Preparing the Garden for the Horse & Plough
Volunteers are needed this Saturday (Nov 12) from 11am in the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden to help prepare this neighbourhood facility for a very special vistor on the following Saturday. In a sight not seen for many decades, a horse and plough on November 19th will work the ground of this organic garden located in the Terryland Forest Park.
This is a significant environmental event for Galway and hopefully signals the start of one of the key processes in protecting the soils of the city. Soil, water and air are the basic ingredients of life on the planet. Over the last 50 years, Irish agricultural soils have been seriously degraded by the intensification of farming characterised by the use of large machinery, heavier castle breeds, overgrazing, pesticides and herbicides. Soils have been denied organic materials which is one of its key components; has been contaminated with chemicals and become compacted. This compression of the soils has resulted in flooding as water cannot filter down.
Science tells us that the answer to enriching the soils once again is a combination of farming organically and in using animals such as the horse to plough and to harrow the land. Horses don’t need petrol. Feed them on the hay grown in the lands and their manure can be used to fertilise the soils.
In anticipation of the historic return of a horse and plough to urban Galway, we are asking for as many volunteers as possible to join us this Saturday (Nov 12th) from 11am in order to help in preparing our organic garden with a myriad of exciting tasks such as mowing the ground using hand-held scythes, laying down paths for visitors and in clipping/pruning trees and bushes.