Faraway Fields – The Hardest Harvest
In a new RTÉ series, an Irish farmer, forester, and fisherman experience life in some of the most challenging conditions. They set out to discover if they have what it takes to live off of land and sea for two weeks in the harshest of environments with nothing but their bare hands and basic tools.
From unpredictable rainfall patterns in Vietnam, to deforestation in Brazil, to warming oceans and the mass die-off of fish populations off the coast of The Gambia, the host populations are at the sharp end of our global climate emergency.
Beginning Wednesday, June 7th on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, episode one sees Cork fisherman Johnny Walsh catapulted onto a wooden boat off of the West Coast of Africa in overexploited fishing waters in Gambia. Here he navigates the precarious food supply of the community of Tanji and other coastal Gambian communities whose dwindling fish stocks forces them to take perilous sea journeys.
Episode two follows Eveline Gill as she swaps her comfort zone – a small tillage farm in Offaly – for the rigors of a Vietnamese rice terrace. For Eveline, a farming consultant who operates at the cutting edge of modern agricultural science and is an advocate for all things organic, this is an awakening in a mountainous backwater where farming techniques have been unchanged for centuries.
In episode three, Sligo forester Marina Conway fulfils a lifelong dream by journeying to the tribal woodlands of Brazil, where she finds inspiration and heartbreak in equal measure.
Avoiding the well-travelled adventurers’ path to the Amazon, Marina instead pitches up in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil’s north-east, the first part of the country sighted by European colonisers. The local indigenous people – the Pataxó – have remained here ever since, as commercial forestry [legal and illegal] swallows up their traditional homelands.
This series supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. RTÉ is among 26 organisations appointed by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan from across society as leaders in driving forward Ireland’s progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).