The latest data in relation to carbon budgets suggests that we’ve most likely blown any chance to stay within the 1.5 degree C goal of the Paris Agreement. Full article here.
There has been a lot of attention focused on the role of climate change and increasing occurrences of severe weather events being contributing factors in human migration and conflict over the last decade and more. Sea-level rise, extended droughts, and severe flooding events are just some of the symptoms that humans seek to move away from in attempts to safeguard families, cultures, and livelihoods.
Plants that have adapted to specific conditions in various regions are also finding themselves less able to thrive in changed climatic patterns but are without the locomotive capabilities of humans. ‘Assisted migration’ is an interesting response, but obviously comes with risks attached and is somewhat counter-intuitive given the strong rationale for planting natives that has informed much tree-planting in recent years. Perhaps it’s time to move past a strict line on this and increase the diversity of our tree species with an eye to the future?
What are your thoughts?
If you’re interested in this topic:
On Saturday April 1st we are delighted to be hosting a seminar on the theme of Care for our Common Home – Reconnect with the Sacred in Nature.
This will be a lively and positive day. We will be deeply inspired and our horizons will be broadened as the facilitators offer us a new vision and a new approach to everyday life.
Facilitators: Nellie McLaughlin, Paul Kingsnorth
Cost: €10 (Grant aided. Lunch included.)
Please book your place by March 25 – Ph. 087 284 5443 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year we look forward to Tree Week and we always have some native trees and hedgerows lined up for planting.
Last year’s native hedgerow planted by 4th class from the local primary school is thriving. This year we will be planting another hedgerow and some trees.
We love our native trees and hedgerows and plant them for their own sakes but we are also keenly aware of the amount of wildlife they support – varieties of birds, of bees, of butterflies, myriads of insects, mammals, lichens, mosses, liverworts and ground vegetation-wild flowers. Our native trees are so beautiful and so rich in flowers and berries.
We are reminded of John McGahern’s observation that in the midst of confident life we forget what an amazing glory we are part of. In his book Memoir he describes the place in which he grew up:
The hedges are the glory of these fields, especially when the hawthorn foams into streams of blossom each may and June. The sally is the first tree to green and the first to wither, and the rowan berries are an astonishing orange in the light from the lakes every September. These hedges are full of mice and insects and small birds, and sparrowhawks can be seen hunting all through the day. In their branches the wild woodbine and dog rose give off a deep fragrance in summer evenings, and on their banks grow the foxglove, the wild strawberry, primrose and fern and vetch among the crawling briars….
Open Planting Day
We will have an open planting day on Wednesday 8th March. Let us know if you are coming. We do a mixture of native plants for the hedgerows – predominantly Whitethorn and Blackthorn, as they form a dense hedge. We add Holly, Guelder Rose, Spindle, Alder, Wild Rose, Hazel, Alder buckthorn and Purging buckthorn. This year we are also planting some trees – Birch, Alder, Rowan, Willow, Hazel and Bird Cherry.
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