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One minute with Eoghan Corbett - Can Horticulture Be Any Greener?

One minute with Eoghan Corbett - Can Horticulture Be Any Greener?

Dr Eoghan Corbett, a horticulture researcher at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, discusses alternatives to peat for growing fruit and vegetables. To hear the full story, come along to our 60 Minute Science event on 15th November.

Find out more about the event and register here


There are many ways we can help crops to grow consistently. We can grow them in controlled environments, protected from the elements, where things like temperature, irrigation, and light levels can be kept consistent.

For this reason we sometimes grow crops without any soil at all. Soil is too unpredictable. Instead, we grow crops in containers filled with what is called ‘growth media’.

For quite a while this growth media has been mostly made up of peat, - which for a number of reasons, is really well suited for this.

Throughout Ireland’s history, it has been an important raw material, but it is a finite resource. We’ve also come to understand how healthy and intact peatlands are important for biodiversity. They also act as a reservoirs for carbon and as buffers to flooding.

The Beyond Peat project that I work on, was established to find suitable alternative growth media. We are particularly interested in using native renewable materials, as well as materials that are wastes or by-products of other processes.

We are working to find ways to convert these into safe, predictable ingredients that could replace the use of peat.

By extending the usable lifespan of Ireland’s resources in this way, we can produce our food more sustainably - Making horticulture in Ireland even greener.


Teagasc invites you to join us for an unmissable series of virtual and in-person events for Science Week 2022 as part of ‘The Festival of Farming and Food’ November 13-20, 2022.

The festival is an educational, inspiring and fun week, packed full of amazing science activities, experiences, talks and exhibitions, for children and grown-ups alike.

Make a booking here

We’d love to hear from you. Be part of The Festival of Farming and Food journey on Social Media:
@Teagasc @ScienceWeek #FestFarmFood #ScienceWeek