Limerick Gets Growing

Growing some of what we eat brings us together, and we need closer-knit communities, says city Green Party candidate James Nix, highlighting community gardening initiatives across the north side. The projects are at varying stages of development. All welcome support from their surrounding communities and benefactors, says James.

At St Munchin’s Family Resource Centre in Ballynanty a 5,000 euro grant has already been secured to turn an area beside the centre into a community garden. There is an educational side to the St Munchin’s project, with links to local schools, and there are plans to erect a greenhouse. A gardening course is offered at the centre and the
contact person there is Shirley Travers.

In Moyross the monks area seeking support to develop a community garden not far from their friary in Delmege Park. Treading lightly upon the earth is something very close to the monks’ hearts and they have long experience of local food growing and home composting. Those interested should contact Father Paulus.

On Clancy Strand residents are pressing the city council to complete its enforcement action against unauthorised development on an area locally known as Andrew’s Gardens, once home to fishermens’ huts. After enforcement proceedings are complete the council will be in a position to designate the land for a community garden under the 2001 Local Government Act.

The advantages of growing more of our own food are many, James said. By reducing chemical use fruit and vegetables taste better, we can cut the distance food travels, and above all, we can build community.

Councils from Galway to Fingal and from Donegal to Bantry are rowing in behind ‘growing local’ initiatives. James Nix has promised greater support to community gardens if elected to Limerick City Council this June. Publicity, putting people in touch with each other and sharing information are all vital, according to James, pointing to a Limerick
blog which has recently been set up – www.limerickcommunitygardens.blogspot.com, and James welcomes people to post on it.

Teagasc has also produced an updated booklet, A Guide to Vegetable Growing, available on its website, www.teasgasc.ie – type “Vegetable Growing” into the Search box. Information on initiatives around the country is available on www.getgrowing.ie.