Seeds of hope, seeds of change
Ireland is almost entirely dependent on imported seed for all its commercial and garden food crop seeds. During the Covid-19 restrictions, this dependence was highlighted when both Ireland’s organic seed suppliers, Irish Seedsavers and Brown Envelope Seeds, were forced to limit access to their website to ration their seeds in response to the boom in interesting in growing vegetables.
At Irish Seedsavers, she talks to General Manager Jennifer McConnell and Seed Curator Jo Newton and takes a tour of the registered charity that holds 600 varieties of seeds in trust for future generations in a public seed bank, and learns about Irish Seedsavers’ heritage apple orchard and the story of the long-lost, now restored Bawn Onion.
In West Cork, Ellie visits Madeline McKeever, small beef farmer, founder of Brown Envelope Seeds, co-founder of Skibbereen Farmer’s Market and mother of SD Agriculture spokesperson Holly McKeever Cairns. Madeline is a self-described “apocaloptimist” – so where is the cause for optimism? The answer is quite simple.