After visiting the Kilmacurragh botanical garden (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20724), my next visit in Wicklow, Ireland was to one of the founders of the organic movement in Ireland now with over 30 years of experience and she had invited us to a wonderful vegetarian lunch with local greens at her house! Wendy Nairn is passionate about producing fresh nutritious vegetables using sustainable wildlife friendly methods and her garden was full of interesting plants and is certainly a haven for wildlife! Shame about the weather as all the wildlife was hiding and we didn’t stay outside for long either! Kim Tyner, whose garden Honeyoak was to be our next stop joined us!
Before lunch, we visited Wendy’s daughter Hazel and her partner Davi’s new organic market farm in nearby Ashford (https://www.facebook.com/HazelandDavisWicklowFarm), reminding me of Mandy Barber’s IncredibleEdibles in Devon, both on what was sheep pasture!
The article that opened my eyes to the importance of conserving our vegetable diversity was 37 years ago, written by Lawrence D Hills, Director of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) in the UK. This article was in the first newsletter that I received having recently joined the HDRA. Not much has changed in the intervening years, except it was the oil company Shell that was the “bad guy”. This is well worth a read for anyone interested in food and the history (now and then) of the fight to save our seeds! We are now 37 years on, we in KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) setting up Vegetable Sanctuaries here in Norway!
I had become a member of HDRA following a “chance” encounter on a train north to Edinburgh where I was studying. I was travelling with a bike as was a guy called Dave du Feu. Dave was and still is heavily involved in cycle campaigning. On that journey he told me of the Edinburgh Cycle Campaign, Spokes and introduced me to organic gardening and the HDRA, both of which I joined!
On my way from Hardanger (Eirik Lillebøe Wiken and Hege Iren Svendsen) to my walk and talk in Bergen in September 2016, I had a great evening with my friend Vidar-Rune Synnevåg. He is one of the most important figures in the organic movement here in Norway from the early 1970s, working towards self-sufficiency, organic farming as well as being a skilled house architect and boat builder. As a young man, he worked towards an alternative future from the early days through talks, articles, books and TV and radio appearances! A great inspiration for many of us here in Norway! And he is working just as hard today towards a better future, including as leader of the board until recently of the (formerly the Nordic Peace Academy).
See the opening talk he gave 2 years ago (in Norwegian) https://www.facebook.com/hardangerakademiet/photos/gm.1432468200392295/1586359414980393/