It’s been a tough week of funding proposal writing. Usually I have everything submitted a couple of days before the deadline. But, this time, I hadn’t taken COVID into my plans. I had received the vaccine booster about a month ago, so I wasn’t nearly as ill as I had been in February 2020 – a bout that left me fatigued for six months and with neither smell nor taste for over two years – but it was enough to leave me miserable and weary for a few days. And that made writing the proposal that much harder.
I got it done, and sent in, and I’m hopeful. It’s a four-part series that will see me team up with the National Ecology Centre, Sonairte and with Sanctuary in Nature, an organisation that works with refugees, to pair up newly arrived refugees with local community representatives in order to grow Irish heritage fruit and vegetables together over the four seasons of a year. Growing local, sustainable and seasonal produce is a key to both our own health and the health of the planet and this collaboration between newcomers and locals will, we hope, ease the trauma of social integration for people who are trying to fit in to our culture. When you take away the language barriers and cultural differences, growing food is something that’s basic to all people.