Tag Archives: Gardening

Drumlane Community Garden

with Declan

After a well-deserved night’s sleep at the Seven Horse Shoes Hotel in Belturbet, Declan brought me to Drumlane community centre to visit the garden.  Drumlane is primarily a rural parish which includes a small part of Belturbet town. The community centre was built five years ago and has been paid for mainly by community fund-raising. It now provides a childcare service and a myriad of sports and community facilities, as well as being home to the Drumlane Sons of O’Connell GAA club. A patch of unused GAA club land adjacent to a children’s play area and the football pitch has been developed in to a thriving community garden.  November is not a great time to visit but this video gives a flavour of the garden in full bloom.

Member numbers have increased every year since the first gardening course was run by my host, Declan Fitzpatrick, in 2008. That year 14 Continue reading

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Rossport Solidarity House – food garden

This estuary and the surrounding area is an EU-designated Special Conservation Area.  It’s also where Shell want to dig a tunnel and run a high pressure gas pipeline underwater to an inland gas refinery.  It’s a remote corner of the country but it’s been in the eye of a storm for the last few years pitting the local community and environmental and social justice activists against the interests of an oil multinational and the Irish government.  The gas is valued at 450Billion Euro and the Irish government refuses to re-negotiate the deal done with Shell.  Not only will the tax that Shell pay be one of the lowest in the world but they will also pay no royalty payments under the current terms.  Contract terms are sacred you see, unless you’re an Irish bank bondholder that is, in which case we’ll review contracts in case of any losses incurred. 

stunning

I got there late in the evening after some more night cycling through rural Mayo.   If you’re ever going cycling, Continue reading

Ballybane Community Garden

The Ballybane Community Organic Garden is organised through the Ballybane/Mervue Community Development Project (CDP). It was set up in 2006 by the Galway Healthy Cities Forum (Galway City Development Board). The project is funded by RAPID, Health Promotion Services, HSE West and City of Galway VEC. 

with Gerry Folan, member of the Ballybane garden on Thursday

The garden is on council land that was previously derelict.  But because the site is right beside a reservoir the council had some concerns about damage to underground pipes.  They initially gave just a small site for the garden and when  Continue reading

Gort Community Garden and Co-op

Even though I’d visited the community farm and Ecovillage in Cloughjordan (see previous post) on the morning  I was leaving for Gort, I still thought that I had plenty of time to make it there before dark.  But it turned out that I’d completely misjudged the distance and when I got to Portumna, where the Shannon meets Lough Derg, and thought I was over half-way there, I’d only covered about one-third Continue reading

Community Supported Agriculture – Cloughjordan Community Farm

Thomas Mc Donagh, poet, playwright, revolutionary, martyr for Irish freedom.  But that’s enough about me, there was this other guy by the same name who was born in 1878 in Cloughjordan Co. Tipperary and was executed by firing squad in Dublin in 1916 after the Easter Rebellion.  So there was a lot of questions being asked when I went along, with my host Pat Malone, to a night of Irish language, song and poetry Continue reading

Scariff Community Garden and Transition Town

If Community Gardens are about a vision for a more sustainable future based on local food production and strong, resilient communities, then Scariff is very

local artists helping to create an inspiring space at the garden

much in the process of implementing that vision.  The Community Garden there was set up five years ago with the help of my host in Scariff, Brendan.  The initial intention was to create a social space to help in the integration of people with special needs in the community and a place to grow food for locals in the town.  The core group involved in the garden at first has changed considerably over Continue reading

Southill Community Garden, Limerick

Barbera Mulcahy is the gardener in resident in the Southill Resource Centre in Limerick.  The centre was set up in Southill as part of the area regeneration project.  The community has recurring social problems and the centre, which was a real hive of activity on Friday afternoon when I arrived and seems to have become a local community hub,   is a big part of the local effort to reverse some of the negative trends of the past. 

Plan of the garden on canvas-so it doesn't get damaged by the elements

 The community garden is part of this effort to get local people to re-engage with their community in a positive manner. 

When Barbera arrived at the centre in March of this year there were three raised beds and the resource was slightly under-used. 

Barbera in the polytunnel

  A FETAC horticulture course had been run with external help but there seemed to a p Continue reading

Simon Community Gardens-Cork City

Of Nature
Human beings
are not different from Nature.
We are part of Nature.
Our very existence on earth
depends on Nature.
In truth, it is not we who
protect Nature but Nature
that protects us
Amma
 
 
In 2004 as part of the preparations for Cork city’s tenure as European capital of culture, a project was initiated to develop community gardens around the city.  My host in Cork, Eoin Mc Cuirc, was involved in what became known as the Cork Mandala of Community Continue reading

Dunmore East Community Garden – Operation Frutification

This has to be the most spectacularly located community garden in the country. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Irish sea in Dunmore East, with seagulls milling around overhead and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below, locations don’t get much better.

When I met Dave Curran at the Strand Hotel he was carrying a plastic bag full of seaweed that he’d just collected from the beach.  He reckons that if he collects a bag after each storm he’ll have the best spuds in town.  Dave is involved with both the community garden and GIY (see earlier post below) groups in Dunmore East and is a member of the GIY national committee.

As we walked through the town Dave pointed out a public park which runs along the seafront. The park, like the community garden and community hall, was left in trust to be used for the townspeople by the Malcomsons -a family of wealthy corn and cotton merchants.  Dave and the other GIY’ers have long-term hopes to develop the space in to a fruit and nut park. For him, “the community garden and the GIY groups are ways of showing what can be achieved by a few organised people meeting just once a week”.  This gradual awareness raising process very much jives with Dave’s broader views on the potential of food growing for driving change in the wider community.  He advocates a  step-by-step approach of people talking to each other about the benefits of the food growing projects.  He feels that winning people over slowly this way, as opposed to badgering them with aggressive recruitment drives, will bear more fruit in the long run.  Taking people on their own terms is also Continue reading

Goresbridge Community Garden

The garden in Gorsebridge is located in a Respond housing estate.  Respond is Ireland’s largest non-for-profit housing association.  They develop housing projects with a view to creating inclusive communities based on social Continue reading