So today it is raining and they tell us it will rain pretty much continuously till Monday night!! So a slight tangent for this week’s Six on Saturday. We had the opportunity to visit The Organic Centre, near Rossinver in Co. Leitrim this week, so I am sharing my six from there as opposed to our very wet garden.
The Centre was founded in 1995 by local organic growers, farmers and supporters. It comprises of a 19 acre site and includes gardens, polytunnels, community garden and orchards.
The garden area has raised flower beds against a stonewall containing geraniums, Rosa rugosa, and nice willow structures in the background
2. The polytunnels were jam-packed with very healthy looking vegetables, and totally weed free (not like my own).
3. Companion planting was evident throughout the garden.
4. These poppies were particularly stunning. I have these in my garden too but mine are a much more a pink that red (do you see the bumblebee?)
5. I really liked their orchard which had apples, plums and pear. The orchard was well sheltered and I noticed that they had much more fruit on their trees than I do.
6. And finally I love this fun garden fence.
I would certainly recommend a visit if you are in the area. The centre hopes to begin delivering their varied courses again very soon. More information can be found here.
Firstly Happy Earth Day. Through my job I get to meet kids and was delighted yesterday to have some sing me the Earth Day song, all about us looking after the earth. It warmed my heart.
For me one of the best ways of showing our appreciation of mother nature is to garden organically. For those of us that grow our food organically the last month has yet again proven us to be on the right track. A report issued by the World Health Organisation has linked Glyphosate, the main ingredient of the herbicide Roundup, as a possible carcinogen. Monsanto are trying to get the report retracted. According to Wikipedia ‘Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation’. According to Monsanto’s own website ‘Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture company’. That made me laugh, because in my opinion chemicals and GMO crops are as far from ‘sustainable’ as it could be! Glyphosate earns the company about $6 billion per year to the company.
In the 1990’s, Monsanto genetically engineered crops to withstand being sprayed with Roundup. These crops (e.g Soybean and corn) known as “Roundup Ready” became popular with farmers but more recently the weeds have been developing a resistance to the herbicide and so farmers are having to spray more and more. Monsanto are probably rubbing their hands together in glee as it’s more money for their shareholders.
For me there is no such thing as a ‘weed’. Only a plant in the wrong place. I may dig dandelions out of my vegetable plot but they grow in profusion in our lawn and orchard areas, where they feed bees, hoverflies and butterflies who in turn pollinate our fruit trees and vegetables.
I grow food to feed my family. I would never put chemicals on them, it just doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I wouldn’t put chemicals anywhere in my garden. We need to live in harmony with nature, learn to work with it and not against it.
Avaaz.org are running a petition (https://secure.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_dont_silence_science_loc_eu/?twvkneb) asking the relevant authorities to take into consideration the studies from the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s report in their current safety assessments, and to ensure all reviews are transparent, based on independent studies, and evaluated by independent researchers without conflicts of interest.