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Sustainable

Ballybane shows how to sow and grow May ‘08

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On September 11th, I arrived at the Ballybane Community Organic Garden in Galway city for the project’s Open Day. It was a half-hour before the event drew to a close and I was very fortunate to go home with a precious handful of organic tomatoes and a jar of chutney, writes Allen Meagher. Trapped in a greenhouse with Barney and a dozen delighted children, I watched from the corner of my eye as visitors in the greenhouse next door tucked into the last of the vegetable soup, salads and hummus. It was a sell-out gig. The atmosphere was great, with everyone chatting about organic gardening. Local experts were on hand to give tips and nutritionists and cooks attended to make sure people went home with something in their heads as well as in their tummies. Three years ago, the area was wasteland. Through the local Ballybane/Mervue CDP – in league with a host of other agencies who came together as part of the Galway Healthy Cities initiative – the Community Organic Garden was set up in 2004. The City Council provided the site, a gardener attends at regular times to advise novice gardeners, and kids from the crèches and schools are frequent visitors. Participants from the local area have become experienced organic gardeners and groups have traveled from other towns and cities – for example, the PAUL Partnership in Limerick - to see if they can replicate Ballybane’s success. Of note to community groups struggling to increase participation – men love the gardening. Foods grown to date include potatoes, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, scallions, coriander and runner beans. The Ballybane Organic Garden Project is a joint project between Galway City Council, HSE West, RAPID, NUI Galway, the VEC and Ballybane/Mervue CDP. The HSE’s Health Promotion Services coordinated the involvement of their Community Nutrition Department and Home Management Department. The Organic Garden is located near Ballybane Church. Visitors are welcome to Ballybane. For more information contact: Ballybane/Mervue CDP. T: 091-768305. E: cdp4@eircom.net. Or call Fiona Donovan from Galway Healthy Cities 091–548518. E: fiona.donovan@mailn. hse.ie Also, for more information, visit www. galwayhealthycities.ie

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Sept ‘08

Profile for CHANGING IRELAND

Changing Ireland issue 27  

Hot in Issue 27: The Green Issue/ Sow and grow: Community Organic Gardens/ Sustainable development on our islands/ Sustaining the language i...

Changing Ireland issue 27  

Hot in Issue 27: The Green Issue/ Sow and grow: Community Organic Gardens/ Sustainable development on our islands/ Sustaining the language i...

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