Saving seeds is something we gardeners should probably be doing a lot more of. It has been at the back of my mind for a while. I save as many as I can and it really easy to do. I was very inspired by a visit to Irish Seed Savers.
SAVING SEEDS FOR OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE
There are certainly a lot of reasons to begin saving seeds. Building a store of seeds that are native to your local climate certainly makes sense since those are the plants that will have adapted themselves to cope with the prevailing climatic conditions.
Apart from that there is the obvious advantage of being independent of seed companies who are busy buying up seed patents as I write. This could enable them to gain a huge amount of control of the global food supply. Does this sound like a good idea for our children’s future? No, but it does motivate me to start saving seeds myself.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SEEDS COME FROM?
Saving seeds also means that you know the origins of your seeds. You can be sure and confident about using them in your garden and you get double satisfaction when you see the plants growing and realise just how much of the process you have been involved in.
There is a lot more information about saving seeds and much more, on the Irish Seed Savers website. If you are planning a trip out there I highly recommend it. They are based in Scariff in County Clare and the drive out there takes you via a winding road through beautiful scenic areas along the Wild Atlantic Way.
NATIVE IRISH ORCHARDS
The gardens and orchards are beautiful and filled with species native to Ireland. You can see here they have the traditional style of orchard like this very pretty, mature and apple laden orchard below.
They also have this more contemporary orchard of dwarf apple trees. The dwarf varieties don’t grow taller than six feet and are suitable for the smaller urban garden. They are all planted from north to south in order to make best use of the sun. They use a lime wash to prevent pests and mulch them with cotton weed fabric.
Another notable feature is the use of Willow throughout the gardens, not just as support but also in the building of fencing, arching and even some little hideaways. Some time after my visit I returned and took part in a Growing Willow workshop and as well as learning a new skill I very much enjoyed the day.
I visited on one of their open days and they had this curious gentleman and his horse and carriage offering rides to tired visitors. This was very much appreciated as the walks were a little on the steep side here and there.
At other times visitors are still very welcome, and there is always someone on hand to advise on saving seeds as well as literature you can buy.
There is a kids nature trail, frog pond, shop, café, beautiful walks, organic seed gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards as well as various educational facilities and places of interest – oh and this strange bunch of characters who would frighten even the bravest of crows.