Traditional Mowing of a Meadow- the Return of the Scythe.

After an absence of many decades, next Saturday (August 20th) will see the return to Galway city of the mowing of a wildflower meadow using traditional hand-held implements. Starting at 10.30am members of Cumann na bhFear, also known as Men’s Shed Ballinfoile, will use scythes to cut the long grass in a meadow in Terryland Forest Park near the Quincentenary Bridge. 
The event is part of Heritage Week and organised with Galway Civic Trust

Last autumn, dozens of volunteers from Conservation Volunteers planted over one thousand native wildflowers in what was up until then a sterile lawn in Terryland. Their actions transformed it into a rainbow mosaic of yellow cowslip, red poppy, purple clover, pink ragged robin, white daisy oxeyes and many other flowers. In times gone by, a 'meadow' was defined as a field set aside by farmers for the growing of long grass which was cut during the summer and autumn months to produce one or two crops of hay to serve as winter food for livestock. Because no chemical fertilizers were used, these meadows became important habitats for an array of colourful native wildflowers and would be alive with the sights and sounds of many varieties of bees, moths, butterflies and other pollinators. 
 Our aim is to re-introduce meadows back unto the city and provide nectar-rich feeding havens for bees in particular which are in a serious decline worldwide due to industrialised monoculture farming, pesticides, habitat loss, pollution and climate change. Bees and other pollinators are essential to the survival of humanity as the plants that they help to reproduce are responsible for one-third of all foods and beverages that we consume. 
The Cumann is also committed to preserving and re-educating the public in traditional Irish rural skills and crafts that still have an essential role to play in today’s farming because of their social, health, economic and environmental aspects.
So we are asking people to come along next Saturday to witness this ancient rural hay-cutting in action and to take part in planting nearly a thousand more wildflowers with Conversation Volunteers Galway city. Light refreshments will be provided to all volunteers. 

Enjoy the Benefits of Community Gardening

Community Organic Gardening has wonderful health, social and environmental benefits to offer all of us. A few hours working with others in the 'Great Outdoors' every week amongst the plants and trees can reduce stress, provide access to locally grown organic foods to improve personal diet as well as presenting opportunities to become active members of our neighborhood and the greater community of Galway.

The Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden at this time of the year is, as with horticulturalist farmers across Ireland, busily preparing for the annual harvesting of food crops that will take place in a few weeks. But after the ‘wear and tear’ of a busy period since Spring and the need to expand on its facilities, assistance is also needed in improving the overall maintenance of this green resource. This includes communal painting, pond construction, path repairing, and bug hotel building.
At the end of the communal work on Saturday, there will of course be refreshments for all volunteers to enjoy together including fruit tarts made from apples collected from the garden’s own orchard.

Rendezvous: 10.30am, Saturday, August 13th.
Google Maps location: