Talks 2018

 
 

 Galway Food Festival Panel Discussions     Saturday April 31st  

in the Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane


Third Space Galway curator Martina Finn has once again being invited to curate a panel discussion on Sustainable Community Food Systems for Galway Food Festival

 

12pm - Growing Space - Community Food and Urban Agriculture

In partnership with Galway Food Policy Council

Urban agriculture is increasingly seen as vital to the future of our cities and towns, as our urban populations grow rapidly, and calls continue for a more ecological and sustainable lifestyle.

Growing food as close as possible to where it’s consumed is a simple but key solution in creating a healthier, more sustainable future, minimizing the need for transport and refrigeration, while playing a key role in connecting people to nature, and fresh healthy organic produce. City and Urban agriculture projects are seen as key to educate people about where their food comes from, and eating locally and seasonally while playing a key role in tackling climate change.

From growing herbs in pots, to more ambitious horticultural pursuits, urban farming is revitalising not just food supply chains and disused areas, but also a greater sense of community spirit, co-creating a greener sustainable city, while putting neglected and under-utilised spaces to great use.

However, access to land for agroecological, community and educational purposes is seen as one of the ongoing key challenges in meeting current demands. This talk explores some of the innovative community actions being taken to date in meeting the Sustainable Food challenges of our times.

Chair: Eimhin David Callahan, The Growery in Birr,

Eimhin is Involved in a diverse network of community partnerships regarding agroecological food production, health and wellbeing, education, research and social inclusion projects in a community garden and in the newly formed Irish Landtrust Movement.

Brendan ‘Speedie’ Smith -Education and Public Engagement Officer with Insight NUIG and a key environmental activist, land steward and initiator of many projects in galway including the Terryland Forest Park and Ballinafoile Community Garden, which is also a member of the HSE supported Lets Get Galway Growing. Brendan has recently established a network of local stakeholders to propose a programme of actions to secure a National Urban Park Status for Galway.

Brendan has won many local and national accolades for his science and technology learning initiatives as well as his volunteering activities over the last decade. He was Galway Science Person of the Year in 2012 and in 2006; a recipient of the Galway Mayoral Community and Social  Award, and In 2017, Brendan was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Mayor of Galway city, councillor Noel Larkin.
Veteran member of the Galway Science and Technology Forum, he has contributed in making the Galway Science and Technology Festival the most broad-based of its type in Ireland.  Brendan is co-founder and curator of the NUIG-based Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland; co-founder of the volunteer Coderdojo computer coding club in Galway City and a member of the ethics board of the National Aquarium of Ireland.

In 2015 he was appointed lead mentor for Africa Code Week, a learning initiative organised by the German-based SAP corporation in conjunction with the Galway Education Centre. Last year (2016) it introduced more than 426,000 youth across 30 countries to basic coding and represents the largest digital literacy initiative ever organised on the African continent. Under this programme, Brendan has created training materials for participants as well as Train-the-Trainer workshops to teachers in seven African countries
Brendan is a master teacher for Refugee Code Week that is also coordinated by SAP and the Galway Education Centre in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency(UNHCR) and has taught in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.

Marion Kelly - Dublin City Farm

Established last year, the Dublin City Farm Project is small-scale, non-profit, traditional farm set in the urban park surroundings of St Anne’s Park. The Dublin City Farm aims to function as a centre for knowledge, for teaching and for interaction between people, plants, animals and ecology. The Farm has its roots set firmly in the past with the use of traditional breeds of farm animals and old native seeds. The future of the farm extends beyond the confines of the Park to the local communities providing access to structural learning and modern environmentally sustainable practices.

Marion is one of the founding members of both the Dublin City Farm and Dublin Community Growers, and became DCG chair in 2014. With her in this capacity, DCG have grown from two community gardens to over 40 in ten years. Marion also collaborated with Fingal County Council on their ecological grazing project, Goats for Howth. Her mission is to help empower people and to pass on her deep love for this planet and all its animals.


Eoin MacCuirc - Cork Food Policy Council and Director of Simon Community and Foodcloud. Cork Food Policy Council seeks to influence local food policy to follow best practice in developing a healthy, sustainable, and resilient food system. Supporting new partnerships in Cork between statutory, community and voluntary groups, educational institutions and businesses to promote knowledge, skills and experience around food.

Cork Food Policy Council are an inter-agency group chaired by Colin Sage Dept Geography UCC, supported by: Healthy Cities, Health Service Executive (HSE), Cork City Council (CCC), Cork Environmental Forum (CEF), FoodCloud, Cafe Gusto, Musgraves, Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, Niche, Health Action Zone (HAZ) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

Food is life. Growing, harvesting, cooking and sharing food together nourishes us, connects us to the earth, the beauty of nature and each other and gives us hope for the future. Cork Food Policy Council has many projects and initiatives to create an authentic food culture. Eoin will talk about some of his favourite adventures with the Cork Food Policy Council and their latest initiative the Sustainable Food Lab.

Nathalie Markiefka - Foodture


Nathalie has a background in Economics, Marketing and Landscape Design. She is active in the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and Irish landtrust movement and has a keen interest in the social and healing aspects of horticulture.


Andrew Douglas - UrbanFarm

URBANFARM creates projects to disseminate knowledge about urban agriculture, circular economy, food sharing & waste management.
Through participatory learning and action, URBANFARM aims to inspire people to adopt sustainable practices in their everyday lives.

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/bees-spuds-and-peas-fresh-ideas-for-sustainable-urban-living-1.2687661


2pm - Food Futures.. Ireland at a cross road...

While the organic food sector continues to grow in Ireland there are still less than 2,000 producers and under 2% of usable land area dedicated to organic production. We are importing almost 70pc of the organic hortiultural produce sold in Ireland, highlighting the scale of the missed opportunities for the local food sector.

As Galway hosts the European Region of Gastronomy, it is widely acknowledged that the sustainable and environmentally sound future of farming involves producing our own food within a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem using restorative and regenerative agroecology, fostering  a resiliency that not only supports food security but actually mitigates against climate change.

The panel today will discuss the growing awareness and importance of Food Sovereignty, urban and regenerative agriculture practices, and the many community and environmental initiatives that support it locally, nationally and internationally.
 

Chair; Cait Curran

Galway based Biodynamic Grower and member of Slow Food Ireland.


This year’s panelists include:

Fiona Donovan - Project Manager for the Healthy Ireland - Healthy Cities and Counties Programme.


To promote health and wellbeing we need to focus on creating and strengthening the preconditions for health. These include access to education, choice of affordable healthy food options, access to green and blue spaces, housing, transport options, feeling safe and opportunities to connect with others and contribute to society’.The aim of the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network is to support Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) to implement Healthy Ireland at the local level by creating, strengthening and enhancing these preconditions of good health.An example of this is the recent Healthy Ireland funding received by Galway City and County to develop Galway Food Policy. The Healthy Cities and Counties 0approach to health and wellbeing recognises the need to work in collaboration across public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations.

Jennifer McConnell - Manager Irish Seed Savers Association


ISSA main objective is to conserve Ireland’s very special and threatened plant genetic resources. Their work focuses on the preservation of heirloom and heritage food crop varieties that are suitable for Ireland’s unique growing conditions.
And this year launch their new Seed Sovereignty initiative in partnership with Gaia Foundation International.

Irish Seed Savers Association maintains the country’s public seed bank with over 600 non-commercially available varieties of seed. They conserve and grow heritage apple trees and other fruit tree varieties. They run workshops throughout the year on various topics to help inform and teach others how to save seeds and grow their own food and be self-sustainable and to help encourage greater food security for future generations. We Grow, Preserve, Conserve and Share both our seeds, our knowledge and our love for the land. You can find information on our workshops and how to follow us throughout our website.

Dr. Ollie Moore - Food Sovereignty Ireland and ARC 2020


Dr. Oliver Moore is Communications Director and Editor-in-Chief with European NGO ARC2020.eu. ARC2020 is a policy discussion and debate platform for rural and agri-food actors around the EU. He lectures with the Centre for Cooperative Studies in UCC, part of the Department of Food Business and Development, on the new MSc in Co-Operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development.   He works as part of the Cultivate team on Communications for the GROW Observatory project. This is a Horizon2020 funded initiative to help growers improve their soil quality using permaculture principles, while also contributing their data on soil moisture to help with climate change adaptation. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, specialising in organics, direct selling and consumer-producer relations. He is published in consumer studies, agri-food and more general sociological journals and books, while he has presented his research at conferences in many European countries.  Since February 2005, Oliver has written a weekly column on organic food and farming for the Irish Examiner, a newspaper to which he also contributes regularly on a range of agri-food issues. International study trips and project work with various NGOs, IGOs and charities (e.g. Urgenci, La Via Campesina, Fair Trade, World Agroforestry Centre, and Trocaire) have been conducted. A member of the Irish Food Writers Guild, he is a regular guest on specialist agri-food and environmental radio and TV shows, and at agri-food policy conferences in Ireland and the rest of Europe. Oliver lives in Cloughjordan ecovillage, where he is an active member of the community owned and operated farm, one of Ireland’s few Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives.
 

Eoin MacCuirc - Cork Food Policy Council, Director of Cork Simon Community and FoodCloud


Cork Food Policy Council seeks to influence local food policy to follow best practice in developing a healthy, sustainable, and resilient food system. Supporting new partnerships in Cork between statutory, community and voluntary groups, educational institutions and businesses to promote knowledge, skills and experience around food.

Cork Food Policy Council are an inter-agency group chaired by Colin Sage Dept Geography UCC, supported by: Healthy Cities, Health Service Executive (HSE), Cork City Council (CCC), Cork Environmental Forum (CEF), FoodCloud, Cafe Gusto, Musgraves, Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, Niche, Health Action Zone (HAZ) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

Food is life. Growing, harvesting, cooking and sharing food together nourishes us, connects us to the earth, the beauty of nature and each other and gives us hope for the future. Cork Food Policy Council has many projects and initiatives to create an authentic food culture. Eoin will talk about some of his favourite adventures with the Cork Food Policy Council.
 

Sinead Moran - Foodture  https://foodture.ie/

Sinéad is a TCD Natural Science graduate with a background in research and the NGO sector. She farms organically along with her partner on whats known as HNV (High Nature Value) Farmland and has a keen interest in how farmers can farm in harmony with the landscape, how ethical livestock production can play a role in that and way in which we can re-connection to each other through food and farming.

Foodture first started when Sinéad and Nathalie met while doing a Master's in Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security at NUI Galway. They both share common interests in finding solutions to transition to a fairer food system. They teamed up to follow their vision of creating a common platform where all actors can come together to collaborate to construct a new narrative around Fair Food.
foodture offers a space to inform choice around the food we purchase and how Fair Food Choices can bring change to the health of people, the planet and secure the livelihoods of Fair Food producers. Whatsmore, citizens can search for and learn about their local Fair Food producer and contact them directly through the site. Our objective is to encourage and facilitate that re-connection between citizen and farmer.
We are a social enterprise, supported by community membership.

The Fair Food Finder is about discovering the food producers who nourish us and the planet so that we can support them directly, affording them the opportunity to do so into the future. When it comes to sustainability in food, its vital to know how food is produced. We want to peel back labels like local and organic, and get to know the people who grow food, tend to food, manage food and how they do this in balance with nature.
 

Martina Finn

Martina is curator with Third Space Galway (est. 2013), a participatory arts research project, with aims to bridge strands of contemporary creative practice with the socio-cultural ecology in which it operates, working towards a more equitable and sustainable future, through a trans-local and trans-disciplinary exchange of ideas and creative working methodologies.

Its art functions to promote a generative discourse, furthering conversations around regenerative agri/cultural practices, bioregionism and climate change. It's collaborative productions include creating interdisciplinary platforms for participatory discursive events and arts and environmental interventions in public space. Most recent projects include the establishment of the Galway Canal Permaculture Trail, Galway's first demonstration Edible Forest Garden in Westside Amenity Park, alongside an Art and Huglekulture installation and other arts and environmental projects with the Westside Youth Project.