5 Events Not to Miss at IMMA Earth Rising’s Field Kitchen Stage

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: IMMA

Field Kitchen is the ‘food tent’ at IMMA’s climate change and sustainability festival ‘Earth Rising’. The festival takes place on the grounds of the Royal Hospital from September 21 to 24, and is free to attend. Download the Earth Rising App now to discover the programme of events.

Designed and programmed by Gerry Godley (Bread Man Walking) and Jennie Moran (Luncheonette) the Earth Rising Field Kitchen aims to explore how we can give back to the earth what it has given us through our engagement with food. An idea that comes from the heart and gets to the point.

The kitchen has become a destination for not just food but for socialisation and organisation. The kitchen serves as the place where the family, in all its forms, comes to land at the beginning and end of the day. It’s a place to fuel up and wind down. Where friends gather to enjoy a cup of coffee or a drink at a dinner party. So to honour it’s place as the heart of the home IMMA’s Earth Rising Field Kitchen has made their stage an actual, fully functioning kitchen. Instead of traditional talks on a stage, discussions will happen within the kitchen as they would in real life.

When we talked to Jenny she emphasised that this event aims to do something novel in terms of convening discussions around food. Food plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of an uncertain future, including climate change and sustainability.

To help you engage with the cornucopia of talks set to take place this week, we have delved into the rich tapestry of the Earth Rising Field Kitchen and picked the top five events not to miss this weekend.


Bó Mhór – Exploring Milk Preservation and Cheese Making

The Earth Rising weekend is a symphony of discourse where every note strikes a chord of vital significance. The festival addresses the pressing issue of food waste, a major contributor to climate change. Bó Mhór exceptionally so. This interdisciplinary project, led by artists David Beattie and Michelle Darmody, dives deep into the importance of food waste in the climate crisis debate. Participants will discover the art of cheese making, exploring various techniques and cultures while learning how to prevent milk waste. It’s an educational and sustainable journey. Through initiatives like Bó Mhór, attendees can discover ways to reduce milk waste in their homes. Plus who doesn’t want to know how to make cheese?

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 11:00 – 12:00


Looking Back to Look Forward – Inherited Wisdom and Deep Time

We need to talk about farming. It’s full-on vital to our survival and yet unless we grew up around it we never really think or talk about it. But in real life, we are dependent on farmers. “If people don’t go into farming, we’re in a really sticky place,” Gerry said. He underlines the challenges faced by farmers and the importance of supporting agriculture for a sustainable future. This event allows the audience to delve into the rich history of Mayo’s Céide Fields. A place where generations of farmers have tended the land. Dr. Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, Dr. Seamus Caulfield, Dr. Norah Campbell, and Michelle Darmody will connect the past to our contemporary food landscape. The talk will explore lessons from the past that can guide us in becoming better stewards of the Earth.

Thursday, 14:30 – 17:00


Back to the Root – Intergenerational Sustainability Conversation

Food is inherently and distinctly tied to every culture. Whereever people gather together to eat food culture exists. This noteworthy presentation features a candid dialogue between a mother-daughter duo, Victory and Chidinma Nwabu-Ekeoma. They explore how pre-migration environmental knowledge and practices converge post-migration, offering a blueprint for sustainable change. Victory Nwabu-Ekeoma, of Bia Zine, emphasizes the profound impact of such knowledge: It’s a unique perspective on sustainability and cultural preservation.

Thursday, 17:30 – 18:00


More than Two Veg – Imagining the Irish Foodscape

This talk wades into the deeper waters of the relationship between food, culture, and sustainability. It promises to be a provocative journey that challenges the palate and the intellect alike. As Jenny Moran observed in an interview with us food culture is, “very personal, but it’s also very macro. It’s very pleasurable, but it’s also very consequential.” During this panel discussion Molly Garvey, Janet Power, Jason McCormack, and Virginia O’Gara challenge the traditional Irish foodscape. They will explore the potential of organic market gardening, agroforestry, and fruit and vegetable wholesaling. Get ready to imagine new dishes and rediscover old ones!

Friday, 12:30 – 14:30


The Carnivore’s Dilemma – Rethinking Meat Consumption

Meat consumption itself while a formidable part of Irish culture raises profound questions about land use, emissions, animal welfare, health, and nutrition. For a nation like Ireland, a significant beef exporter, addressing these issues is crucial. Join the panel with Clive Bright, Kate Ryan, and Michael Birmingham to explore the future of meat in our diets and the climate consequences.

Food systems are bonkers. They’re layered. They’re globalised and in many ways they’re broken. This panel beckons us to reimagine the complexities of our food systems, underscoring the undeniable political nature of food. It is a call to hold ourselves, and those who produce our food accountable and transparent. In the words of Gerry Godley, “Food is a political question.”

Sunday, 11:30 – 12:30

In a world grappling with a litany of existential challenges—from climate upheaval to sustainability quandaries—Earth Rising Field Kitchen emerges as a beacon of hope. It is an invitation to explore the very essence of food, culture, and the Earth’s heartbeat. It is a vivid reminder of the power of collective action. As Gerry and Jenny muse, “We’re all the constituency when it comes to food.”

‘Earth Rising’. The festival takes place on the grounds of the Royal Hospital from September 21 to 24, and is free to attend. Download the Earth Rising App now to discover the programme of events.

Elsewhere on CHAR: How to be Sustainably Sparkly

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