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Bloom in the Park 2017

Agri Aware's "My land, your land - Ireland" garden at Bloom in the Phoenix Park

Agri Aware, the Irish Agri-food educational body, were present at Bloom in Phoenix Park from June 1 – 5 for the June bank holiday weekend. A record number of people attended Bloom in the Park 2017 , with some 120,000 in attendance over the five days. The event highlighted the beginning of Agri Aware’s new CAP communication campaign “My land, your land – Ireland”.

The Bloom farmyard at Bloom in the Phoenix Park

Sheep shearing judge Godfrey Potterton and son Graham Potterton doing a sheep shearing demonstration at the Bloom farmyard

During the first two days of Bloom, approximately 800 primary school students, from 25 primary schools across the country joined Agri Aware for one hour tours of bloom to learn about farming and growing. The teachers and their pupils visited the Bloom farmyard, organic gardens and a rainbow polytunnel during their tours. At the farmyard, the children had the opportunity to witness sheep shearing every hour and to learn about cows and pigs. Sheep shearing judge Godfrey Potterton and his son Graham carried out sheep shearing demonstrations and answered any questions children or teachers had. Milking demonstrations occurred less frequently at 11am and 4pm during the day.

In the rainbow coloured poly tunnel, public health and clinical nutritionist Niamh Arthurs engaged children in a fun and interactive talk about why eating fruit and vegetables are important. New healthy eating recommendations state that people should be consuming up to seven fruit and vegetables a day. Niamh also highly encouraged students to eat a variety of produce in different colours of the rainbow which is why the polytunnel was rainbow coloured.

The organic garden from SEED was the final stop of the school tours. Students learnt about organic gardening, hibernation, worms and much more at the SEED organic garden. Some of the schools’ art work and scarecrows were on display in the garden.

Agri Aware also showcased a unique show garden at Bloom in Phoenix Park for the very first time this year. The garden, titled “My land, your land – Ireland” designed by Tünde Szentesi demonstrated how farming with the help of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), is embracing sustainable practices and producing safe, affordable, quality and traceable food for Irish consumers and the export market. It was awarded a silver gilt medal which was nothing short of a blooming success.

Bord Bia's Cheif Executive Tara McCarthy, Tünde Szentesi, Agri Aware's Executive Director Deirdre O'Shea, Sabina Coyne, President Micheal D Higgins and Agri Aware's Chairman Richard Moeran at Agri Aware's show garden at Bloom in the Park

Lizzy from Lizzy’s Little Kitchen at Agri Aware’s “My Land, Your Land – Ireland” show garden at Bloom in the Phoenix Park.

The garden had a large array of visitors including former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President Micheal D. Higgins and his wife and the Donovan brothers as well as cooking demonstrations from the likes of Lizzy from Lizzy’s Little Kitchen and Edward Hayden.

The garden will be recreated and brought to Fota wildlife park following Bloom and used as an outdoor classroom for a biodiversity module.

Agri Aware would like to thank all those who are sponsoring its “My land, your land – Ireland” garden at Bloom, as well as all patron members who make it possible for Agri Aware to carry out its various educational and public awareness programmes and initiatives on behalf of the agri-food industry.