Monday, May 18

7 Stories For Today - 18th May 2015

On some days I am posting recent stories on
  • Food Forests
  • Forest Relaxation
  • Local Food Hubs
  • Permaculture
  • and some other interests

1) Tree Lore, The Apple Tree

In Irish mythology, tree lore features in many of the old stories and legends. Not only that, but the secret ancient code of Ogham is based on trees and alternatively called the Tree Alphabet. It is said that out of Ireland’s 16,000 townlands, 13,000 of them are named after trees. Virginia, Co. Cavan, is known as Achadh an Iúir in Irish, which means ‘field/ meadow of the yew'; Kildare comes from the Irish Cill Dara, meaning ‘church of the oak’, whereas Billis, the townland where I actually live, na Bilí in Irish, refers to a large, isolated sacred tree. Yet tree lore and tree culture has almost vanished in Ireland. Why?





2) Traditional Irish Music & Instruments

Traditional Irish music is an oral tradition whose origins can be traced back to almost 2,000 years ago when the Celts (a name that I know is a huge debate subject) last arrived in Ireland. The Celts were established in Eastern Europe since 500 BC and were heavily influenced by the music of the East. It is speculated that the Irish Harp originated in Egypt.  So says this writer, but my own belief in the folk harp of Scotland and Ireland originates from the Chang, and angular harp of Iran. I believe the fiddle was what stepped down from the Egyptian Lyre. From 500 BC to the Ruling Chieftains 10th to 17th Centuries the harp was the dominant Irish instrument. All harpists were professional musicians employed by the ruling Chieftains under a patronage. In 1607 the Chieftains fled Ireland under pressure from invaders. This hugely affected the harpist’s tradition ... and they became ‘traveling’ harpists. So read on ...





3) The Drought, Which Crops Will Survive

IEveryone has an opinion on which crops are using the most water in drought-stricken California. But water usage, it turns out, has little to do with whether those crops will survive the drought. Yes, it's the Forest Foods that survive best through a draught. Worth a read ...


click here to read the Modern Farmer news feature


4) People Who Appreciate Nature Are Happier

They are healthier and more innovative too. There’s nothing quite like being deep in a forest, completely separated from the touch of humankind. It provides an inexplicable sense of tranquil awareness. The only sounds are those of your own footsteps, the wind, rustling trees and the movements of the creatures who call the wild home. But too many of us rarely get to experience this. More and more people, particularly Millennials, are moving into cities and away from nature. Sure, some of these concrete jungles contain beautiful parks, but visiting them is not quite the same as becoming deeply immersed in the woods. Read on ...




5) How To Find A Holy Well In Ireland

There are hundreds of holy wells to be found all over Ireland, many still in use. They are well worth a pause and a prayer if you are lucky enough to come across one of them. Wells have been regarded as sacred places since long before they were credited with the Christian saints' names they bear today. In pre-Christian times, wells served as a form of "religion of nature" where sources of water were regarded with honor. These wells were the supply of water, and brought about wonder as their clean natural springs rose from deep underground. 




6) Forests Could End Global Hunger

About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia. The world's forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear, researchers say. Another report on recent findings ...




7) Willow Healing

SiftingA Weeping Willow tree. It can find a home in our heart. A beautiful old willow growing where fate had laid her roots. Sometimes you may sit near her and practice tree breathing, giving thanks for her breath and offering your exhale back to her. The willow tree sleeps during winter, sheds her leaves and droop her twigs in a sleepy and sombre demeanour, as willow’s do. She will sway her bare wiry limbs wildly in autumn winds. And when Spring come, her gentle and nurturing energy springs back to life with new green leaves and a fresh aroma. I is as if the willow smiles with bursts of childlike giggles when she re-emerges in the season of rebirth.