Annual Portumna Forest Picnic launched

The 2010 Portumna Forest Picnic will take place on Sunday September 12. The event, which is aimed at families, with the emphasis on locally produced food, was launched at the weekend. The event is being held to mark National Organic Week and is coordinated by the Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers’ Association, the Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association, and Slowfood.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness and the profile of Irish food in a rural setting. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Portumna Forest, the event will focus on sustainable food production and nature.

The variety of food and drink on offer will showcase local Irish organic production. There will be demonstrations on animal rearing, bee keeping, butchering, cheese making, and fish smoking as well as AgriAware’s mobile farm with live animals for petting. Other activities on the day will include forest walks, mountain bike trekking, storytelling for children, live music, and face painting.

“We have received very positive feedback and great support from groups and business in Portumna and the surrounding areas,” said event coordinator and executive researcher at the ICSA Gillian Westbrook. “We hope to make this event into an annual festival with the possibility of hosting similar events around the Lough Derg region. Portumna Forest Park is a spectacular site with trees that are hundreds of years old, and the event promises to have an almost Alice in Wonderland feel to it.”

The event has been funded by the organic unit of the Department of Agriculture along with sponsorship from IOFGA, local businesses, and those involved in organic production in Ireland.

Admission to the event is free.

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