Food, oil and self sufficiency.

 So, here we are again waiting for our new saviours to be elected! The world all around us is in turmoil. Earthquakes in New Zealand, all sorts of disasters in Australia and unrest in Africa and the Middle East. Has the penny dropped with people yet? Here it is again: our dependence on oil and food imports is ultimately a recipe for disaster. 85% of Europe’s oil comes from Libya. What to do? Secure your food supply, at least part of it anyway, by planting fruits and vegetables. Already food prices are rising and the oil is still flowing. Imagine what happens if this supply is disrupted? Disaster, especially if you can’t fulfil any of your own food needs.

The other essential for humans is heat. If oil is your only heat source be prepared to pay a lot more for it, if it can be got! Here in Arigna we got rid of our oil tank two years ago. It was the best thing we ever did. It used to cost about 500 euros to fill our tank then, it was a big tank. We converted to a solid fuel stove which is great. We burn coal nuggets which are manufactured in Arigna, recycled wood in briquette form from the Merenda factory in Manorhamilton and of course wood which is foraged. We also save on cooking costs since we got the stove as a lot of cooking is done on top of it. We also got our windows double glazed last year. This was done by a firm from Monaghan called LM Glazing, who take out the single glazed panels and install double glazed panels whilst leaving the hardwood window frames in situ. We really noticed the difference during the heavy frosts of Winter, no more frost on the inside of widows!

Of all the election literature we have received in the last few weeks only one person seems to even mention things like retaining the right of people to cut turf for domestic use and the amount of money spent on food imports. That person is Luke “Ming” Flanagan. In his leaflet he states that “Roscommon & South Leitrim spent 9 million euros alone on fruit and vegetables in 2010. We spent over 14.5 billion on draught beer and stout. The vast majority of this is not produced in the area. If we look at all the products that we purchase which could be produced locally such as bread, cheese, beer and believe it not drinking water then it is clear that we unnecessarily leach 10’s of millions of euros out of the local economy every year.” Food for thought indeed, cast your vote wisely!

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