Allotment sites

We had a meeting with officials from Limerick County Council to identify possible site provision and to make the council aware of the information we had gathered. It was a worthwhile meeting because we learned that while land may be available in West Limerick possible sites located close to the suburbs was problematic. There may be small pockets of land free when the National Roads Authority has completed road projects. The timeline identified for when this could be ascertained is the end of spring 2010. Even if land is available for allotments, exit and entry points could be an issue due to the location of such land. This timeline is now up and we are again recommencing our campaign. Continue reading “Allotment sites”

Vegetable Growing

Crokers Bar (upstairs) Murroe, 11.00am

Joy Larkcom has been growing vegetables for over 40 years and is one of the world’s leading experts in the field. As well as having built herself an enviable reputation as an author and gardener, Joy is also a well known journalist, lecturer and a well known radio and television broadcaster with the BBC.

Her books include Creative Vegetable Gardener, Oriental Vegetables, Salads for Small Gardens, The Organic Salad Garden, Grow Your Own Vegetables, and the revisions of the classic The Vegetable Garden Displayed. Continue reading “Vegetable Growing”

Greens launch allotment and community garden plan in Bloom’s ‘Obama Garden’

Food Minister Trevor Sargent boosts farmers’ markets and is determined to get more people growing

  • Allotments officer for local authorities
  • Development plans to include growing ground
  • Easier access to farmers’ markets

Food Minister Trevor Sargent today said he was determined to encourage more Irish people to grow their own food. At the same time Minister Sargent also launched a plan to boost confidence in Farmers’ Markets. Minister Sargent, was speaking as he launched two key initiatives today [Friday May 29] at the new Obama Garden, – a model of Michelle Obama’s White House organic garden – in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Minister Sargent said: “The phenomenal demand for allotments and the unprecedented sales of vegetable seeds indicate that there is effectively a food revolution taking place in the country. The spin-off benefits include healthier communities and greater resilience in the face of the recession and shortage of oil and food internationally. “I have been working closely with Green Party Leader and Environment Minister John Gormley to increase the numbers of people growing food at home and on allotments. Moves include an allotment officer for local authorities, targeted development plans to provide land for growing food in the community, easier access and guidelines for farmers’ markets and books and guides on how to grow your own food.” Continue reading “Greens launch allotment and community garden plan in Bloom’s ‘Obama Garden’”

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.

Limerick lags behind in the allotment stakes

Green Party candidate for the Castleconnell electoral area, Trish Forde-Brennan, is calling on Limerick County Council to catch up when it comes to the provision of allotment sites and supporting people to grow their own food.

“Right around the country from Galway, Cork, Waterford there are Grow-it-Yourself groups forming as more people want to eat locally-produced food and to have a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps we are rediscovering our agricultural roots but there is a real desire to work with the soil and produce our own food. Even Michelle Obama and her daughters are growing their own vegatables in the White House” she said. The grow it yourself movement is backed up with a 66% increase in sales of herbs, fruit and vegetable plants since 2002. For the first time in decades sales of fruit and vegetable plants are ahead of flowers . According to Bord Bia, sales of herb fruit and vegetable planta has increased from 9 million to 15 million euros.

“That is incredible.” said Ms Forde-Brennan . “With food prices increasing there is money to be saved by growing your own food. It is particularly frustrating that neither Limerick County or City Council provide Allotments or Community Gardens.” said Ms Forde-Brennan.” In local authorities such as Dublin South County Council and Fingal they have waiting lists even though they have increased the number of allotment sites being made available. Now, Kilkenny County Council and Cork City Council are making provision for sites, but Limerick is left behind again”

“I recently spoke to officials from both the County Council and the NRA and they have now committed to researching possible allotment provision. This will take to the end of Spring 2010. Such is the demand that I believe there is a market for both local authority and privately-owned allotments so long as they are leased at reasonable prices. With people having more time on their hands through unemployment, retirement and wanting a quality of life, growing one’s own food is very attractive.”

Ms Forde-Brennan hosted a meeting this week at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel , where people from Castletroy to Raheen came together to voice support for allotment provision and to look for more information. Speakers at the meeting included Ms Forde-Brennan, Colin Fitzpatrick from the UL Farmers Market, Trish Shine, Mary Lyons from Teagasc and Valerie O’Connor from Vals Kitchen Blog. It was agreed to form a network and identify possible site locations and site providers. “It is clear that there is broad interest in this campaign and it appeals to all ages. What else could introduce new friends, save money, provide exercise, and help generate income?” said Ms Forde-Brennan.