ISSA e-zine 07 Jan 2011

In this edition -

  • Happy New Year!...

  • Local Agenda 21 Grants...

  • Donation from The Picture Works...

  • January Workshops...

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a relaxing holiday despite the frigid temperatures and water shortages. Our thoughts turn to spring planting now and in another few weeks the days will start to get noticeably longer. Seed order forms are filling our post box these days and the staff are busy posting out seeds, seed potatoes, apple trees and fruit bushes. Unlike most other horticultural businesses, there is no slow time of year at Seed Savers!

Many thanks to those of you who have sent in donations with your seed orders and renewals. They are much appreciated and we are now putting aside funds for the match required for the new seed bank we hope to build this summer with Leader funding.

Local Agenda 21 Grants

We are constantly applying for grants to help supplement our income from supporters fees and tree and seed sales, and at the end of the year we found out that we were awarded three grants from the Local Agenda 21 programme of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Department. Two of the grants are to offer free biodiversity workshops to 10 primary schools in Counties Clare and Limerick. These workshops will follow the same format as ones that were funded in 2010 by the Irish Environmental Network and organised by our Education Coordinator Áine Ní Fhlatharta. Each school conducts a biodiversity audit and then adds elements such as trees, flower plantings, bird and bat boxes, and other wildlife habitats to increase biodiversity at their schools.

A third grant was awarded by the Clare County Council to create interpretive panels to the Seed Savers cafe explaining the importance of agricultural biodiversity, how seeds are formed in plants, and how and why we save seeds. Staff member Felice Rae is a talented artist who will create the artwork for the panels, and seed bank coordinator Jo Newton will write the text for the panels.

For more information on the Local Agenda 21 grants programme visit

Donation from The Picture Works

Another bit of good news at the beginning of the year: Irish Seed Savers was designated as the recipient of the '1% for the Planet' by The Picture Works. This is a values-led company which offsets the negative environmental consequences of their business activity by donating 1% of their annual turnover to environmental or ecological activist groups in Ireland. Part of this donation was in the form of 'City Cards' - free postcards which are found in racks around Ireland - and the remainder was a generous cash donation. This is the image we selected for our City Cards - a blossom of the Irish apple variety 'Widow's Friend' being pollinated by a bee.

For more information about The Picture Works and their 1% for the Planet programme visit

January Workshops

January workshops are booking up quickly, so don't delay if you want to learn how to prune apple trees, use herbal medicines or make structures from willow.

  • Saturday January 15: Fruit Tree Pruning - learn to prune old overgrown trees and train newly planted trees

  • Saturday January 23: Introduction to Herbal Medicine - An overview of herbal medicinal theory with practical knowledge on treating common ailments with safe herbal remedies

  • Sunday January 30: Willow Weaving - Learn to weave arches and huts from natural living willow. The photo shows a willow dome at ISSA with new growth that will be woven in at the workshop.

Kind regards,
Chrys Gardener
Project Manager

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