ISSA e-zine 9 December 2011

In this edition -

  • Fracking in Ireland...

  • Children's Christmas Activity Day at Seed Savers...

  • Gift Ideas from Seed Savers...

  • What to do in the garden...

  • Upcoming Workshops...

Fracking in Ireland

The Irish government is planning to allow gas companies to start using a very destructive process called fracking (short for hydro-fracturing) to extract gas from below ground. This horizontal drilling process involves the pumping of millions of gallons of water, mixed with hundreds of highly toxic chemicals, thousands of feet deep into the ground. Already in the U.S.A and Australia, pollution caused by this process to land, to air, to surface water and to groundwater has resulted in a terrible health toll and catastrophic environmental damage. Countless cases of death have been reported among wildlife and livestock.

As gardeners and farmers, we are extremely concerned that this could jeopardise Ireland's most precious resource - our abundant supply of fresh, clean water. In areas of the United States where fracking has taken place, many private wells have been polluted causing serious health problems, and farmers have gone out of business due to the lack of clean water for their crops and animals. Some wells have been so polluted by gas that there are videos of tap water going up in flames!

France has recognised the danger both to private health and also to their agricultural economy and has issued a complete ban on fracking within their borders. We call on the Irish government to do the same - the agricultural sector is one of the few bright spots in the Irish economy and we can't afford to put this in jeopardy, and we all have the right to clean, safe drinking water.

What can you do?? First, go to the central website about fracking in Ireland to learn more. The links page has links to individual Facebook pages for fracking campaigns in Irish counties that will be affected.

Watch Gasland, a video about all the health and water problems in the US where fracking has been going on for several years. You can watch a preview here (click on the link below), and many of the anti-fracking groups in Ireland have the full video and have been showing it in communities around the country. You can order the video and show it to your neighbors, especially farmers who may not be aware of fracking and whose livelihoods will be the most affected if they have no clean water for their crops and animals. There is still time to stop the Irish government from allowing this highly destructive process which could destroy Ireland's precious water supply!

How Safe Is Your Water?

Children's Christmas Activity Day at Seed Savers

Looking for a place to drop the kids while you finish your Christmas shopping and other holiday preparations? Our Education Coordinator is planning a full day of activities on Saturday, December 17 to celebrate Christmas and the Winter Solstice with children. Activities include arts and crafts, card making, natural decoration, natural stars, angel/fairy making, Christmas biscuit making, pizza making in our cob oven, treasure hunt, story telling, making a Christmas wish with our magical stars, and lots of fun.

The event runs from 9:30 am to 3 pm and is suitable for children ages 5 to 13, and the cost for the day (including materials for the crafts activities) is 25 per child. To book a place, follow this link Childrens Christmas Activity Day or ring our office at 061 921866

Childrens Camp

Gift Ideas from Seed Savers

Just another reminder that we have great gifts for gardeners - gift certificates for workshops, seeds and gardening accessories from our shop, and gift baskets for children, gardeners, grafters, and book and music lovers. Our gift baskets can be posted directly to your recipient in time for Christmas - less hassle for you during this busy season! Christmas Gifts

What to do in the garden this week

  • With all the recent rain the gardens are saturated, so best to stay off the soil until things dry out a bit.

  • Fruit tree pruning can begin if the weather is dry and cold. It's best not to prune in wet weather as it could spread disease spores like canker and scab.

  • Seed catalogues are arriving in the post now, so review the successes and failures of this year's veg garden and start planning next year's garden

Upcoming Workshops

This will be the last ezine of this year. Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing winter break - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Kind regards,
Chrys Gardener
Project Manager

Irish Seed Savers Association
Co. Clare
Tel: +353-61-921866