Carola Godman Irvine. Farmer, Campaigner & Columnist. 31-03-21

  • Written by Carola Godman Irvine
  • Posted on Apr 01, 2021
  • Articles

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after 21 March. In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church, declared that Easter should be observed on this Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Coming at the end of Holy Week, Easter symbolizes new birth and hope.

The Easter bunny was first documented in the 1500s, due to the animal’s high reproduction rate. Spring is about new life, and eggs an ancient symbol of fertility.

Last week I found myself watching ‘Love Actually’ with my daughter; a film which never fails to make me smile. As the credits roll following the airport scene when key characters are reunited, images of everyday families and friends greeting loved ones with hugs and kisses multiply across the screen.

It occurred to me that we have not experienced such embraces and greetings for over a year. Instead we have keep our distance while observing the Government’s advice – Hands Face Space, and now Fresh Air– keeping us, the NHS and the vulnerable - Safe.

Even I, not known for my sentimentality, had a pang of longing to once again hug my family, and close friends.

I thoroughly recommend this Christmas-themed romantic comedy to anyone in need of a quick ‘pick me up’, and recall how things used to be, and hopefully will be once again.

As the countryside emerges from the clutches of winter, and we tentatively resurface as lockdown gently eases, no doubt we will breathe a sigh of relief. However, late ground frosts can occur until June, and it is certain the virus will lurk within our population ready to pounce. Probably from amongst those refusing vaccinations - we must remain vigilant.

Elections loom for local councils, and Police and Crime Commissioners.

It is increasingly questionable as to why Town, District and County elections are run along party political lines. This partisan method of choosing the ‘right’ person, to make educated decisions on behalf of our communities, is increasingly found to be wanting.

Party politics at local level should be questioned, at a time when the electorate should vote for the best person for the job, not their politics.

This includes Police and Crime Commissioners who also must be selected for competence, not the color of their rosette! I personally fail to fathom the purpose of PCCs.

Could a single strawberry costing £3.60 arrive in London anytime soon? This ‘super luxury fruit’ is currently New York’s most in-demand new produce. Known as the ‘Tesla of strawberries’, they can be bought in Grand Central Market, deep in Manhattan.

Grown in the world’s first and largest indoor vertical strawberry farm, the crop is stacked in layers in a controlled environment. Hiroki Koga, the chief executive of Oishii Farm moved from Japan to the US in 2015. When he sampled the ‘flavorless’ home grown strawberries, he was deeply ‘disappointed’.

Returning to Japan he selected from over 50 varieties, the Omakase which contained twice as much sugar as an average US strawberry. A variety grown during the Japanese winter; conditions which he recreated in the indoor setting.

This vertical farm is the first to use real bees to pollinate produce; something hitherto assumed impossible. To date vegetables grown indoors have been chosen because they do not require pollination.

Josie Ensor who sampled a £36 box of ten strawberries, reported the flavor was indeed remarkable. The flesh is almost white, the skin soft and there are relatively few seeds. Clearly not a fruit we shall be seeing anytime soon across the fields of Sussex, but, will the vertical ‘farmers’ of London soon be producing them?

As the Bank holiday looms and lambing is underway, please keep dogs on leads.

Happy Easter.

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