5th February, 2015 - sustainable living, forest bathing, local food, Ireland travel,

Almanac ...

Rooster Call :

Another frosty morning at Carrowcrory, then into blue sky and sun, then some clouding over.still feels spring like though the ground is still icy and cold.

Today in 'Almost Daily Blog' ...
  • Irish village sets up Community Shop
  • Tree Therapy is not just for for the birds
  • OURganic Gardens launches web site and new courses
  • WOW! $350 round-trip flights from US to Ireland
More USA tour arrangements for me to do today, mainly distributing media stuff. Do you find it easy to explain to others what you do?

Weather :

Frosty start this morning, at Carrowcrory, and a stunning sunny blue sky too, but that soon clouded over so it is cloudy with sunny periods today. A bit warmer this afternoon reaching 8C, 47F and then diving to freezing 0C tonight.
This slow warming daytime trend, with icy frosty nights, now looks like being with us for the rest of February, though there may be some frost free nights next week. 

This weekend looks like being quite mild in the daytime.

No rain in the forecast for at least a week and really hardly any rain in the forecast, yet, until early April. We should see some more blue sky sunny days and at least good sunny periods during all days during the coming week, at least. 

Still possible return to cold and snow showers for the fourth week of February.  

March is still currently looking good, warmer, with good sun. .   

Moon :

97% waning  ....  at Carrowcrory, Ireland ... sets 8:27 am,  rises 7:34 pm 
sunrise 8:14 am, sunset 5:20 pm  

News ...

Sustainable Living :
Irish village sets up Community Shop

This is a report on one village, Fourmilehouse in Co. Roscommon have seen services dwindle with shops, the post office and local pub all closing. The village and nearby Derrane are made up of over 400 homes and 1,300 residents.

Over the past few decades, local residents have tried to stem the losses by setting up a community centre, housing for the elderly, a community bus and childcare centre.

Last December, the locals once again took action, this time setting up a community shop. "As communities, we have to make the effort to show the Government that these places are worth saving". "It would be very hard to make it a going concern but as a community project it's working nicely."

Community shops, community gardens, community post offices, and even community water supplies, community energy and community internet, are being set up around Ireland, and have been for a few years now.

It is a challenge for a mindset that can often be stuck in the past and a wish for how things were, and a wish for the government to provide.

It is perhaps hard to accept that governments are going to care less and less about supporting local communities because their elections are funded by big business corporations and it is their interests they are 'paid' to serve. Big corporations want us to be urban to cut the costs of supply and services and to ascelerate values by competition. This all equals the 'bottom line' of the difference between profit and minimum expenses.

I pray local communities do engage on creating community services as this will not only change the tide of people resigning to urban living, but attract urban people back out to the rural again. With voter distribution increasing in rural areas then career politicians have to re-think what they are working for.

Corporations are starting to see this possibility on the horizon and some are creeping in and providing funding 'investing' in community projects more. What the outsome of that is, I'm not sure, but it does not seem good.

My own view is local enterprise should be co-operative community, and funding through crowd funding programmes ... but notice how quickly corporations are jumping onto acquiring these crowd funding operations? ... and some of the small crowd funding operations escalating into being public corporations quite quickly too.

For now, any support for community projects to replace urban alternatives and online shopping is great news. :-)

setting up a community shop

Forest Bathing :
Tree Therapy is not just for for the birds

IThe Ireland Indo paper has provided a wonderful article on this thing we may call 'Farest Bathing' but this article also comes up with 'Tree Therapy', 'Green Cure' and other terms. 

Then later on in the article have a hoot at the various complex scientific terms this activity has engineered, such as 'Attention Restoration'

This article brings attention to how being in forests also produces positive effects on problems we may have with social isolation, anger, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

It also points to the Britain's National Health Service initiating a scheme to create recuperative forests to aid patient recovery and boost staff morale, and provide woodland areas for patients to spend time in during their convalescence. These are called "NHS Forests", and to date has planted over 33,000 trees on 125 sites.

There's a quick glance at improved community health where the public has access to green space and woodlands.

Swiss authorities have started to advocate exercise in forests rather than in the gym or urban open spaces.

I like their quotes about how aboriginal peoples have always believed that everything is connected, that forests and the people are intimately linked and that problems occur when the link is broken and people are forcibly displaced from their land and forests.

This article also points out how Ireland seems to be paying very little attention to the links between health and forestry. Having said that, also claims visitor numbers to Coillte forests is close to 18m per annum, an average 4.5 visits per head of population. Last year, from what I saw, this did not seem to be happening though.

How about this, the total economic activity generated by domestic forest users is estimated at €268m, which is over 10pc of the sector's total output.

tree therapy

Local Food :
OURganic Gardens launches web site and new courses

OURganic Gardens of Co. Donegal will be starting community gardening courses during March in Letterkenny , Dunfanaghy , Dore and Ranafast. The ever active enthusiastic garden facilitator, Joanne Butler, will be on hand to take gardeners through the green fingered basics of growing vegetables while incorporating techniques such as testing the soil for pH , making natural fertilisers and insect repellents, and learning how to collect and use rain water. These courses include opportunities for days out and social gatherings plus additional to become sustainable in the garden. 

Joanne's life and intents are - community gardens to help bring food back to how it should be, local, natural and sustainable. She invited everyone to share this, OUR food. OUR future. OUR community

Ireland Travel :
WOW! $350 round-trip flights from US to Ireland

From early October, Icelandic airline, Wow Air, is to introduce a new route from Dublin to the two US cities of Boston and Washington DC via Reykjavik Iceland, with return fares starting at €300, $350 including taxes. By comparison, the cheapest return flights currently being offered by Aer Lingus to the US in October are €557 or about $650. At present, I do not know what the extras such as checked in baggage costs.

The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, using A320 and A321 aircraft, so the seating room will not be much. The total flight time will be between 12 and 13 hours compared to 7 hours to Boston with Aer Lingus, but the WOW flight includes an almost halfway 2 hour stop over at Reykjavik, Iceland, so the flight is split into 2 x about 5 hour flight sessions.

In short, it seems to be about getting what you pay for. One thing for sure, they are in this before Ryanair did, and have probably set the goal posts for other transatlantic cut price flights. I just hope one of the services uses our local Knock airport.

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