Alison Canavan (wellness coach), Paul Quirke (Our Lady's National School) and Karen O'Donohoe (GIY) at the presentation of the Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund celebration.
Tipperary groups were amongst the winners of grants from the Get Ireland Growing Fund of €70,000 for 2017 recently.
The Get Ireland Growing Fund grants, run by Grow It Yourself (GIY) in partnership with Energia, were awarded to Cashel Scouts, GIY Clonmel and Our Lady’s National School’s garden Ballingarry at a ceremony in GIY Waterford this week.
They each receive €500 from the Sow Awardees category for their successful food growing projects, with 85 community projects in total granted funds ranging from €500 to €2,000 for their unique plans.
Cashel Scouts are creating a garden with an area for insects, flowers, bug hotels, bee friendly plants, scents and an area for food such as salads, beans and courgettes. “Our garden area is an abandoned front garden of a derelict urban cottage measuring approximately 20m x 5m with the back aligned to the cottage, the front facing the public road and directly opposite the scout hall,” they highlight.
The GIY Clonmel team continue: “Planters to be made by local men's shed, filled with compost and edible plants will be placed outside a community building within the town. It will increase awareness of the public to our group and to the simple way in which food can be grown at home even in limited space. Signage will identify the plants and the way they are grown, as well as providing nutritional information”.
Our Lady's National School in Ballingarry’s team adds: “As a small, rural Deis school located in the village of Ballingarry, we have a space allocated for our school garden, but our garden is sad and in need of renovation.
“We plan to provide CPD training for staff, build new planting spaces and repair the existing beds, incorporate bird boxes and insect hotels to encourage wildlife, have class group and communal growing spaces and use recycled materials as much as possible, in line with our current Green School flag.
“It’s hoped that the school garden will become an extension of the classroom and a valuable learning space. We hope to involve the parents and extended school community as much as possible in the creation and upkeep of the garden.
“The garden will be used as a tool to teach gardening and growing skills to adults and children and produce from the garden will be cooked with. The garden will also encourage more wildlife and will be a beautiful space in the community.”
In addition to the funding provided, GIY will also provide additional supports and opportunities for knowledge exchange between the projects, helping the best ideas to be shared through ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’. All of the projects remain part of the GIY network in the long term, giving them access to other GIY resources and additional groups and projects within the network, creating a long-term legacy.
This is the fourth year of the fund, which has already supported more than 400 community food growing projects to date, positively impacting over 100,000 people. €270,000 has been awarded over the last four years and this was distributed to projects all across the country.