Reading this report from yesterday quantifies everything that is wrong with our approach to food.
You see, Salmon, used to be a seasonal food.
Much like other seasonal foods, it was enjoyed as a celebration of a particular time of year.
I remember this time as a child.
The salmon would return to Ireland to spawn…swimming furiously up the rivers to lay their eggs in dark, sometimes shallow, pools of freshwater, having survived a momentous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and into the fast, freshwater rivers of the west of Ireland.
It was easy enough to catch them, though not always legal, but then people rarely took more than they could eat or share.
We had no fridge in our tiny house and no freezer.
Barely standing room for parents and eleven children!
The salmon was a great supplement to a frugal diet and the men seemed to understand the value of the sacred fish, for they were regarded as such in the old ways.
The Salmon of Wisdom.
The Salmon of Knowledge.
There was a sense of compassion by the banks of the River Strule in Omagh.
An empathy even with this most magical of all fish… Fish Farms put an end to all this, injecting a venom of disconnect into the veins of human beings.
Greed over-ruled millennia of links between human and salmon.
This is what I have just read from yesterday’s paper…
The number of salmon killed by diseases at Scottish fish farms rose to more than 8.5 million last year.
New figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) reveal losses from all salmon farms have reached nearly 10% of production.
The main problem has been the spread of amoebic gill disease, blamed by some on the warmer seas caused by climate pollution.
In 2012, 13,627 tonnes of dead fish had to be disposed of by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared with 9717 tonnes in 2011 and 7159 tonnes in 2010.
This has raised questions about how such large amounts of diseased waste are safely disposed of, and how the process is regulated. Sepa and local authorities both say it is not their responsibility.
Anglers and environmentalists pin the blame on production methods and are demanding a halt to any expansion plans.
“It is clear from these massive mortality figures there are major problems,” said Hugh Campbell Adamson, the chairman of the Salmon and Trout Association in Scotland. “When a large number of fish are closely confined, the likelihood of endemic disease is greatly increased.”
Just returned from the Animal Rescue Centre in Leitrim with the latest addition to the family…Jack!
Never a replacement for The Tomster, but in need of a home and Bealtaine is just that! he’s wandering about the cottage at the moment and sussing everything out!
He is a little bit nervous at the moment as you can see, but I expect he will settle in quite rapidly. It’ll take time then for us to bond and become trusting of each other…time will out!
Harvesting Rhubarb yesterday evening, just as the moon was rising…this is some of the crop, now sliced and in bags in the freezer, waiting for the wine and jam making process. The problem with permaculture is just keeping up with the abundance…
This is a plant box I made several years ago from reclaimed timber and driftwood. Planted out with edibles it will be really useful on the veranda, growing within easy reach of the kitchen…especially when it’s raining!
Irusan the cat has gone home to allow Jack to settle in without being continually glowered at…Irusan is pretty good at making a dog feel very uncomfortable…except for those he likes!
As I write this I am listening to Irish Radio…talking endlessly about money, economics, making people spend money, kick-starting the economy! They just don’t get it! The wealth of a country must be measured in the health and wellbeing of its people…
Rhubarb waiting for me to turn it into jam…bumper harvests have begun again!
Apple blossom open today. the bees have feasted on the Ribes and are ready to continue the party on the fruit blossoms.
Irusan in the Fairy Dell this morning. He loves to walk the land with me each morning when he is staying at Bealtaine. Irusan is a Bombay Black Cat, whose mother was feral, living almost wild in London. he is extremely perceptive and interactive with people he chooses to like.
Growth over recent days has begun to impact on the paths that connect the permaculture zones at Bealtaine Cottage. Where monoculture fields around this smallholding are waiting for chemical fertilizer to green them, the grass and herbal pathways do the greening for themselves, for underneath lies a healthy soil that now pushes forth abundance!
Violets have emerged in the Fairy Dell…woodland abundance!