One of the first things we did when we arrived in Ireland was to join the Dublin Food Coop. It was a simple way for us to find our way back to the familiar, in a place that was so full of things that were new to us. Perhaps it is a lesser known fact of Brad's volunteer history, but he spent several years on the board of directors at the East End Food Coop in Vancouver. While it would not be possible for us to participate fully in the Dublin Coop, we would be able to find familiarity amongst the aisles.
It was at the Fáilte (welcome meeting) at the coop that I was introduced to Transition Towns Maynooth. It was a newly started group with a food and environment focus that might suit us. And now, over a year later we are full fledged founding members of the TTM! Having spent the last two weekend involved in various TTM events, I think it's about time to touch on the tricky subject of Peak Oil in my blog.
So, Peak Oil is when the world production of oil has reached the point of maximum output. This concept should be familiar to anyone who lived in the USA in the 1970's as the USA reach their own country's Peak Oil Production point during that time. The small crisis that ensued, before the USA managed to secure sources of oil production abroad, would be relatively minor in comparison to world Peak Oil.
What about nuclear, solar, bio fuels, wind and, the ever popular in Ireland, turf as sources of energy? Well, when the proverbial dinosaur shit hits the fan in regards to oil, all the bog cuts in Ireland will hardly replace our dependence. As everyone knows we use oil for transport and travel, water bottles and clothing, toys and tools. But oil is also the key ingredient in fertilizers and pesticides. Anyways, it's a pretty scary looking scenario that has perhaps already started to befall upon us. (Just think about how much the price of gas has gone up in the past 10 years... I'd say it's well eclipsing inflation).
As our byline states "Transition Towns is a global movement that looks to find community oriented solutions for peak oil". In general, this means looking at establishing local food systems. Our current initiatives include planting fruit and nut trees around Maynooth, creating more accessible allotment (community garden) space (cheaper and smaller, -four of us are currently sharing one of Roger's giant allotments), and fostering support for local farmers. Yours truly created a local food guide (where to buy stuff) and a seasonal eating chart (for Irish produce).
Anyways, enough of my hippy propaganda. The photos are from a trip we took to Castlefarm in Athy. The farm produces milk for Glenisk and Tipperary Icecream. They also have a farm shop where they sell their own (all organic) eggs, meat and produce. The farm tour is at 3pm on the last Saturday of every month. Be sure to wear your boots, as I think nearly all the kids stepped in some "freshly produced manure".