From the importance of community farming to an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at the site of one of oldest manufacturers of agricultural machinery in the UK and Ireland, discover the role of STEM in agriculture in Northern Ireland as part of the 2022 NI Science Festival.
The STEM celebration, which has grown to become the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland, boasts more than 120 events taking place over 11 days from Thursday, February 17, to Sunday, February 27, throughout Northern Ireland – with a selection of agricultural events scheduled to take place during the programme.
Fleming Agri, one of the UK and Ireland’s oldest manufacturers of agricultural machinery, is hosting a factory tour (February 17) that offers families and visitors a special behind-the-scenes peek at its production processes and practices, gaining insight into its agricultural innovations while also exploring the company’s heritage and values.
At the Cultivating Community Farming workshop, as part of Belfast’s Sustainability Fair (February 26), explore shared visions and possibilities for food sustainability in Northern Ireland and beyond with a range of community organisations and enterprises at a time when both the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change have highlighted the importance of community access to and involvement with food, farming and nature.
If you are just starting your gardening journey then join Hillsborough Castle’s gardeners at A Beginner’s Guide to the Science of Compost (February 17) where you will learn the science behind composting and keeping your soil healthy, the pH, texture and structure of the soil and soil organisms.
Join The Open University in a virtual event, The Power of Plants (February 25), as ecology experts behind BBC and The Open University’s production ‘Green Planet’ dive into the wonderful world of plants and share their favourite behind the scenes moments.
‘Bee’ part of the experience at Hillsborough Castle by joining the castle’s beekeeper Gwen Earnshaw at The Wonderful World of Honeybees (February 19), where you will learn how bees make honey and wax comb, and at the Beeswax Balm Workshop (February 26) where Gwen will show you how to make your own beeswax balm to take home.
Commenting on the launch of the 2022 NI Science Festival, its director, Chris McCreery, says: “Our festival exists to engage audiences, stimulate discussion, and ignite interest in the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and we’re confident this year’s diverse programming will expand the horizons of festival goers of all ages and abilities across Northern Ireland.”
NI Science Festival is supported by the Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, British Council Northern Ireland, MCS Group, The Open University NI, Innovate UK, Matrix NI, Film Hub NI and Arts & Business NI.
n For more information about NI Science Festival events and to book, visit nisciencefestival.com
n Keep up to date with the festival on social media via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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