ISSA e-zine 21 Jan 2011
In this edition -
New Supporters Section on Website
This winter we have added a new section to our website, with photos and descriptions of seeds and seed potatoes that are exclusively for supporters. We decided to make this section accessible to anyone, and not limited to supporters, so that anyone who is considering becoming a supporter can see all the special varieties that are available. We are especially proud of our collection of heritage potatoes, and delighted to finally have these lovely 'potato portraits' on-line where spud lovers can see them! Click here to go directly to the supporters section of our website.
We had some very good news this week regarding the match funding requirement for the seed bank that we will be constructing later this year. 75% of the project costs will be covered by a grant from LEADER, but we have to come up with the remaining 25% match funding before LEADER will approve their portion of the grant. The Jackson Foundation in the UK, which funds environmental projects and initiatives, has awarded Seed Savers a grant for €32,500 for the match funding, and we plan to start construction in summer, with a ribbon-cutting possibly at our 20th anniversary Apple Day weekend in September. The new seed bank will consolidate all of our seed drying and processing activities into one facility, and visitors will be able to view the seed processing work through viewing panels built into wall of the building. Any supporter donations that have been earmarked for the match funding will now go toward purchasing seed cleaning equipment.
January is the month to focus on planting and maintenance of tree fruits and soft fruits. Winter is the ideal time for pruning fruit trees and restoring old, overgrown orchards, as it's easy to see the branching structure and there is less chance of spreading disease spores when the weather is cold. With the increasing interest in planting orchards, we have a number of courses to get you started off on the right foot.
A hedge planting of mixed varieties is much more interesting than a monoculture planting of a single variety, and can provide a beautiful and biodiverse habitat with flowers and fruits throughout the year. If you are interested in learning how to establish a mixed hedge planting that includes native species with fruits for both humans and wildlife, we are offering a hands-on course on planting native fruiting hedges. Participants will learn about appropriate species to use in this type of planting, and will help plant a fruiting hedge along one of the farm lanes at Irish Seed Savers. Planting a Native Fruiting Hedge, Saturday February 5
What to do in the garden and orchard this month
Irish Seed Savers Association