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Thank you to all of you who came out in such numbers to our organic farm walk and open day, one count put the number at over 500 people! The day was a magnificent celebration of farming and producing food in a way that protects our planet. Even the planet seemed to comply offering up the best weather we have had for a while.
There was one little thing I would have changed though. I would have given Brendain O’Cochlain the former president of the beekeepers association of Ireland more time for his talk. The way he delivered his appreciation and understanding of the importance of bees, and the essential part they play in our eco-system was humorous and riveting and yet deadly serious.
I have never completely understood how complex and evolved these little creatures are and how sensitive they are to changes in their environment.
The damage that has been inflicted on their ultimate survival by man’s irreverent use of chemicals which are toxic to these beautiful pollinators has been immense. Our own government’s and the UK’s governments initial refusal to endorse a ban on these bee destroying chemicals is nothing short of the ultimate short sightedness, and downright folly.
Neonicotinoids (the chemical insecticide used in conventional agriculture) have been scientifically shown to be responsible in disrupting a bee’s ability to find their hive again and to be in part responsible for “colony collapse disorder”. In other words they are TOXIC to bees.
But what struck me as we listened to Brendain talk, with the hives in the background, was the mass of activity of the bees and the very real sense that everyday they are helping us produce better crops.
They are on our organic farm, because they have better access to food, to brambles (we don’t spray them and remove them) to dandelions and other wild flowers (classified as weeds elsewhere) and crucially there is no damaging chemicals being used on our fields and food.
And last week even with the crowds of people around their little homes they seemed busy and happy.
So thank you Brendain for your wonderful and inspiring talk, next time we will give you more time!
Thank you to all of you who took the time to come out and visit us. Thanks to our great team at Green Earth Organics who made it all possible. Thanks to Teagasc who helped organise and facilitate the process, and thanks to the Department of Agriculture who funded the event.
Finally a very BIG thank you to Jp McMahon from ANIAR Michelin star restaurant in Galway for giving up his time and coming and creating an amazing cookery finale putting organic veg at the centre stage of his creations!