For commercial horticultural growers 2012 will go down as one of the toughest on record, but as always a new growing season brings new enthusiasm. However it is hard to deny that the weather is forcing growers to think again about what crops to grow in Ireland. With the EU recently advising consumers to eat fruit and vegetables that are not standard shapes, and national promotional campaigns to support local growers, lets hope that 2013 is kinder to our food producers.
In order to help growers plan for growing in a different climate the Organic Growers of Ireland (OGI) are hosting a conference with a range of speakers that may assist growers in a variety of ways.
Speakers from Ireland include Dr. Catriona Duffy, Prof Peter Jones from UCC and John Hogan all of whom have loads of practical advice about ways to adapt to wetter conditions, reduce pests and how to get more variety from your crops. Other speakers include Roger Hitchings from the UK who will speak about building resilience within your production system and also Professor Martin Wolfe who will discuss how Agroforestry can mitigate weather extremes. A slight departure from the overall theme of the conference comes in the form of Frank Bardet from BIO-COOP in France, he will speak about how they work with growers directly in their 350 stores throughout France providing interesting food for thought on alternative distribution and retailing.
The conference proves to have something of interest for everyone both commercial organic growers and people who are generally interested in growing vegetables! The event takes place on Wednesday 20th of February at the County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co Offaly. Booking should be done through the National Organic Training Skillsnets at firstname.lastname@example.org
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For more information please contact
Jason Horner, Organic Growers of Ireland, tel 087 6454120
Grace Maher, IOFGA, tel 087 6125989
Growing in a Different Climate
Venue: County Arms Hotel, Birr, County Offaly
Date: Wednesday the 20th of February 2013
|10.00 am||Registration and coffee
|10.30 am||Welcome address from Chair, Jim McNamara
|10.40 am||Dr. Catriona Duffy, NUI Maynooth ICARUS project: The impact of climate change on pests and their associated host plants
|11.30 am||Prof. Peter Jones, UCC Department of BEES: The opportunities presented by climate change to try new crops
|12.15 pm||Roger Hitchings, Organic Research Centre UK: Challenges facing growers – systems resilience for weather extremes
|1.00 pm||Question and Answer session with previous speakers
|1.30 pm||Organic lunch
|2.30 pm||Prof. Martin Wolfe, Wakelyns Agroforestry project UK: Moderating extremes using agroforestry
|3.15 pm||Franck Bardet, BIOCOOP France: Alternative systems for distribution marketing and sale of organic produce
|4.00 pm||Coffee break
|4.20 pm||John Hogan, Dunsany Horticultural Consultancy: Attention to detail – doing the small things right and getting results in a bad season
|5.00 pm||Close of conference
This conference is held with assistance from the National Organic Training Skillnets, NOTS. Please book your place with NOTS by emailing email@example.com by 10th of February, 2013.
Price: €50 – includes organic lunch. A limited number of places are available free for the unemployed.