Tuesday, October 7, 2008

organics with altitude: the science

Plenty to update you all on regarding the project. We'd a great farm and food business walk last week, which I'll post about soon.
In the meantime, I'd like to give an update on the 'science bits'.
Apart from the Organics with Altitude project, there are currently 3 research areas Joe's farm is being studied for.
All of these have applicability for other hill farmers interested in the proiject, as many upland areas have similar soil and have similar general farming conditions.
The first is for the farm's plant species type. This research was recently conducted by a Dublin based environmental consultancy, BEC. They found 64 different plant species within 6 overall categories.
Joe is also having his meat tested for the Omega levels and the ratio between omega 3 and 6. This is being conducted in the Ashtown food research unit. The results of this study will be known in about a month.
Then, there is a test to trace back the animals to the diet consumed. This is being conducted in UCD.
Already, the plant varieties are a great, tangable reality in biodiversity terms. They can be both a marketing tool and a thing to just be proud of. In some parts of the world, famrers are paid their REPS money by the number of plant varieties, not the acerage ,to reflect the fact that they are literally are farming the environment.
Then, there is an incentive to both keep and increase biodiversity.
That aside, the reality is that this land on the foothills of the Knockmealdowns is a great place for biodiversity.
And when all the science is in, we'll hopefully have a lot to go forward with in the project.

No comments: