Posted in Abundance, Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, cows, Current Affairs, E.U., Ecology, Edible Gardens, Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Food Harvest 2020

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Small farms in Ireland are in a steady decline and have been for several decades now.

Violets growing all over the woodland at Bealtaine Cottage
Violets growing all over the woodland at Bealtaine Cottage

In fact farming is now referred to as an “industry”…a most illuminating use of language!

Buddha in the gardens
Buddha in the gardens

The pressure on small farmers to produce more and more, (mostly meat), is driving many off the land, as they find it difficult to compete with the bigger landowners and thus meat growers!

Sammy-Bear says "Hello!"
Sammy-Bear says “Hello!”

The countryside is fast losing vital habitat, as hedgerows are pulled out, trees felled and field size increased.

Apple blossom and Honesty flowers in bloom at Bealtaine Cottage
Apple blossom and Honesty flowers in bloom at Bealtaine Cottage

There is a government initiative behind this, of course…”Food Harvest 2020!”

Willow archways at Bealtaine cottage
Willow archways at Bealtaine cottage

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is Simon Coveney TD.

Water that is drinkable!
Water that is drinkable!

Minister Coveney  held a meeting on the 17th of April.

Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine
Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine

Invitations were issued to key stakeholders, including farm organisations, beef processors and relevant state agencies to a round table discussion on the future development of the Beef Sector, as it is referred to! 

Mixed planting in the very productive Potager Beds
Mixed planting in the very productive Potager Beds

Participants at this meeting were invited to discuss the government initiative, Food Harvest 2020.

Photinia and Kerria
Photinia and Kerria

This scheme was introduced by the Irish government to increase production of beef! (Ironic naming it “Food Harvest 2020!)

Golden Euphorbia in the early morning sunshine
Golden Euphorbia in the early morning sunshine

Now, read this statement from the Minister of Agriculture…using language of industry, markets and sport!

Commenting today on the initiative, Minister Coveney said

By some measures the beef sector is Ireland’s biggest indigenous industry, involving more than 100,000 farm families, and 8,000 jobs in processing, sales and marketing, with exports valued of more than €2 billion in 2013.  Food Harvest 2020 set an initial target of a 20% increase in the value of output for the beef sector. The target for beef exports has already been exceeded. 

The time is now right to sit down with key stakeholders in the sector, to consider the strategic approach  needed to support its development, using the best available market intelligence, and the newest technology and research to improve performance at all levels of the supply chain.  The beef sector makes a vital contribution to Irish agri food and to employment and the economy generally. I am convinced that with the right strategic approach and positive collaboration from all of the players, the beef sector in Ireland has a bright future.”

(https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/press/pressreleases/2014/april/title,74954,en.html)

Near the veranda at Bealtaine Cottage
Near the veranda at Bealtaine Cottage

All the while, loss of habitat is causing devastation!

Ferns and Spurge cover the floor of the Fairy Wood
Ferns and Spurge cover the floor of the Fairy Wood

Friends of the Earth, (FOE), have called on the Government to do a full Strategic Environmental Assessment of Food Harvest 2020. 

Buddha wears a crown of moss in the Bog Garden
Buddha wears a crown of moss in the Bog Garden

Other groups raising concerns with Food Harvest 2020 include:

The Irish Climate Justice Group

The Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership.

Friends of the Irish Environment and Allies

Buddha at Bealtaine
Buddha at Bealtaine

The European Commission has announced it is launching an investigation of whether proper procedures were followed.

The lower pond at Bealtaine Cottage, teeming with Newts, Frogs...
The lower pond at Bealtaine Cottage, teeming with Newts, Frogs…

Each and every photograph I post here on this website is taken at Bealtaine Cottage.

Stream flowing from the Spring Well through both ponds
Stream flowing from the Spring Well through both ponds

These three acres of abundance exist because I took the cattle off the land.

The Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage
The Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage

I would like to invite Minister Simon Coveney to Bealtaine Cottage to see what happens to land when it is allowed and nurtured  to re-generate!

The Lower Pond filled with clean Spring water that flows out into the River Shannon and on into the Atlantic Ocean!
The Lower Pond filled with clean Spring water that flows out into the River Shannon and on into the Atlantic Ocean!

We need, as a nation, to cherish our land and protect it for future generations.

Sammy by the pond
Sammy by the pond

We need to produce more Organic Food for our people rather than importing it…that means fruit and vegetables and grains!

Bealtaine Angel
Bealtaine Angel

Oh, by the way Minister…you may call it Food Harvest 2020, but, I and many like me, do not eat beef…not much food there then!

Posted in E.U., Earth, Food, Fracking, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Politics, Trees, Uncategorized

G8 Summit of Charlatans

wheelbarrow at bealtaine cottageWhat is happening in our societies is not about austerity.

It is not about the economy either.

permaculture gardens at bealtaine cottageIt is about the blatant, criminal misuse and misappropriation of our taxes.

Was any government you ever voted for, mandated to give our tax money to banks?

By the barn at Bealtaine cottageWas that the platform that the trustees we elected, in trust, to hold in trust, our state, voted into office?

bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardensThe media keeps talking about our “Economy”, as though it were our lack of work  or effort that caused any of these problems.

We are told continually that the past is the past, what’s done is done and to move on!

We are told that we need to get the economy moving by spending!

Valerian at Bealtaine CottageI do not want to buy stuff.

I want an equitable society where all are cared for.

June 15 2013 at Bealtaine CottageRecently, here in Ireland, our government at the behest of the EU, inflicted a “carbon tax” upon us in the form of 75 cents rise on a bag of coal.

But here’s the catch…it is the poorest people who are reduced to buying coal to keep warm…and usually the oldest and most vulnerable in our society.

Field Maple tree at Bealtaine CottageWhere is this tax going?

Well, Ireland has the lowest tree cover in Europe and it is not being re-invested into the planting of deciduous trees.

Trees at Bealtaine CottageMost of this money will be traded for Carbon Tax credits…total madness!

We need trees here in Ireland!

Copper Beech at Bealtaine CottageI am currently sitting in a G8 Exclusion Zone.

They will be converging just up the road from me, in the next few days, to start the carve-up of what is left in societies.

A canopy of Beech,Birch, Ash and Field Maple today at Bealtaine CottageThe forces that be have recently been out on the roads around the G8 Summit Hotel, removing anti-fracking signs…leaders must not be subjected to any kind of opposition to their distorted world views!

Pollarded Sycamore at Bealtaine Cottage I can tell you what they WILL NOT be talking about…

bird bath in pollarded Sycamore at Bealtaine CottagePlanting trees!

Broccoli and Campion at Bealtaine CottageHow we expand education for all!

Ox-eye daisies in bloom today at Bealtaine CottageWays of supporting the Carers in society!

Creating a more just and equitable society.

Bealtaine Cottage todayPutting programmes in place to encourage people to grow organic food.

Roses at the back of Bealtaine Cottage todayNationalising water and all major utilities to ensure front-line democracy for all citizens!

Missy today in the sun at Bealtaine CottageSocial unrest is being driven by corporate greed and the resulting societal chaos compounded by unemployment, mental trauma, & poverty!

Missy todayWill the G8 address any of these real issues?

I’m not holding my breath!

Roses today at Bealtaine CottageThere’s some real work to be done here at Bealtaine Cottage…trees to plant, food to grow and Nature to engage with…with the occasional cup of tea brewed up on the rocket stove!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

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