This great video about the SCR Community Garden saves me having to do much by means of introduction. So without further ado..
There were 4-5 people there last Saturday afternoon when I dropped by. The guys were kind enough to give us a tour. They were busy weeding and laying compost to prepare a section of the garden for the next growing season when we arrived. Some nice seasonal veg (chard, kale and Japanese cabbage) had just been harvested to be shared out between those present; the herb garden was thriving. They have a water harvesting ‘system’ in use and a large compost area, both built using recycled materials. A pond has been built and frogs introduced to combat the slugs and comfrey is being grown to use as a natural organic plant feed. According to Jimmy, one of the members ‘processes in the garden are very much on a trial and error basis and learning as you go’, so gardeners of any level of skill or experience are welcome to come along; Jimmy reckoned that 6-8 regular members are needed for general up-keep. The guys mentioned that a lot of the members are foreign people living in the area.
From the video, my visit and talking to the members, there seems to be a very welcoming and open atmosphere about this community garden, with people being encouraged to come in, take on their own initiatives and to ask for advice and help when needed.
As was said in the video, even if the land is taken back in a couple of years time, a lot will have been achieved in the SCR garden in terms of getting people thinking about food growing, where their food comes from and how healthy and sustainable that process is. This will be an uphill battle in some cases though: one of the guys told us a story about some members of a local food growing group giving away the veg they had grown and going to the supermarket to buy their own food!! This gives us some idea about the way we relate to our food and where it comes from and how deeply engrained behaviour patterns can be.
The SCR garden has had visits by local schools and tourist groups. And another member, Anna, was telling us that a group is in the process of setting up another Community Garden in Cork Street. Close by, there is also a small garden at the back of St. Andrew’s Community Hall which is maintained by a local men’s group. And just a mile up the road in Crumlin, 123 allotments were opened in April this year at the VEC on Clogher Road; and their is a horticulture course available in the VEC. All of the allotments were taken for this year and there is a waiting list for next year. So lots of green shoots and positive food-growing projects underway in D-12
These are some photos I took at SCR: