Rewarding positive environmental impact has revitalised an area of west Ireland. Is this a solution to the country’s ‘acute’ nature crisis? Michael Davoren shudders when he thinks of the 1990s. He’d been in charge of his 80-hectare farm in the Burren, Co Clare, since the 1970s, and the place was in his blood. The Davorens had worked these hills for 400 years.
The buffalo berry (Shepherdia argentea) is a winter hardy & drought tolerant nitrogen-fixer, and produces delicious berries that are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants such as lycopene. Originating from the great plains of the USA, buffalo berry was long used by Native Americans for food and other products, but has never been commercialised. The plant is related to Elaeagnus and sea buckthorn and the fruits too resemble those of these better-known edibles.