Category Archives: Seeds

Community Gardening in Cauca, Colombia-Linking alternatives

One of the aims of the project once I start to work in Colombia will be to make connections between civil society groups there and in Ireland.  Hopefully some community garden projects, slow food movements or transition Continue reading

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Community Supported Agriculture – Cloughjordan Community Farm

Thomas Mc Donagh, poet, playwright, revolutionary, martyr for Irish freedom.  But that’s enough about me, there was this other guy by the same name who was born in 1878 in Cloughjordan Co. Tipperary and was executed by firing squad in Dublin in 1916 after the Easter Rebellion.  So there was a lot of questions being asked when I went along, with my host Pat Malone, to a night of Irish language, song and poetry Continue reading

Scariff Community Garden and Transition Town

If Community Gardens are about a vision for a more sustainable future based on local food production and strong, resilient communities, then Scariff is very

local artists helping to create an inspiring space at the garden

much in the process of implementing that vision.  The Community Garden there was set up five years ago with the help of my host in Scariff, Brendan.  The initial intention was to create a social space to help in the integration of people with special needs in the community and a place to grow food for locals in the town.  The core group involved in the garden at first has changed considerably over Continue reading

AFRI Hedge School

-Order 81 and the Destruction of Iraqi Food Sovereignty-

The Fertile Crescent is a region of the Middle East often called the cradle of civilisation.  It’s an area which comprises present day Palestin, israel, Syria and Iraq; it’s here that nomadic herders first settled to become the world’s first farmers. The crop varieties found in Iraq today are the result of 10,000 years of agricultural tradition during which time seeds have been saved and shared: replanting and cross-pollinating varieties has resulted in increased yields and better pest resistence.In the New Scientist in 2005, Fred Pierce spoke of a ‘genetic holy grail’ and the ‘ark of the lost seeds’ in reference to Iraq’s biodiversity and it’s importance for food security.
Clare O’Grady Walshe, former CEO of Greenpeace and current director of the Irish Seed Savers Association has just published a booklet documenting what Denis Haliday, (former UN assistant secretary general who resigned from his post of Head of the UN Humanitarian/Oil-For-Food Program in Iraq in 1998 protesting against the genocidal nature of the sanctions) has termed the ‘rape and pillage of food sovereignty’ by transnational corporations in Iraq. What she reveals is a story which may constitute the most insidious attack yet on the future welfare of the beleaguered Iraqi people.

–Listen to the Claire O’Grady Walshe interview (Oct 22nd) on Food Sovereignty, The Irish Famine and Order 81 on Pat Kenny here

What is Order 81?

Just before handing power over to the Iraqis in 2004, the US Proconsul L. Paul Bremer III, passed ‘100 Orders’ which made up the legal and institutional reforms ‘required’ to for Iraq’s transition to a free market economy.

Order 81 ‘Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, integrated circuits and plant variety’ amended Iraq’s existing patent law of Continue reading