ISSA e-zine 13 January 2012

In this edition -

  • Construction of New Seed Bank ...

  • Seed and Tree Posting...

  • Clarification about Fracking Issue...

  • What to do in the garden...

  • Upcoming Workshops...

Construction of New Seed Bank

Work on our new seed processing facility and seed bank began in December, just before Christmas. The new facility is 100% grant-funded, with 75% funded by the LEADER Rural Development Programme and 25% funded by the Jackson Foundation in the UK.

The new building will be built from locally-sourced timber with a living roof, and will greatly improve the efficiency of our seed cleaning, drying and packaging operations. The facility will also be visitor-friendly with viewing panels in the walls so visitors to Seed Savers can view the seed processing operations within.

The building will be finished in summer 2012 in time for this year's seed crop. We'll continue to post photos of the building as construction progresses.

Construction Site

Seed and Tree Posting

Many people think that because Seed Savers is a horticultural organisation that this is a slow time of year for us. Not so! At this time of year the staff are very busy processing and posting seed and fruit tree orders for Irish gardens and beyond. Anyone can order trees and seeds from our website, but if you become a supporter of Irish Seed Savers you will have access to special seed varieties that we have in limited supply, and you'll get to choose 5 packets of seeds and 3 varieties of seed potatoes for just the cost of postage.

Supporters also get 10% off fruit trees and workshops, 2 big newsletters per year, and free admission to our farm and special events year-round. For more information on becoming a supporter, click here for more information Supportership


         Room for packing seed orders                                             Packing trees in the new barn

Clarification about Fracking Issue

In the last ezine I stated that "the Irish government is planning to allow fracking." I would like to clarify that statement by saying that at this point only licensing options have been granted to three companies. In recent developments, Clare County councillors unanimously voted in favour of banning fracking in County Clare last Monday, January 9.

Councillors also voted in favour of amending the County development plan to help protect us against fracking in the future. However, several councillors pointed out that the final decision on whether or not to grant exploration licences (which could involve fracking) lies not with the County Councils but the Minister for Energy, Pat Rabbitte.

(For those of you who missed the last ezine or are unaware of what fracking is, it's short for 'hydrofracturing' and is a new method of drilling for underground gas. To learn more about the process of fracking, read this short article from the Irish Times

What to do in the garden this week

  • Now is the ideal time to prune fruit trees while they are dormant. If you don't know what you're doing then take a course, consult a good pruning book, or hire an experienced fruit tree pruner to show you how. It's not the same as pruning hedges or ornamental trees and you might actually be reducing next year's apple harvest if it's not done right.

  • If you have a tunnel then it's time to start sowing early crops under cover. Veg that can be planted under cover now includes first early potatoes, broad beans, spring onions, salad leaves, peas, and carrots (avoiding carrot root fly by planting this early). Most of this veg will be harvested by late spring when it's time to plant heat-loving crops in the tunnel for summer.

  • Outdoor garden beds are still waterlogged here in County Clare, so best to stay off them until things dry up. Working wet soil is not only harder on you but it can also cause the soil to compact. Hopefully you did your garden clean-up in the autumn and either covered the beds for winter or sowed a green manure to dig into soil in the spring.

Upcoming Workshops

Kind regards,
Chrys Gardener
Project Manager

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