees were consequently given more space to grow and to be identified. After clearing the surrounding grass biodegradable cardboard pieces were cut up and placed around the base of the trees to promote optimal growth of the young whips.
The group which had members from Germany, France, Japan and Italy thoroughly enjoyed the work, company, banter and perhaps most of all a hearty meal from Anne back in An Garidin. The many-hands-light-work effect warmed hearts and made for a satisfying day’s work.
For more information on CVGs work check out the following site and facebook page:
Conservation Volunteers Facebook Page
ORGANIC GARDENING – Need help and support to get going?
Join us on Monday Mornings at An Gáirdín, Portumna
10am – 12pm, starting 11 March.
6 Hands-on Sessions
Cost €8 per class, including morning coffee and scone (organic).
More information here or contact us on 0909741689