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Seed exchange event returns to Scariff

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THE highly popular seed swapping events return to Scariff on Sunday next (March 6), offering an opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to the promotion of biodiversity. 

A Community Seed Exchange will be hosted by Irish Seed Savers at its leafy gardens in Capparoe. The event will run over two time-slots, starting at 12pm and again at 2pm, and will present the chance to for individuals, families, gardening and community groups to come together to share and swap seeds.

Those intending to join are invited to bring any spare or saved seeds to share and swap with other growers. From the rare to the everyday varieties all kinds of seeds are welcome. This event will help promote biodiversity and, through the sharing seeds, a more resilient food system is created.

Irish Seed Savers is delighted to be able to open to in-person visits and events, after the restrictions that the pandemic brought. The past two years have really highlighted the power of community, said Deirdre Morrissey, Interim Seed Bank Curator, “with so many people looking out for one another and communities have found very creative ways to share seeds while in lockdown; we even took the Community Seed Exchange online last year. But, there is nothing quite like connecting in person, especially as spring takes off, to begin again, to share, to ask questions, to chat about plans for the growing season ahead.”

For eager seed savers, there will be an opportunity to learn seed saving skills from newly launched Seed Saving Tutorial videos, which will be available to view on the day. Among the many attractions at the Irish Seed Savers site are the Organic Seed Gardens, Heritage Orchards and Native Woodland.

The popular café will be open on the day for soups and light refreshments. The event is ticketed those planning to attend are encouraged to buy their tickets (€6 with children and supporters free) in advance on Eventbrite.ie. The two time slots available are 12pm to 2pm and 2pm to 4pm.

Last year, to honour the achievements of the organisation, a special variety of apple tree was planted by the junior minister for Agriculture, Pippa Hackett.The Irish heritage apple tree called Sweet William, is among the collection of over 180 which have been gathered and conserved by Seed Savers. Minister Hackett, who is a Green Party senator, also unveiled a special commemorative plaque at the site.

Irish Seed Savers secured the national designation in recognition of their contribution to the protection and enhancement of nature on farms, gardens and across Ireland for over 30 years. The organisation conserves Irelands threatened genetic resources and maintains a public seed bank of over 600 varieties. They preserve heirloom and heritage food crop varieties that are suitable for Ireland and local growing conditions, contributing to the nations food security. They provide a unique service to the nation in terms of supply of organic heritage seeds and apples trees. The 20 acre farm also demonstrates best practice in organic farming and farming for nature, supplying seeds of vegetables, grains, herbs and edible flowers, as well as apple trees.

More details are available on Irishseedsavers.ie.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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