Whilst at one of the workshops held in the new Caw Nelson Community Growing Space, I stumbled across this lovely little space. Named the Marie Curie Herb Garden. Its a wonderful little space full of fruit, herbs and plants to benefit biodiversity.
for more history of this space, please see page 5 on the below Newsletter from Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Myself and the Level 5 Horticulture Group from Colgan Hall in Carndonagh had a great time at the official opening of the Caw Nelson Community Growing Space, located at the Caw Nelson Community & Cultural Centre in the Waterside area of Derry/Londonderry. It was great for the students to see another face of Horticulture, not the Botanical or Ornamental side but how it can be used to change areas and benefit communities. The growing space in Caw Nelson is a wonderful partnership between the community and Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which has seen a derelict piece of land transformed into a productive space, with the help of The Landscape Centre . This space in Caw Nelson is just one more of the many great environmental projects which the community have delivered on, as can be seen here on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website
Recently I popped my head in the gate of the Twin Towns Community Garden, located beside McElhinneys stores in Ballybofey. I was delighted that Martin was on hand to show me around and give me an update on the great work that himself and the many other community gardeners there have been doing.
This year the group are in the process of adding another 50' polytunnel to the area, and now have 50+ raised beds, which are all taken and used. And indeed you can see from the pictures that the polytunnel space is been made great use of, with lots of succession seed sowing going on, hanging baskets being filled and the beds all planted.
Sadly, the hens that were a great feature in the garden are no more, these were a key tool in fertility building in the garden, waste plants were fed to the hens (along with feed) and the resulting manure was composted and used for the beds - as a result very little fertiliser was bought in by the garden.
Join me this Saturday from 1pm for a bit of Gardening banter in the newly launched Caw Nelson Community Growing Space....
A very interesting, entertaining, and educational afternoon took place on Saturday 2nd August, hosted by the Muff Community Garden Project, as part of the Muff Festival 2014. People of all ages gathered to enjoy a novel presentation of gardening and culinary information, called ‘Grow it, Cook it’. Delivered in an informal and immensely enjoyable manner, this event benefited beginners and veterans of both codes of horticulture and cookery. Imparting their vast knowledge at the event were BBC Radio Foyle’s resident horticultural expert, Gareth Austin, and Chef, Kerry Rowan, who teamed up to present an exhibition that was interspersed with laughter and amusing stories while providing many practical time and money saving tips for both the garden and the kitchen. During the event, meals and desserts were prepared in lightening quick time almost entirely from the produce of the garden, emphasising how healthy meals can be faster than packaged ones. Delicious samples were subsequently passed around to the welcoming audience.
The Muff Community Garden has gone from strength to strength over the past two years since it began as a green space, attached to the Warren View Manor sheltered housing complex, which was kindly donated by the HSE to the community. Since then, the project has received assistance from Groundwork NI and the Border Villages Social Integration Project. Indeed, this initiative is not only a great example of cross-border co-operation, but also one with an inter-generational aspect to it as well. There are at present eighteen plots in use with the gardeners coming from the Muff locality and the area of Culmore, just over the border in Derry. The garden, which boasts impressive facilities including the use of a polytunnel, greenhouse, raised beds and storage for all, is accessed by all ages of the community from young families with their children, right up to elderly residents of the sheltered housing complex. Katheryn Hegarty, of Warren View Manor, explains “Many of our residents have become involved which I believe has been a great thing for them. As you know the elderly can often become isolated, but the garden has facilitated new friendships and new interests. I read a great quote which I think sums up the experience for many of our gardeners, which was "Plant seeds, grow friendships"”.
This shared space has a real community feel to it and can be a platform for many great things in the future. It calls to mind another quote, by Audrey Hepburn, which is “To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow”.
Thanks to The Garden Centre in Strabane for a super display of quality plants on the day for the marquee
Recently I had a great night at the Twin Towns Community Garden in Ballybofey, County Donegal, hosting a summer fruit tree pruning workshop. The weather was brilliant and there was plenty of buns and tea on offer too.
We carried out seasonal pruning on the fruit trees on the site aswell as a focus on the soft fruits. Thanks to everyone who came along and to Celine McGlynn from the Finn Valley Voice for the use of the pictures. - check out the Finn Valley Voice on Facebook too
There's plenty happening in the Letterkenny Community Garden, lots growing with every bed showing signs of great activity. Inside the polytunnel the strawberries are ripening and the tomatoes are all growing away.
Joanne Butler, from Ourganics Garden in Gortahork has been running a series of workshops here for Cara House, empowering people with knowledge of how they can GYO. and the garden has moved in on a positive direction since 2010 when I was involved at the very start delivering some accredited training
I was delighted to bump into Joanne Butler from Ourganic Gardens on Thursday in Dobhar. Joanne is the facilitator in the Dobhar Community Garden, aswell as a number of projects in the North Donegal Area. John Ferry is a Solus Gweedore Level5 Horticulture student who is helping to develop the Tidy Towns strategy for Dobhar through his work placement in the Ionad Naomh Padraig Centre
Pictures are a few of the folks who joined me for a wee workshop in Park Village Community Garden area. At the workshop we covered seasonal grow-your-own tasks - what to sow now, how to harvest, weed control, pest and disease etc etc. A great wee morning of chat and banter...and a handful of Beetroot Chioggia to take home with me...what could be better!
Thanks to Learmount Community Association for the invite and for ensuring the morning was rain free!
The Twin Towns Community Garden, located in Ballybofey, is an amazing place. The beds are bursting with produce, the area is spotlessly clean and tidy...exactly how a Community Garden should look. A community garden has a role to inspire, not just to provide produce for the many involved, and the Twin Towns garden just does that. The Garden is only 2 years old and the members have taken to the next level, in the past year they've added another Polytunnel, held a Grow It Cook It day with Chef Ian Orr added more raised beds in the other Polytunnel, a biodiversity hedgerow, a terraced garden and an extended composting area...heres a few pics from the nights craic we had down there recently
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond