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A Grower’s Diary
Catch up with Jeremy, Future Grower on Moyleabbey Farm as winter comes to the farm, mud thickens and the race to finish harvest sets in. Thursday November 1st I return to the farm after three weeks of paternity leave. Home is filled with happy chaos after the arrival of our baby son, Toby Amos. The rain-washed farm is subdued in comparison. I step into the large polytunnel. All that remains of the once-lush tomato crop is a scraggle of dead plants in a corner. They hang limp on string hoists, their browned and tattered forms slowly swaying in a chilly draught. Halloween leftovers, ghoulish phantoms trapped in the land of the living. Friday November 2nd Turning soil in the small polytunnel, I come across what appear to be chunks of gnarled wood. The objects are slow to come unglued and it takes all the pull of a fork to lift them. Turns out they are celery roots. Celery Roots These dead roots are calcified ghosts of their former selves. Only months ago, they were electrified by photosynthesis, muscular cables pushing down, their tubular core lit by the racing traffic of nutrient transport. For every reaching plant or tree limb, there […]
Food Citizenship Podcast – Episode 9 Live@EP Regen’ vs Vegan
We’ve reached the end of this years Food Citizenship Podcast! It’s been an interesting, informative and dare we say fun experience (of course it was fun!!). Wait until you hear what we have in store for next years series!! We took part in this years Electric Picnic SpeakEasy Discussions. Our co-founder Sinead from Gleann Buí Farm joined Young Friends of the Earth and Dr. Owen Powell from Tasmania to discuss the topic “Regen’ vs Vegan”. Can we work together, can we find common ground? If you like what you hear, please do subscribe to our podcast! We’ll be back on schedule the 3rd week of January!
All we want for Christmas is Fair Food!
We don’t mean to bang on about it but, all we want for Christmas is for you to connect with Fair Food farmers for all your food needs. The next question should really be, why? Because we believe that when we connect direct with fair food farmers for our food we are taking an active, positive step in creating a better, fairer food system. We believe we can all be food citizens! Food citizenship refers to active citizens who engage with their food producers and how their food was produced. This helps to inform our food choices, choosing food that has been produced in a fair, ethical manner and supports the livelihoods of fair food producers so they can continue to do provide that food now and into the future. This year, we’ve been asking people, what does food citizenship mean to them? We wanted to know what actions framed the idea of what a food citizen is to them. We then took these answers and compiled them together to form a wordcloud. What word sticks out the most for you? “To me it means taking responsibility for my choices when it comes to food” – Samantha, Love The Land […]
Know the farmer behind the food you serve this Christmas
“Cooking creates a sense of well-being for yourself and the people you love and brings beauty and meaning to everyday life. And all it requires is common sense – the common sense to eat seasonally, to know where your food comes from, to support and buy from local farmers and producers who are good stewards of our natural resources” – Alice Waters Christmas is just around the corner. The adverts are out and everyone’s competing for our hard earned money. This year, spend your money with someone who has equally worked hard for it, a Fair Food Farmer. Supporting local this Christmas is great, supporting local and fair is better. The farmers you can find on foodture all produce food in harmony with nature. Whatsmore, they go above and beyond to bring nourishing food to the table. Food connects us all, this Christmas let’s connect direct with our farmers. Meet Una, Karl, Ashling, Daniel and Dawn from Annfield Farm in Kildare, raising free range, organic turkey. Tell us a little about you We pride ourselves in the care and attention our turkeys receive and the quality of live they enjoy. Our Bronze Turkeys are certified organic from our family farm. […]
Sustainable Environment as a Human Right
The 10th of December is Human Rights Day. This year marked a special anniversary: the universal declaration of human rights turned 70! The declaration is a key document in order to have a legal base to persecute crimes against humanity, designed to help bring peace and equality to the world. While we still have some way to go to accomplish that, a new threat is already on the horizon. Climate change is threatening human rights in an unprecedented way. This has brought up the necessity to update the human rights declaration to include the right to a healthy enviroment. Threats to environmental defenders In the last years, we could see a rise in the murder of activists who protect land, water and nature. One of the most famous cases was the murder of the indigenous leader and environmental activist Berta Cáceres in 2016. She was brutally assassinated in her home after years of being threatened. Those arrested for her murder are linked to large financial institutions. Still not all of them have been sentenced yet. This is not an isolated case. Around the world and especially Honduras corrupt governments and businesses threaten and murder activists defending their right for land […]
Food Citizenship Podcast – Episode 8
December 8th is here, meaning its offically Christmas in Ireland! In this food citizenship podcast episode, we spoke to Fair Food Farmers about Christmas dinner. This year you can source your local Fair Food Turkey in the East from Annfield Organic Turkeys, in the West, choose Westernshore Organic Farm for a naturally salted Turkey raised on the Wild Atlantic Way. Choose real, seasonal and fair vegetables from your local grower, we spoke with Seamus Bradley from Dublin CSA, Orla Burke from Savage Gardens and Deirdre and Christy from The Green Door Market, learning that Sprouts aren’t just for Christmas you know and that a vegetarian Christmas is also an option!! This Christmas, choose local, but more importantly choose Fair Food, because its how our food is produced that matters! Find your local Fair Food Farmer and support the farmers farming in harmony with nature to bring nourishing food to our tables.
Get stuck into soil!
Soil, that few inches thick layer that covers our Planet, often referred to as mud and dirt, is a living, breathing thing. They say one handful of soil contains more life then there are humans on the Earth. A healthy soil is vital for healthy food. Soil filters and stores water; hosts a quarters of Earth’s biodiversity and has a vital role to play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Despite all that, soil in under threat. Under threat from intensive agriculture, industrialisation, and urbanisation. Experts predict that at this rate, we have less than 60 years of topsoil left. It takes 1000+ years to form 1 cm of soil…… It’s time to get our hands dirty. We’ve compiled a to do list to help you get stuck into soil; Watch These two short films are great for a quick overview of soil matters & soil solutions. 1. 2. Watch this fantastic, inspiring, night in by the fire kinda film – The Symphony of the Soil 3. Soil is vital to our food nutritional security. The farmers on our Fair Food Finder know this. Working to repair, conserve, protect and build soil for plant, animal and human health. Sit […]
The power of creating community around food
From community Gardening to Social and therapeutic Horticulture and Citizen Science. Dee Sewell is a leading activist in the environmental movement. We’re deeply inspired by her drive to connect communities to food and to create wellbeing in nature. Dee, how did you get involved in the environmental movement? I first became aware of global environmental problems over 40 years ago. I joined activist groups and constantly bombarded my MP with handwritten letters. I moved to Ireland 20 years ago with my husband and in 2009 started Greenside Up with the aim of helping people live more sustainable lifestyles. Gardening and building community are your passion and there’s a lot to say about the benefits of gardening. Please tell us more about how Social and Therapeutic Horticulture can benefit individuals and communities. Historically Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) has been quite evident throughout Ireland but in recent years, it has become much more so as we begin to understand the biophilia effect of experiencing nature. STH uses plants, gardens and nature to improve mental and physical health, as well as social skills as we mix with one another in community environments. When health and well-being are at the core of a […]
Consumers; Powerful & Powerless
The last 12 months of sales, special offers, all things red signage that’s been calling us all into the temples of consumption, culminates once more into one day of sales to end all sales, Black Friday! Are you ready? Have you attended the commercial church already; played your part as a good consumer? Did you discover the ‘means to happiness’ in there? Or will you wake up feeling likes it’s a Damp Squib Saturday wondering why life just isn’t all at once, perfect? No need to worry, our modern socio-economic world promises redemption, Cyber Monday. Seek again the ‘means to happiness’ from the comfort of your home. Busy Monday?! Fear not though, absolution can be sought throughout December, and for those of us who don’t practice consumerism enough, January Sales aren’t far behind. There are numerous opportunities to be a good consumer. I, the consumer In fact, we don’t have to do much to be good consumers. Josh Pasek, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, at the University of Michigan states we consumers need only act in ‘response to economic incentives’. Our life is about transactions and we good consumers merely hold the product or service provider responsible for ensuring that […]
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Meet a Farmer
“I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do” – Edward Everett Hale. Meet Fair Food Farmer Kate from An Ghrian Glas Farm in Westmeath. An ecologist by trade and in heart, she did what many of us say when thinking about issues in food, farming and the Natural World; she decided to be the change she wanted to see in the world….. Tell us a little about you? We are a small 9 acre market garden. While we are not certified we do not use any synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides. We have only just begun, having started one year ago. Prior to farming, I am a trained ecologist and have worked in environmental education and advocacy. After ten years of teaching people about how to protect our environment, I wished to take action myself. Aside from producing healthy, local and chemical free food, the other main focus of our farm is encouraging biodiversity, protecting wildlife and food security in a changing climate. To this end we are creating wildflower meadows, […]