Three artists have joined forces to encourage the public to grow their own straw boy hat this summer.
Sowing the Seed, a Creative Ireland and Leitrim County Council-supported community project, is the brainchild of Edwina Guckian, Fionnuala Maxwell and Brian Mostyn.
The three project leaders will distribute free organic oat and barley seed on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022, across the county.
The idea stemmed from the group’s research into Ireland’s customs and folk traditions associated with straw.
They discovered that strawing traditions usually propagate music, song, dance, and devilment.
Also, the artists found that the roots of these traditions within the Irish calendar lead back to influences of climate, the environment and fertility of the soil.
Straw boy hat
Sowing the Seed aims to “reach and revive many of these traditions and bring modern-day uses to them.
Edwina Guckian explained: “It is a wonderful project for all ages, cultures and nationalities, and everyone is welcome.”
“Everyone is welcome to participate even if you are from outside the county. All you need is a minimum of 2m square of soil.”
“There are already over 150 people involved in the project from last year, including schools, men sheds, community groups and the organic farmers’ co-op.”
“Many participants involved in the project have used the past year to grow the oats to benefit the birds and wildlife, investigate the quality of the soil before and after, produce oaten flour and porridge, research old mills in Leitrim, interview the older generation of the county about growing oats and crops, make sugán chairs and hen’s nests and even try their hand at thatching,” she concluded.
The group has released details of the following collection points:
- Kinlough Community Centre: 5.15 pm
- Kiltyclogher Mac Diarmada statue: 6 pm
- Drumsna Church: 6.45pm
- Carrick Bush Hotel car park: 6.10 pm
- Manorhamilton Castle: 6.30 pm
- Dromahair Club House: 7 pm
- Mohill Church: 7.15 pm
- Drumkeerin Church: 7.30pm
- Carrigallen Cornmill: 7.50pm
- Drumshanbo Mart: 8 pm
- Ballinaglera Church: 8.30 pm
- Ballinamore Church: 8.30 pm
Furthermore, Guckian confirmed that she will organise a postal system for those who cannot make collection points for seed, and more events will be added shortly.