Horticulture Is Life

Supporting Irish Growers Towards a Sustainable and Healthy Future For All

Bord Bia, The Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and Teagasc have come together at Bloom to create an inspiring, informative and educational feature in the Food Village. Under the theme “Horticulture is Life” the interactive feature will exhibit how each of the agencies work to support the Irish Horticulture Industry and growers to deliver top quality local sustainable produce and plants. The feature will highlight and profile the importance of our domestic horticulture industry and the role it plays in securing our national food supply in a sustainable way into the future.

The stage programme will feature daily demonstrations and talks on a range of topics. This will   include exploring the splendor of the planted garden that surrounds the feature, bringing the beauty of Ireland’s blooms indoors with cut flower and foliage, the importance of biodiversity, getting to know our trees and how to be successful with house plants.

On edible horticulture, fresh produce and its role in good food nutrition will be explained. Other topics   explored will include how to reduce food waste, innovation in potato research and we look at fruit trees and their environmental benefits. Plant health will also be explored and what to look out for in the garden. In addition there will be the opportunity to hear from both conventional and organic growers on how they got into horticulture and what they do to bring local season produce to the plate.

Apprenticeships in horticulture will be discussed and how one can become involved. In addition the feature will house two simulators for those younger visitors and budding horticulturists who wish to try their hand at operating a mini-digger or a tractor and trailer.

There will be daily cooking demonstrations with our potato and fresh produce campaign ambassadors showing how easy it is to prepare and incorporate local potato, fruit and vegetable ingredients into seasonal meal recipes inspired by the EU “Life is Better with Fruit n’Veg”, “Potato Prepared To Be Surprised” and EU Sustainable Mushroom campaigns. A key message will be how we can reduce food waste with simple and tasty meal solutions for any leftovers.

Located adjacent to the “Horticulture Is Life” feature is the “Eat Well Garden”. This garden features a range of fruit and vegetable and amenity plants both outdoor and grown in a glasshouse and polythene tunnel. As well as having the opportunity to view and explore the plants there will be regular walk’n’talk sessions around the crops about how the crops are grown, organic production, managing key pests and tips for GIYers to take home and practise in their own gardens.  In addition a series of talks will take place over the five days of Bloom on all aspects of kitchen gardening in our ‘Polytunnel Talks’ schedule of expert speakers.