The Apple Farm
Now, don’t misundertand us when we say that Con Traas is in the wrong job.
Yes, we know that the droves of people who drive to The Apple Farm to buy Mr Trass’s stupendous fruits, juices, ciders and whatnot will be devastated to hear that he is to be redeployed.
Likewise, his students in UL, who enjoy agricultural enlightenment in every one of his lectures.
But, the fact remains: Mr Traas is needed for a new gig, and it’s one the country needs him to do.
He needs to write a weekly newspaper column.
Consider, for instance, Mr Traas’s Winter 2017 Newsletter, from the Apple Farm. His subjects range from cookery books aimed at younger readers which feature Tipperary produce; the environmental unsustainablilty of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; the creation of dried apple rings; the mathematics of donating 125,000 free apples to local schoosl and the productivity of Elstar apple trees; and the fact that his cider vinegar won the Chef’s Choice award at the Blas na hEireann.
The guy is the Fintan O’Toole of Irish agriculture; the George Monbiot of environmentalism; the Nicholas Kristof of Tipperary. What he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.
The country needs his wise counsel. We need to know what our agriculture could and should be. We need someone who can put the Culture into Agriculture.
Actually, Mr Traas belongs in a slightly different category to famous columnists. He belongs, along with the great Wendell Berry, in that tiny canon of inspired thinkers who can change the way people think. Ireland needs a Wendell Berry, a wise man who is outstanding in his field because you will usually find him out standing in a field.
Con Traas is that man.
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