The Green Step


2.10 Closing Thoughts / The Sacred Water Cycle

Season 2, Ep. 10
On week 10 we bring you the final episode of our Tales from the Land Community Research Inquiry. We've been probing into the 21st century realities of land use, farming and food production here in Eiré. This week John & Mel reflect on the process, the lessons learned and their experience of the whole process. Join us as we read some of Rumi's mystic poetry, sing a song and review and laugh about all that has come to pass in these past few weeks with the sound of lapping waves in the backgroud.Our final community event and closing ceremony will be held in the Magic Forest on Sunday July 18th from 2-6pm. Please send us a message if you'd like to be there with us! :)Le grá agus meas,Mel & JohnMentioned this week:Find Sophie Strand on Instagram @cosmogynyAdemara Kirrane's Book 'Love on Fire: Waking Up to Divine Love'The Water Blessing Song Magic Forest's Beautiful words invite us to surrender into love as the raindrop falls from the heavens"you've been fearful of being absorbed by the ground or being drawn up by the airNow your water bead let's go and drops into the ocean where it came fromit no longer has the form it had but it is still waterthe essence is the same this giving up is not repenting it's a deep honoring of yourselfwhen the ocean comes to you as a lovermarry it at once - For God's sakedon't postpone itexistence has no better giftno amount of searching will find this"

2.8 An Talamh Gaeilge / Food Ferments

Season 2, Ep. 8
Dia Daiobh!This week we're joined by Michael Cronin and Niamh McDonnell to dive deep into the richly pluralistic lens and microbiomes offered to us by an tanga ghaelige (the Irish language) and fermented foods.☘️What have Irish and Fermented foods have to do with a healthy food system?🇮🇪What does Irish have to teach us about the land? (Or more accurately what doesn't it have to teach us?!)🥬How can fermented foods help us address the root problems in our bodies and the food system?🌟How can Gaeilge and Fermented foods help us challenge the monoculturalism suffusing our society?Niamh is the founder of Plentitude Ferments where she makes and swell Sauerkraut at the local market. As a researcher and artist she has been particularly interested in the power of fermented foods to transform society and empower people. She's on a mission to welcome Umami as the 5th taste of the Irish palette and reinstate Uisneach as the 5th province and heartlands of Éire. Michael is the author of Irish and Ecology - An Ghaeilge agus an Éiceolaíocht. He is Director of the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation and passionately works to prevent the monolinguals, monocultural modes of thinking. He advocates for a revolution in outdoors teaching where Irish is brought back to the heart of the land that birthed it.This week Mel shares some insight into the realm of the Dagda, the all powerful Father god of the Tuatha de Danann 🍃 and Niall Cutler joins us to share his heartfelt rendition of 'The Incantation of Amergin' by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin.Thank you to all of the contributers of this weeks podcast.Le grá agus beannachtí,Mel & JohnTo contact the speakers you can email:Niamh - plenitude.ferments@gmail.comMichael -

2.7 Ag-Tech Tools / Understanding GMOs

Season 2, Ep. 7
Welcome back!This week we visited Diarmuid and Caroline on their 12-acre micro dairy with Mark from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). We sat in the back of their campervan together and worked on solving the problems of the world while laughing a lot too.🚜 What is the work of the not-for-profit Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF)? 🐄 What role do cattle genetics play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?💚 We consider the ethics of genetic selection, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), patents and ownership. Are we playing God?🌾We discuss the nitrogen cycle and use of mixed grass swards and clover to enhance land management practices.🌊We learn about the affect Irish agriculture is having on our waterwaysDiarmuid McSweeney trained as an ecologist and is the founder of the AgriTech company More Grass. Their device, Grasshopper, measure grass growth to increase farm productivity. With a business mind and a big heart he shares with us the realities of the Irish agri economy. Caroline O'Sullivan works on an intensive dairy farm and now working with 2 Gurnsey cows to produce speciality A2 milk. Having grown up on the family farm in West Cork, she is familiar with the use of clover to promote nitrogen in the soil and has been busy speeding wildflower seeds where possible. Mark Waters is working on the calf genetic indexing project with the ICBF. He is passionate about the fair and just treatment for farmers in this climate transition. Having grown up working on this aunt and uncles dairy and beef enterprise he studied AgScience in UCD. He teaches us about the use of genetic selection as a way to lower national greenhouse gas emissions. 👨‍🌾This week our Green Step Community Weaver Emmet Griffin shares with us a poem he wrote called 'The Green Man' - an ode to the transformative times we are living in and the support we can gain from nature's abundance of we are just open to recieving it. ✨🌳✨Le grá agus meas,Mel & John

2.5 Farming with Nature / Loving Lady Death

Season 2, Ep. 5
We've arrived at the half way point of our ceremonial inquiry. So much as already been revealed to us. We've heard thet the growing awareness of the colonial roots of the capitalist system that modern agricultural policies are nestled in. We've seen again and again how our economic system is failing us in a multitude of ways. Localisation and Food Sovereignty is being called for from many groups and individuals. We're understanding how faught the envi-agri discourse is and how people are too often siphoned off into categories of 'farmer' or 'environmentalist' when often these two go hand in hand. This week we take a look more fantastic working being done by traditional and organic farmers in Cork and Kerry.How is the scientific discourse and a systems thinking approach impacting on farming with nature?How can we be advocates for food sovereignty and biodiversity?Where is policy failing these inspiring initiatives and how can we help to change it?This week we are joined by Paul Moore of the BRIDE Project (Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying Environment) and Bird Watch Ireland. As a 7 generation tillage farmer and a passionate conservationist Paul has many wonderful insights to share about setting up the Project with over 40 farmers and bringing biodiversity back to his farm after policy forced its removal. Thomas O'Connor, is the founder of Manna Organic farm along side his wife Claire in Co. Kerry. Together they are advocates for food sovereignty and are active members of Tallamh Beo, Ireland's food sovereignty and hedge school initiative, and La Via Campesina, the largest international peasant movement for food sovereignty. He's also an active member of Transition Kerry and is working to help their community become more resilient to climate change and less dependent on oil.As Thomas says "We can’t have food sovereignty in our own country without fighting for the same in the international community.” This week we hear the Innuit tales of the Skeleton woman and how embracing her can transform our activism. For our poetic contributions this week we travel to meet Innkeeper Johnny in the Innuit village of Tsueyak and jounrey with him into the wilderness of land and air.With many blessings,Mel & John

2.4 Farming and Our Ancient Past / Remembering the Fairies

Season 2, Ep. 4
Welcome back to the fourth week of Tales from the Land. Have you ever wondered how land-use policies, like CAP, affect farmers and biodiversity? Do you know how our hunger for cheap food impacts the lived realities of food producers? What role does soil play in tackling the enormous challenges entrenched in our food systems? This week we are joined by Ger, Tírloch and Mark to dive deeper into these questions as we consider the upcoming policy consultations and community movements around the country. Ger Buckley is a 7th generation farmer living on Laharn Dairy farm in Macroom, Co.Cork. As an intensive dairy farmer with a keen interest in permaculture Ger is eagerly adding more biodiversity back to the family farm. He joined us for this episode after a day of building a new pond on the farm to share his wealth of stories and insights. Tírloch O'Brien a first generation food grower in Cavan. Tírloch studied microbiology and after a stint of working in a lab eventually listened to what was calling his heart and began growing organic vegetables. The veg patch regenerative farm is happily vibrating with carbon based lifeforms thanks to his keen interest in cultivating healthy soil and composting practices. Mark Robins is an environmental scientist living in Cork. He regularly engages with policy consultations on land use. Over his career Mark as worked with many farmers to establish biodiversity conversation initiatives in the UK & Ireland.As we set out on this curious questioning John reminds us of the importance of fairy wisdom with a retelling of some fairy tales collected from old people by Eddie Lenihan. Ger's farm firmly roots us to the mysteries of the ancient stone circles.This week we feature 'I Walked Down to the Hazel Wood' by the wonderful Marion Horgan and an Ode to the Earth by an academical magician, Seán English, who is currently milking cows in fields of Cork. Here are the words to his beautiful heartfelt spell of blessing:Dearest dirty erstwhile earth, thou arth our dewy domus and dropleted domain that hath reigned o'er all and on all have hotly rained torrentiallyWe do well always and with all water everywhere to give your terran terrain thanks for filling up our water tanks and guttersGaian gushes rush and swell and make the flowers bloom and smellMother nature and other more mushroomy creators conspireto cast, to create, a spell upon our mammilian musterings, nuturing naturally and minding marvellously our organic bio clustersClouds accumulated, fog dissipated, ferns unfurled and trees upturned toward your husband sun and at night watched over by that crocodile we call the moonYour blue-green abused hue shines through, your crystals gems and metals imbueWe love you, motherEven if, even when, we pretend we didn't come from you and you don't matterYou will always be our home, our cave, our great grand MaterThank you dearly to everyone who contributed to this weeks episode.Le grá agus meas,Mel xx