A new event ‘The Future is Rural’, exploring rural sustainability through food, farming and community energy, will take place on October 4 and 5. Featuring family-friendly workshops, talks and films, it will be held at the Museum of Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

‘The Future is Rural’ plans to shine a light on some of the ways in which rural communities can build sustainable futures, through food, farming and community energy. It is organised by social enterprise Foodture; Friends of the Earth; and the Irish Environmental Network.

Seeding change

The event will incorporate a family-friendly, educational and fun sustainability fair and will showcase some of the changemakers and innovators in farming, food and community energy. It will start with a screening of the documentary ‘In Our Hands: Seeding Change’ at 6:00pm on Friday, October 4.

The film documents a growing movement of UK farmers and food workers who are committed to creating vibrant farms, living soils and thriving food markets.

This will be followed by a panel and audience discussion, exploring the issues, with Fergal Anderson from Talamh Beo, a newly established farming representative body; Saoirse McHugh, a Green Party candidate in the recent European elections; and David O’Donnell, head chef at Belleek Castle.


The night will also feature a short segment by Galway farmer and comedian Breda Larkin. This is a free event but booking is required.

The ‘Future is Rural’ will continue from 10:00am to 4:30pm on Saturday, October 5, with a fun-filled informative day for all of the family to enjoy, incorporating short films, talks, audience discussions, demonstrations and workshops on rural futures.

Every hour will see short films on soil, seeds, growing, eating and powering it all, followed by talks with the farmers, foodies, activists and experts in rural communities working for a sustainable future. There will be the chance to take part in demonstrations on soil, seed saving and growing.

There will also be the opportunity to join a workshop exploring zero waste in the home or a thought-provoking conversation on the connections between food and climate change.

Sinéad Moran from Foodture, a Mayo resident and co-organiser, said the event will be informative and inspiring.

From walks to talks, films and information stands, this event will shine a light on opportunities for rural communities to create sustainable futures through fair food, good farming and community energy.

“Don’t forget your reusable bag on the day and pick up local, seasonal produce fresh from the field and direct from some of the farmers who are hosting stalls in the marquee.”

Admission to all events is free. Booking is required for the film screening and panel discussion on Friday, October 4, by phoning: 094-90 31751; or emailing: [email protected]; or on: eventbrite.ie.

Further details and announcements will be on the organisers’ Facebook pages: Foodture, Irish Environmental Network and Friends of the Earth or on Twitter @foodture_irl.