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HomeFarming News‘Field Exchange comes from my 12 years’ experience as a farmer’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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‘Field Exchange comes from my 12 years’ experience as a farmer’

Field Exchange is about bringing people together to support agriculture, and creativity, and address climate change.

That is according to Brookfield Farm, in Co. Tipperary, who in collaboration with artists, Deirdre O’Mahony and John Gerrard, will launch the project on June 21st, 2022.

It is one of fifteen Creative Climate Action Fund-supported projects taking place all around the country that will work with communities to empower people to make “real” changes in how they interact with the environment.

Presented by farmer and agricultural educator, Ailbhe Gerrard, Field Exchange is a series of farm-based creative events.

The aim is to support farmers to implement agricultural practices that combat climate change.

The initiative welcomes groups of 30, farmers, experts, interested public and artists coming together at exchange tables on Brookfield Farm, facilitated by National Organic Training Skillnets.

The three-part project links creativity and agriculture to address climate, community, and biodiversity challenges over 12 weeks from June to September 2022.

These Field Exchanges bring together art, food, and agriculture; creating opportunities for the public, artists, farmers, scientists, and experts from relevant fields to congregate and exchange ideas and tested techniques that combat climate change.

Field Exchange

The first of the exchanges take place on June 28th, 2022, and the project has 12 days of exchanges over 12 weeks.

Exchanges include:

  • Welcoming new entrants to agriculture;
  • Designing farms, including trees and dry stone walls;
  • Soil fertility;
  • Horticulture opportunities;
  • Dairying with a difference.

Speaking about Field Exchange, Ailbhe Gerrard of Brookfield Farm said:

“Field Exchange comes from my 12 years’ experience as a farmer. I needed knowledge on how to farm to support nature within a nurturing community, integrating creativity and vision in food production.”

“From years of discussion and research, we developed Field Exchange to answer these real needs for farmers and help the public support this kind of food production.’’

Two artworks

Two artworks by renowned artists John Gerrard and Deirdre O’Mahony, are sited on Brookfield Farm.

Field Exchange presents two artworks addressing climate change:

  • A newly commissioned sculptural planting entitled ‘MODEL PLOT’, by Deirdre O’Mahony in collaboration with the Loy Association of Ireland by the lakeshore at Brookfield Farm.
  • You can view a new and intimate iteration of Corn Work (Corrib) 2020 by John Gerrard by the lakeshore through a digital augmentation of the landscape and can be accessed using a QR code.

Corn Work (Corrib) 2020 is physically present in King’s Hill barn, on Brookfield Farm, and you can visit during the public guided tour days.

MODEL PLOT is a sculptural planting of herb and forage crops framed by potato ridges. It looks to the potato ridge, born out of the need for food security in Ireland’s past, and forward to herb and forage crops that point the way to climate resilience in farming.

Interlocking potato ridges will enclose diamond-shaped plantings of sainfoin, vetch, birds-foot trefoil and phacelia. Each plant variety has a practical value for farmers and benefits the environment.

John Gerrard’s new and intimate iteration of Corn Work will be presented on a 27-inch LCD screen. The work is imagined as an active participant in the twelve exchanges.

Booking 

Furthermore, the public can experience both artworks and the farm on a guided tour from June 28th and every Tuesday thereafter from 3 pm – 6 pm until September 6th.

The July 9th and 10th open days offer a weekend opportunity to experience the artworks and farm. It is possible for groups to book a tour outside the allocated open days, contact hello@brookfield.farm.

Booking is essential to take part in the exchanges and for the public open days – www.brookfield.farm/pages/field-exchange

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