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Building pathways of transition….
Have you heard? Climate change needs behaviour change! Simple as changing your attitude, acting differently and you’ll save the world! Its true and yet it’s not that simple. Even when you decide to act differently, your environment may influence your ability to act out your action more than you simply deciding to make the action…..tongue twisting, head spinner I know! Many small individual actions can create a ripple of change but for real progressive, lasting systems change we need collaborative action that builds community. A renewed supporting environment that makes all those little actions easier for you and others! We need to work together, talk together, meet up, argue and listen, start conversations that matter! We need to change the dominant story that frames many of our actions…… we need to hear from everyday citizens doing small acts, collaboratively with others. We need stories of citizen action in real-time, stories of change! Meet Dermot from Monaghan Transitions Town; Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m from Monaghan Town, I’m married to Lynn and have two girls under 7. Traditional music, the Irish language, surfing and writing are passions of mine – I post my material at www.dermymcnally.com and have written […]
Plough like an Ox; Seasonal Update from Eamonn’s farm
Last year when we started sharing the stories of Fair Food Farmers, we were lucky enough to visit Eamonn & Geraldine’s farm in Mayo. Before we share their seasonal update, we thought it might be nice to revisit their short film and story. Eamonn spoke straight from the heart and wasn’t afraid to start a conversation that matters! Our food system is broken, we need to find a balanced approach to both feeding ourselves and the global population a diverse diets where the farmers are paid a fair price to farm in harmony with nature. If you produce Fair Food, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org – We’d love to have a chat with you and share your story. Seasonal update; We had a very long winter, meaning Spring was very slow to start this year. That said, there were still enough dry days for Eamonn to get the ploughing and harrowing done. He has started to use our house cow to do the tillage. Her first job was harrowing and she took to it like a duck to water!. He also made up the drills and planted the potatoes using cow power. His job at the moment is weed control and […]
Working for a purpose: why choose the farm life
The notion of returning to the land is beginning to gain more traction among us ‘millennials’. It’s not because the hours are better or the work is easier, try standing straight after weeding for a couple of hours or the heartache when an animal falls ill or worse. It’s most definitely not the pay-package or chance of pension benefits that attracts people. It’s because we feel a deep connection to the land & nature……. Or is that the old way of thinking? There is no doubt you must love being outdoors, appreciate nature, working the soil and having people give you funny looks when you refer to your cows as ‘the ladies’ or hear you singing to your tomatoes. I feel it’s all that and more. More of us are being to see that there is an opportunity to carve out a lifestyle that we actually want to live. Not one dictated by modern social norms and values, where the pressure is on to hit them ‘success’ milestones, house by 30, big car, promotions, moving up the property ladder again, wearing the latest designer attire.…. I feel (and please correct me otherwise in the comments) more and more of us […]
Music and activism for a harmonious future
Can singing change the world? It can definitely change something inside of ourselves and bring us nearer together as communities. Our next food citizen is an activist and singer and she will explain how these two activities fit together in her own life. Hi my name is Rachel. I’m 45 and grew up in Glenageary in South County Dublin. I first got involved in sustainability activities when I was in secondary school when my geography teacher set up a school green group. You’re working as an educator in LYCS. Can you tell us a bit more about your work there and how it relates to food citizenship? In LYCS we provide training for leaders to start educating about the big local/global issues that matter, with people in their own local communities across Ireland. Sometimes big issues such as inequality, globalisation and sustainability feel to intangible to some, so we provide ideas about interactive methodologies and help to make it more feasible. One of of the themes we’ve been working on for several years is food and food citizenship. Food links us to people all over the world, and by understanding our food system, we can get to grips with this […]
World Environment Day: Beating plastic pollution & the food supply chain
Since it began in 1974, World Environment Day is an UN initiative that encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. This year’s theme is beating plastic pollution. Plastic is everywhere. The keyboard I’m typing on, the tea bag used to make my tea, the carton that contained the milk, the cover on my phone, the polyester in my t-shirt, the pen I used to take notes, most likely in the fish I’ll eat this evening, even in the air I breathe! We are undoubtedly, wallowing in our own waste. Plastic is killing our environment and in turn us. No doubt you’ve seen photos circling online of whales washing up on beaches with stomachs full of plastics. Earlier this year, researchers from NUI Galway found that over 70% of deep water fish have ingested plastics. When fish eat plastics, it enters our food chains and eventually us. Worryingly, plastics contain endocrine disruptors, which can be carcinogenic. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” fits well here. What does not end up in the ocean, goes to landfill, or another country for them to deal with or incinerated. As one of our Food Citizens said “rubbish […]
Meet a Farmer; Nurney Farm
Have you met Deirdre and Co at Nurney farm in Kildare? We visited the farm for the OGI’s internship induction day and Deirdre was good enough to bring us around the farm and feed us some excellent Fair Food For those of you in and around the capital, perhaps you’ve been to the Green Door Market in Dublin 8? Did you know that the market, along wth four other markets have to move! We’ll be chatting with the Green Door Market stall holders and the citizens who support them this Sunday (June 3rd). Sign up to our newsletter to hear whats happening and what the next steps for market are. For now though, enjoy Nurney Farm’s story and what Deirdre & Co have been up to in their seasonal update. Our Story We are organic farmers for 28 years with a 40 acre farm in North Kildare. We import and grow our own range of Fruit and vegetables. We sell in Trim farmers market , in our own farm shop and in The Green Door Market in Dublin. We are a small farm and we employ 4 full time staff on decent wages. We’d also have part time college students […]
A Grower’s Diary…..
A few weeks back, Jeremy a Future Grower Intern shared his story with us. Since he began his horticulture internship he has keeping a growers diary about the trails, tales and tribulations of life on an Irish organic farm! Remember, ‘to eat is an agriculture act’ (thanks Wendal!) So delve into the everyday happenings of a future grower of our food! Tuesday March 6th After four months of kitting out a home with farmyard salvage, it seems only right that I start with some DIY. My first task on the apprenticeship involves installing a line of piping for two new power hoses. Liam hands me a tool box. I spend the day with drill and screws in-hand. I am soon to learn how vital water is for every aspect of life on the farm. Hydrating the polytunnels; cleaning the freshly-harvested veg; washing the soil from the hard-worked tools. The whole farm would grind to a halt without it. Wednesday March 7th I cut my teeth in the carrot patch, spattered by falling rain and kneeling in wet mud. As I work, I decide the carrot will do nicely as an illustration for an address I’ve to deliver at my sister […]
Biodiversity & the ‘cow’ question; Roc Na Seamair Farm
It’s National Biodiversity Week and I thought I might share a little about our farm with you! We ventured back to the land only in the last couple of years and are still finding our feet! We don’t have it all figured out yet, but the one thing we both agreed on from the very start was we had to protect, conserve and manage this patch of land gifted to us! We’re lucky the land was never farm intensively and we take a holistic approach to managing it, so we can conserve & enhance this diverse meadow. Our cows are better for it also! My studies focused on geography, climate change, agriculture and the intersections between them. My work experience since I returned to university has been in policy and research. So how did I end up farming and managing cows of all things! Well in short it wasnt that I woke up one day and decided I’d farm, it’s kind of evolved and been a journey that I now find myself farming with my partner (It’s a two person operation here in Mayo!). I feel that my perspectives around farming and environmental degradation has shifted, for the better I […]
Why Recycling Matters
The new recycling guidelines have left many people confused about what goes towards recycling and what ends up in a landfill. Our next Food citizen is a Recycling Ambassador and helps people to have a better awareness of what happens to their waste and how to reduce their impact. In her interview she gave us an insight on how this awareness transcends into other areas of her life, impacting her buying decisions and her lifestyle. Hi, I’m Sundara. I’m from Galway originally in the west of Ireland and I’m in my mid 30’s. My journey towards sustainability has basically been slowly unfolding for a long time but I have only been active in the whole environmental side of things for about a year. Previously I worked in the area of health and nutrition and have been using natural and organic products for body/skincare/cleaning etc for about 15 years. I’ve been eating mainly local and organic food for about the same length of time. You’re a VOICE Ireland Recycling Ambassador. What led you to volunteer with them? I applied for the VOICE recycling ambassador program as I was gaining an increased awareness around the issues of plastic pollution, disposable single use […]
Managing livestock starts with managing the soil; Rare Ruminare Seasonal Update
Food is the bigger utilizer of our natural resources impacting climate change. In turn climate change impacts our ability to farm and this year farmers have felt it. This past few months you may have heard of the fodder crisis or the impact this winter has had on our farms. Growers have had to hold back on planting and livestock farmers have had to keep animals in for longer because the ground is still very wet. As our seasonal updates suggest, nature is never static and neither is farming so all farmers must ‘carry on’ regardless. Back on the land; Rare Ruminare Seasonal Update After a challenging winter, spring grazing the herd is pretty tricky. We are doing our best to graze carefully – aiming not to damage the ground or over-graze the fresh new growth while keeping the cattle well fed. Over the winter I planted approx 700 trees about half of which were hedging. When digging the planting holes, I continually discovered compaction and “iron-pans”. This discovery spurred me on to dig many more inspection holes throughout the fields. Despite my efforts to farm biologically and spread composted farmyard manure the soil, for the most part, has severe […]
Watch the latest videos featuring Fair Food farmers & more around Ireland
Clare: Summer Workshop Weekend
Workshop Weekends at Irish Seed Savers offer a range of full-day courses to choose from. You can take a single course, or more over the weekend.
Zero Waste Festival
Join us for our next Zero Waste Festival on June 24th at the St. Andrews Resource Centre in Dublin. The festival will feature a mix of Zero Waste info stands, Zero Waste vendors, workshops, and talks.
Clare: The Great Irish Garden Open Day, 2017 Hidden Heritage Award Winner
Great Irish Garden Open Day. We encourage everyone to visit, and enjoy our numerous garden & orchard tours, our mini workshops, food demonstrations, children’s activities and beautiful homemade food, we will also have the cob pizza oven fired up
Clare: Tastes of the Orchards 2018
Essential if you are orchard planting/planning an orchard of any size or just love apples! Taste is subjective and this tour will give you the opportunity to discover varieties that suit your individual palate