Agri Aware’s Bloom garden has been presented with a silver gilt award by Gary Graham, Bord Bia’s Festival Director of Bloom in the Park.
‘My Land, Your Land – Ireland’ set out to showcase how farming, with the help of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), is embracing sustainable practices – producing safe, traceable and affordable food.
It tells the story of Irish agriculture and food through a farm-to-fork food circle, incorporated into the garden by designer Tunde Szentesi.
The garden demonstrates Irish farming practices such as grass-fed dairy and beef systems.
It also has a woodland section; a fruit and vegetable garden; and a variety of crops and trees.
A traditional hedgerow and wild-flowers form part of the garden, as well as a composting area and water conservation unit.
National Ploughing Association
The National Ploughing Association (NPA) was represented in the form of a horse plough. It was owned by the late Brendan Sutton, a well-known Dublin ploughman. He was a director of the NPA and chaired the Dublin Ploughing Association for nearly 30 years.
A traditional red hay-shed contains a kitchen and dining area for cookery demonstrations and workshops with personalities from the agri industry including Paul Nolan from Dawn Meats and Pat O’Neill of O’Neill’s Bacon.
After Bloom, the garden will relocate to Fota Wildlife Park in Cork.
Agri Aware, in conjunction with Bord Bia, welcomed 800 primary school pupils for a special tour of Bloom in The Phoenix Park on Thursday and Friday.
Having travelled from throughout the country, the school children visited the Agri Aware and Bord Bia farmyard; the Bloom horticulture tunnel; and the SEED organic garden.
The initiative was part of the ‘Incredible Edibles’ programme. It encourages school children to grow carrots, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, turnips and herbs.
Schools are supplied with grow packs including compost; seeds; and curriculum-linked interactive educational resources.
There were lessons on food origin and the health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as guidance on cooking tasks.