When summertime arrives in Ireland we inevitably itch to escape the urban sprawl and look towards open countryside, farmers’ markets and homespun arts and crafts. The blogosphere is a great starting point to get a feel for what’s out there.
The Irish Arts Blog
This blog represents the collective efforts of 11 artists and craftworkers and serves as a showcase for unique paintings, jewellery, woven artefacts and photographic collections.
Metalworker Lynne Durie displays custom sheep cufflinks and Cliodhna Quinlan talks through the process of creating a piece of embroidery sewn and dyed by hand for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
You truly get a sense of the Irish creative mind and the unique designs that spring forth. There are links to the individual artists’ sites for more information on their works and also how to purchase these.
Organic Yum-Yum (pictured)
Organic Yum-Yum is a lively, informative blog run by Amanda Webb, owner of Ireland’s first organic hamper company, Feelgood Organic Hampers.
You do get the sense that for every product Webb chooses to add to her hamper collection, she researches it well and sources it locally, and in the process educates the reader on the best organics buys around.
Webb discusses issues like ethical clothing and organic farming in Ireland – did you know we are still importing approximately 70pc of our organic produce? The Organic Action Plan for Ireland should change this, she explains.
Webb also chronicles her visits to local farmers’ markets and gives recipes for ‘sheepless’ shepherds pie, amongst others.
What are the biggest challenges facing Irish farmers? Is it worth the investment to go organic? Is the methane produced by a cow more damaging than CO2 from a car?
These issues are discussed by Oliver Moore at Ollie’s Place – certainly the place to go if you are in farming or interested in the red tape surrounding organic compliance and the low-down on sustainability.
Moore has a comprehensive list of other Irish blogs waxing lyrical on things organic, ethical and environmental when it comes to farming and food. This list is amusingly named ‘udder places’ and is udderly thorough, pardon the pun.
An Irish Town Planner’s Blog
Have you ever driven past some beautiful leafy hedgerows, teeming with local flora and fauna, right as they were being sprayed with pesticides or hacked to pieces by the local council?
Thinking about the multitude of birds, bees and the like that can be harmed or killed in this manner angers me greatly and planning consultant Brendan Buck takes a realistic look at these issues from the point of view of planning.
After reading this blog, I now know that if we all contact the local authorities and register our dissatisfaction, we can make sure our precious wildlife is treated with the respect it deserves.
By Marie Boran